well that's settled

Four brave white men decide future of publishing

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On this cold night in January we finally figured out whether Amazon is a good thing or not!

I can’t believe you weren’t there, at the Kaufman Center on West 67th Street in New York City, where, following a cash bar reception, Intelligence Squared U.S. brought together four men of similar age (~55?) to decide whether “Amazon is the reader’s friend.” They were: Author Joe Konrath, Vox editor Matt Yglesias, novelist and former Authors Guild president Scott Turow and former New Republic editor Franklin Foer. Two of them were on one side, and two of them were on the other.

I watched the livestream of the debate from home while drinking red wine and eating goldfish crackers. Besides cutting down on travel time, this made it easier to take screenshots.

intelligence squared debate

Who won? I’m not actually sure, but it doesn’t matter, because, as moderator John Donvan summed up, “It was a fascinating thing to see four men of letters and lovers of books” yelling at each other on a stage.

What does a future look like in which Amazon is the only bookseller left standing? “It could be wonderful, it could be a dystopian hell,” Foer said, but one thing is for sure: Everybody on stage tonight will be just fine as long as they can keep making sex and/or Mexican jokes in front of a live audience!

As one member of the audience — who proudly identified himself as “a member of the unwashed masses” — put it during the question period, “Why are you so afraid of the latest revolution?”

10 Responses to “Four brave white men decide future of publishing”

  1. Robert Wilber

    This sounds like monopoly which we don’t need we need diversity it drives companies to do better business and not to be price controlled by one publishing company, I hope I am not the only one who can see this.

    • Robert Wilber

      It seems everywhere I go big companies want control and forget about the user/reader/consumer that buy the product and services without us they would not have a company if there is no willing market, we are not cattle but, humanbeings !!!

  2. Sam Neumann

    I understand your criticism of the event, and while I didn’t watch it, I get the sense most of it is pretty fair. But immediately reducing the participants to only their skin color and gender in the headline…isn’t that, kinda, not the point? You know, judge by content of character and all that? Then again, I’m a white man.

  3. TotallyHilariousandOriginal

    Wow Laura, your sarcasm and smarminess really tells me you are incredibly smart and witty. Cool! Glad you’re catching on to what half-rate bloggers have been doing since 2005, very effective and hilarious. And by the way, “Snuggles” is great too – HIV and ebola are both totally funny and great examples! Hahaha! Great job everyone!