Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Writing Show about self-publishing (again)

On the Writing Show we are beginning to see the subject of self-publishing becoming a genuine thread. There were comments, monologues, a panel discussion and now an interview with the CEO of one of the leading self-publishing companies. Paula B spoke with Susan Driscoll of iUniverse. What sticks with me as a bottom-line is: publishing makes no author rich. He may make a living at best, but neither traditional nor new age style publishing is gonna bring in the big bucks. The J.K. Rowlings and Dan Browns are the exceptions that prove the case.

Go and listen to Susan and to the rest of the thread, if you like, but I haven't heard much new stuff. I can see the positions taken and I am neither drawn to nor repelled by any way of publishing. And my blog, I write it because I like.

What is much more gratifying is that Paula read my comment at the end of the show. It was a reaction to the show about Tolkien and Caroll and the issue of telling versus showing. I have written my thoughts also in my blog and also mailed to Paula. Now she picked that up and broadcasted them. In the next show there is going to be another comment of mine...

What is the matter with antimatter?

BBC's In Our Time gave a shot at antimatter. We have had tough physics concepts before. I recall enjoying the issue about gravitational waves, but this time around, the show was lost on me. Not that is was bad, quite to the contrary. In Our Time was as excellent as it always is; antimatter just didn't click with me. It remained totally esoteric.

Isn't that a paradoxical thing? That a discipline as concrete as physics eventually runs into such immensely flighty concepts as antimatter? Apparently anywhere, no matter how concrete and practical, if you look long enough, dig deep enough, think persistently enough, you'll find yourself in a maze of abstractions. You can be as naturalistic, rational and fact oriented you like, but nothing helps. You have to interpret, generalize, construct and deconstruct and before you know it, you are playing a game of words.

Another thing may chip in. Something that was said on this show of In Our Time. As far as our reality is concerned, what we have access to, the world of matter (mostly) consists, in hard physics terms, of only one billionth of all there is. In other words, all that we can possible observe and lay our hands on, can never be more than a tiny fraction of the whole of nature. It is like trying to read a whole library of books while having access to one printed character in it. Try imagining more characters, whole words, sentences, a printed sheet, the semantics, the syntax, the whole book. More books, different books (non-fiction, fiction, poetry, drama), magazines, newspapers, microfilm, index cards, digitalized text and other media. All in the library, but from the one character, sheer conjecture and crazy conjecture at that.