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Quote of the Day

Horse racing in Germany, photo by Softeis, from Wikipedia

Horse racing in Germany, photo by Softeis, from Wikipedia

“Horse breeders did not invent the motorcar”. While surfing around the internet today, I came across this quotation over at a site called Shelf Awareness. The words come from Jacob Epstein, a reviewer for the NY Review of Books, as he was writing about a technology book called “Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century” by John B. Thompson. What was being discussed here was the recent development of e-books and e-publishing, and how some companies, especially Amazon have seized upon it, while others seem to have ignored the new formats for books until it was nearly too late. According to Epstein, the bigger loser in this turn of events are the book publisher. Here is a larger segment of the quote;

“technological change is discontinuous. The monks in their scriptoria did not invent the printing press, horse breeders did not invent the motorcar, and the music industry did not invent the iPod or launch iTunes. Early in the new century book publishers, confined within their history and outflanked by unencumbered digital innovators, missed yet another critical opportunity, seized once again by Amazon.”

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