said 1 year, 1 month ago:
First, I think things at Apple will rapidly change now that Stevie’s gone. Innovation will remain high, but cooperation may increase, as well as a competitive need for more flexibility in pricing structures to even stay in the game at some point. I mean last year India promised the world a $9 handheld computer. If I were Apple and the other big boys, I would have bought them out, so that’s what probably happened. In America, however, the Justice Department has taken a new interest in price fixing, monopolies, Sherman Act and RICO Act enterprises again. Clearly, just election year paper-shuffling bully tactics, but maybe they’ll stick to their guns this time. It’s possible. Anyway, there’s really no reason why the technology we’re using is so expensive, especially the almost zero cost to bookseller’s selling ebooks. We really should be using $10 ipads and handheld devices and paying about the same or less for any downloaded book/ebook.
Second, the educational book industry has been corrupt for a long time. Justice may be truly closing in this time, especially with their recent indictments of four of the five largests non-educational publishers for conspiracy and price-fixing (basically). Whether low or high, price fixing is price fixing… same for other kinds of bully tactics in a market, whether against competitors or consumers.
Third, the quality of book/ebook publishing and the standards of the emerging industry have dropped to a still declining low. The former self-publishing industry has been appalled at how illiterate most current writers present themselves in public — and I absolutely do mean MOST — proud as can be they’ve made lots of money publishing with third grade writing and editing skills with zero professionalism. Just dang yucky all the way around for all of us! Writers who cannot write are dictators with secretaries, paid ghostwriters or editors. That’s not writing; that’s transcribed public speaking or fraud for hire when there’s no co-author or ghostwriter credit on the cover.
And finally, if I had not been able to use my colored highlightes, underline passages, and make margin notes, I never would have gotten through college at all, much less with good grades. But I guess if I can learn to be productive with speech recognition software to “write,” then I could learn to turn to use a handheld device to replace all my paper/pen methods, too.
Just one more note. As a former English teacher, I was jaw-dropping aghast when I learned that neither my students nor my children would have any “takehome” books at their schools — only “class sets” of books. These are gifted and honors students who make mostly A’s and are on Robotics, Physics, chess, and sports teams and have taken both Spanish and Chinese. No books? Unbelievable. But that’s been going on for 10+ years with no dent or downside to their grades or their SAT scores. That boggled my mind until I taught in Eastern European country where they had no class books (very poor parents had to buy them, so half the class had none at all), very little paper, no copy machines, and no chalk. And yet, astonishingly, they somehow learned anyway.
So do kids even need “books” at all for school? for the most part, I’d have to say no. Paper? Definitely — even with a computing device of some kind.