One of my favorite aspects of being a reader is finding a book that I feel needs to be shared; whether with someone specific or just in general, giving the gift of a story is one of the best gestures that someone can extend. That being said, the question of how to bestow said book upon another person can have different answers. Some people give books as gifts, lend them to friends, decide to keep them on their shelves, or sell them to bookstores. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to look into how I approach these actions and some of the reasoning behind it.
Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time have probably noticed a pattern of Discworld novels popping up every few reviews, and there is a reason for this. Terry Pratchett has become one of my favorite authors even though I hadn’t even heard of him until four years ago. Perhaps this puts my minimal knowledge of the greater realm of fantasy novels in perspective, but for the others who are ignorant of his existence, Terry Pratchett wrote the Discworld series which totals 41 books and takes place on the Discworld. Though I didn’t realize (or realise) the magic of his prose until relatively recently, his work has come to influence me heavily and I felt compelled to write a piece about how his impact.
I want to take a moment to interrupt the usual flow and pattern of my blogs and raise awareness of an issue that is relevant to everyone reading this. We all take the open and fair Internet for granted, but the time to defend this service is now at hand. Our freedom as Internet users is at risk because of the agenda of the new FCC Chairman who wants to put more power and money in the hands of big cable companies at the expense of consumers.
Right now, new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, the FCC will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach their audiences.
If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an Internet where some of your favorite websites are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritization” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users – tilting the playing field in their favor.
But on July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them. Websites, Internet users, and online communities will stand tall in order to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.
The Battle for the Net campaign will provide tools to make it easy for your friends, family, and followers to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we’ve shown time and time again that we can stop censorship and corruption when the Internet comes together. Now, we have to do it again.
Internet services have basically become a public utility in the 21st century and big cable companies should not be allowed to skew the quality their services in favor of sites that can afford to pay them more. I will stand up on July 12th; I hope you will too.
You can learn more and join the action here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12
We will return to the regularly scheduled blogs next Wednesday with a review of one of my favorite books: Good Omens; The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Thank you for indulging this digression; I wouldn’t have posted this if it weren’t something I care about and feel must be shared.
I wrote a post about plagiarism last year that didn’t do very well since the editorial was prompted by politics which, in retrospect, wasn’t the greatest idea in such a turbulent election year; I still want to expand upon the idea and make an argument regarding why citing sources is a necessary part of creating or sharing content on the internet, so here we are.
If you were to put a significant amount of time into something, wouldn’t you be upset if someone took your work and shared it without your consent or went a step further and paraded it as their own? It is easy to share a meme or image online without checking the source and unintentionally spread ignorance by not doing our due diligence as responsible adults; maybe a quote from a celebrity will make this point hit home:
For a lot of people, explaining what they enjoy reading is easily done with one or two words: science fiction, fantasy, romance, nonfiction. Through no fault but my own (yes, you read that correctly) my own explanation is a little more complex. Upon graduating from college I realized that I could finally read whatever I wanted since my time wasn’t occupied with literary analysis, and I started keeping track of the books I was reading for fun; looking back at what I read in 2016, the variety present among the patterns is rather striking.
To deny oneself the ability to explore all of the possibilities in literature is simply wasting a grand opportunity to grow. I understand people have their favorite genres or authors (Lord knows I do), but remaining static in our reading only keeps us in one place as human beings. A case for reading the same author or genre is easily made, but why should we diversify when it is so much more comfortable to remain in what we know?
In today’s fast-paced world (because apparently that’s a phrase that can still be used despite being what I assume to be decades old), it is difficult to hold someone’s attention for more than a matter of seconds. I wasn’t even sure there was an audience for my writing on here because I tend to stay away from short content; thankfully, I was wrong.
If I am going to write something and put time in revising and editing, I want there to be something substantial to show for it. However, there are countless blogs and websites that have more followers and clicks because they stick with short posts that fit into people’s limited attention spans. If reading long articles online barely keeps someone preoccupied, how can reading books for fun even compete in this age of micro-attention?
Freedom of speech has long been a contentious issue throughout the history of not just the United States, but the world. How do we express ourselves without upsetting others? How do we go about hearing hurtful words directed at us and deal with them as responsible adults? What is okay to say, what isn’t, and who decides? The issue of freedom of speech has never fallen out of prominence in society, but it is especially prevalent today when people are afraid to speak their opinions. Continue reading “On the Subject of Freedom of Speech”