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 Amazon's troubling reach

Lesson learned, right? Maybe, although, not. This is, in fact, the 2nd major issue involving Amazon's power over content within the last three months; in April, "a glitch" within the company's salesranking feature triggered the inadvertent deranking of hundreds of gay and lesbian books.

I would not mean to point out why these incidents are associated or actually anything other than what Amazon claims they may be: mistakes manufactured by a business staking out the brave " new world " of electronic bookselling.

For advocates, it's actually a buzzing hive of interactivity in which the solitary seeker with a bricksandmortar bookstore is upgraded towards the collective mentality of an online "community." Nevertheless this community won't assist but operate according to its very own hierarchy a fact we confront when a book is deranked online or electronically deleted.

Additionally, the business has branched out after dark traditional role of retailer, creating a piece of merchandise, the Kindle, that blurs the lines a little more forward, functioning as both a guide reader and a purchase portal on the store. High of the discuss the digital future is related to its inevitability, but though which might be true, it overlooks more subtle questions of engagement and control.

For Amazon, books certainly are a business, along with the more hegemony it exerts on the market, better off it's. To the culture, though, books and details serve as a collective soul, a memory bank, something greater than mere commerce that must not be merely traded in.

For this, it is not the incidents themselves but their ramifications which can be disturbing, the idea that Amazon can effectively alter the collective memory at will.

Here is the trouble with the digitized canon as well as the electronic frontier: It's mutable to begin being vulnerable. We're motivated to trust one another's goodwill, to trust from the commons, despite the fact that we understand people and institutions try and rewrite history on a regular basis.

There's always a justification whether it be a rights issue (since it was with Orwell) or a programming error but it feels right precisely the same.

I'm not a Luddite. I have a Kindle (although I still prefer to continue reading paper), so when I bought a mp3 player Touch, I loaded it with books. Like all people, I now live in the intersection of technology and language, ideas, "content," that we see as a location of possibility, where we've got profound new tools to go the word forward.

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

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