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 Amazon's troubling reach

Lesson learned, right? Maybe, however, maybe not. This is, all things considered, the other significant problem involving Amazon's control over content during the last 90 days; in April, "a glitch" from the company's salesranking feature resulted in the inadvertent deranking of numerous gay and lesbian books.

I would not mean to suggest these incidents are related or that they're anything besides what Amazon claims they may be: mistakes manufactured by a company staking out the brave " new world " of electronic bookselling.

For advocates, it is a buzzing hive of interactivity the location where the solitary seeker at the bricksandmortar bookstore is upgraded to the collective mentality of an online "community." But this community will not help but operate based on its hierarchy a fact we confront when a book is deranked over the internet or electronically deleted.

In addition, the organization has branched out beyond the traditional role of retailer, to become a little bit of merchandise, the Kindle, that blurs the lines even more, functioning as both a book reader as well as a purchase portal to the store. Much of the talk about the digital future is because of its inevitability, but though which may be true, it overlooks more subtle questions of engagement and control.

For Amazon, books really are a business, along with the more hegemony it exerts within the market, the better off it can be. For that culture, though, books and details serve as a collective soul, a memory bank, something bigger mere commerce that mustn't be merely traded in.

For that reason, it isn't the incidents themselves but their ramifications which are disturbing, the idea that Amazon can effectively customize the collective memory when needed.

Here is the downside to the digitized canon as well as the electronic frontier: It's mutable to the point of being vulnerable. We have been motivated to trust each other's goodwill, to trust in the commons, although we realize people and institutions make an effort to rewrite history on a regular basis.

Almost always there is a justification whether or not it's a rights issue (because it was with Orwell) or a programming error but it makes sense exactly the same.

I'm not really a Luddite. I've got a Kindle (although I still prefer to continue reading paper), and when I aquired a music player Touch, I loaded it with books. As with any individuals, Now i live with the intersection of technology and language, ideas, "content," that i see being a host to possibility, where we've profound new tools to move the saying forward.

Still, for all those that excites me, something about its fluidity makes me wary, conscious of such possibilities carry risks.

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