1. Folly is fractal. The closer you look at it, the more of it there is. (See below.)
2. All those dismal buildings that look like featureless boxes are not specimens of modern architecture per se. They’re our selfless gift to future generations. We’ve undertaken to provide the boring parts of the core buildings. Our children and grandchildren are the ones who will get to enjoy the finished buildings, after they’ve added decorative surface treatments and humanizing ground-level structures to suit their own tastes and needs.
3. Over the years I’ve seen way too many people—aspiring authors, e-publishing entrepreneurs, other wanna-bes—who not only don’t understand how the publishing industry works, but who are unaware that they don’t understand it, and who resist all attempts at enlightment.
My theory is that this invincible ignorance is a function of the ease with which one can construct a model of how publishing ought to work. This model will be simple and logical. It may even be elegant. Unfortunately, the way publishing actually works is so unintuitive that entry-level newbies need six months to a year of immersion training before they start to have a reliable grasp of it. Trade publishing is neither simple nor elegant. Its only virtue is that most of the time it works.
Anyway, it’s that seductively logical model that keeps people from assimilating the fact that they don’t understand how the industry works.
(This is either a digression or illustration: The trade publishing universe has a constantly shifting population of production and editorial freelancers. Some are between in-house jobs, or combine freelancing work with part-time in-house work; others are career freelancers. Basically, they’re an available pool of talented and experienced labor: editorial ronin.
Now: Remember all those e-publishing and POD startups that flourished during the dotcom boom? Hundreds of millions of dollars in startup capital, heaps of employees, painful-to-recall announcements about how they were going to remake publishing? Most of ‘em now worth about as much as a burnt-out match?
Unless you want to count a couple of former editorial assistants, office juniors, who wound up working at Simon & Schuster Interactive (which is stretching things on both counts), I know of no one with any industry experience who was hired or even approached by any of the dotcom-boom publishing startups.)
4. I’m neither a millennialist nor a dispensationalist, I consider the pretribulational rapture a deviationist non-scriptural novelty, and I have no time for vulgar conspiracy theory; but has anyone noticed that George Bush is only a few criteria short of qualifying as the Antichrist?