Gaiman: SOPA and PIPA are on the wrong side of history

Author Neil Gaiman said in an interview this week that the media industry is trying to “put genies back in bottles” with laws like SOPA and PIPA, and the Internet has fundamentally changed the landscape, just as Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press did.

Thought of the Day: Endurance

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“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
— Winston Churchill

The man who won, lost and won again, the seat of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, (1940-1945; 1951-1955) knew a thing or two about “carrying on, with vigor,” as he so eloquently urged his people to do. A dark time in history, Churchill told his people during the air war over Britain, could be instead, “our finest hour.” And so it was.

So take a word of advice from Sir Winston: Embrace your failures, they’re taking you someplace.

If you’d like more inspiration, and haven’t read any of Winston Churchill’s writing, we’d suggest his six volume series called The Second World War. Churchill won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1953 (while a sitting PM).

If you have less time read this instead, Never Give In!: The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches

And for one of the best biographies, read William Manchester’s The Last Lion.

Karina’s Capsule: The Gum Thief

Random House has shown surprising savvy in using online video to promote their recent book releases. First, they sponsored a seven-minute short video collaboration between filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron and Naomi Klein to promote the latter’s latest Random House release, The Shock Doctrine. The clip was played at both the Toronto and Venice film festivals last month and was then posted on YouTube, where it’s been viewed over 300,000 times. The publisher has now taken the experiment a step further, with an online video campaign to promote Douglas Coupland’s new novel, The Gum Thief.

The three sets of videos, one representing each of the novel’s two main characters and another bringing a text within the text to life, were produced by Canadian post house Crush Inc. Each clip is narrated by Coupland, who reads passages straight from his novel, and each set has a unique look and method of production. The Bethany character is a goth girl working at a Staples, and the stop-motion animation videos that introduce her drop her frustrated musings into a monochrome swirl of staples and Post-it notes. Her co-worker Roger is a middle-aged loser whose age and lack of accomplishment essentially render him invisible; his inner monologue is transposed seamlessly onto the office supply store’s signage.

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