Wednesday, 14 December 2016

'What can you do with a book?'

Cruising around t'internet one day, looking for ideas about the history of the book, I came across a software salesman - call him something like World Leader of Marketing and Sales Think It Solutions - and he said, while promoting the glories of Think It Solutions, 'After all, what can you do with a book? Once you've read it, that's it.' Then he made a throwaway gesture, like tossing a match.

Hail the future. Buy the ebook!

Well, I have a visceral hatred for people like him, that is true. But what a future!

Have a problem in your life? Can't sort out your own narrative? Howabout we rent a space in the cloud to add our problematic, messy, stream-of-conscious unconnected thoughts. Then press GO, and the lot is reorganised for we inadequate people with our incoherent notes, we who barely string a sensible narrative.

But now, with Think It Solutions, Scrivener meets your Personal Life Coach! Your incoherent notes in the cloud will tell you what to do, what to avoid, how to live better!

Ideas sifted, organised - some undesirable ideas deleted: they come close to thought-crimes - then the lot smoothly connected. Your new plot worked out, your role presented back to you, your narrative of past, present, future, sorted. 

Forget your own cultural connections, your own knowledges that you're striving to articulate, ignore all that, because don't they just get in the way of how your personhood needs to balance itself in today's market! 

Here's what to do next. Pay an extra $150 and send your unique Think It Solution to your phone for downloading to your fridge, because part of the solution is to change your diet, then press YES! to debit your account for this week's special offer Comfort Scented Candles #deliverynow!

Only make sure you keep up the payments for cloud rental. You wouldn't want all your personal notes, your thoughts, the metadata of your life, suddenly taken from you. Payments to restore your notebooks will be high!

In the earth I shall bury my notebooks - the grubby old books and thoughts made on paper, thoughts writ by hand with pencil and pen, ideas that are scribbles and doodles and jottings, the thoughts I committed when I connected one idea to another - I shall bury them somewhere. Not in your view, World Leader of Marketing and Sales Think It Solutions. First you'd have to find them, to toss a match, or press Delete.

In those buried books, I shall leave notes about things that never happened, jotting for fictions, connections of thinkings that show my cultural history, thoughts that have no conclusion, instincts that don't want a resolution, truths I can never speak straight, the thoughts that live only because they are unsolvable contradictions, all the notes from my hand that make me my who-I-am. I shall bury them all, clues for a history that it's in someone's interest to erase.

That's what you can do with a book.

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