• Why read books ? – Synaps open-source
    https://peterharling.blog/2017/08/02/why-read-books

    CLAIMING TO READ BOOKS is on the way to becoming an admission of idleness. Who can make time, with relentless pressure at work combined with a busy personal life? Why bother in the first place, when we can access information instantaneously, and already sift through ample written content in the form of reports, articles, posts, and text messages? The couple of hours we could devote daily to serious reading, we might as well use to get a life. If it’s a matter of entertainment, relaxation, or even general culture, there are fun museums, great websites, excellent documentaries and a host of leisure activities that will do the trick. Put simply, books are generally hard to write, hard to read, and hard to sell—so what the heck?
    The all-encompassing answer is that hard is beautiful. A great book is an author’s lifetime accomplishment, a long but nonetheless distilled and purified version of his or her experience, intellectual depth and creativity. Conferences, interviews, summaries and other derivative products are but a shadow of the full-fledged work. Indeed, publishing forces an author to give his or her thinking the best possible shape and texture—a demanding exercise that brings out the best in them, too. Naturally, not all books are great, calling for ruthless selection. Shunning the better kind, however, amounts to depriving oneself of some the most enriching moments we can hope for in our own lifetimes.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/628903 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Life and death of the knowledge industry, Peter Harling

    Une réflexion approfondie sur la crise de l’industrie du savoir et pourquoi il devient de plus en plus difficile de produire des analyses de qualité. Et les responsabilités sont partagées, y compris celles du public (avec une référence à OrientXXI)

    – Synaps open-source
    https://peterharling.blog/2017/05/17/the-quality-conundrum

    The quality conundrum

    WHOM TO TRUST for food for thought? In a confusing world, we are left to opt for one dominant pattern of behavior or the other: to lock ourselves into a bubble, where increasingly prolific media churn out large quantities of whatever material we want to ingest, to fit our interests or emotions; or to drift in limbo, bouncing off such comfort zones in search of bits and pieces of palatable knowledge more suited to a discerning diet. You feast on sweet corroboration, or scavenge for smidgens of reason.
    There is another, more practical way of putting the question: “why is it so hard to access high-quality intellectual content that meets our desire for making sense of troubling trends and events?” Indeed, it has become paradoxically difficult to do so, at a time when cognitive needs, analytic talent, archival references, knowledge-producing institutions, communication tools, and publication platforms are all in abundance. On the face of it, humankind has never been so well-equipped to decipher and rationalize the world, and yet wisdom appears as elusive as ever. Leaving aside the existential interrogations this may raise, there are prosaic explanations for our ongoing failure to obtain content as meaningful as we would hope, and possible remedies too.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/599721 via Nouvelles d’Orient