Another Cursory Post

Sorry to be so unreliable these days — but in my current liminal status, it’s hard gather myself to compose full-scale, thoughtful posts. All the more so, since I owe a lectionary essay and have to compose a sermon for Sunday.
That being said, my visa materials have been delivered into the hands of J. Blyth at the British Consul General’s office in New York; we’re hoping and praying for them to process everything rapidly, so we don’t have to reschedule my plane to Scotland. My teaching schedule is gradually shaping up (I’ll be teaching “Bibs 2B” (a course on close reading of selected NT texts; my selections are Matthew and James, with the Didache and the Mishnah in the prominent background) in Greek and English, and a course on the Historical Jesus. I may be tapped for another course, too, but so far these are the only ones for which they’ve asked for course descriptions.
And Mitch Ratcliffe has reasserted his leading role in the clamor of people calling for a more open sales model for ebooks. With such noteworthy observers and consultants as Mitch and Seth on board, it’s hard to understand why someone isn’t backing a big push for open access digital publication. Think of books as being like CDs; the digital version is easy to buy (and share) digitally, but many people still pay for the physical instantiation. And books have an even better ground for sustaining their sales than do CDs, since the packaging for a CD amounts to very little other than metadata (much of it readily available online) and ornamentation. Books, on the other hand, offer archival durability, better resolution, requiring no power source, a familiar and easily-navigated user interface, platform-agnostic, and so on. Surely George Soros or Pierre Omidyar could clean a few millions from between the couch cushions to fund a publishing start-up oriented specifically to 21st-century technologies.

3 thoughts on “Another Cursory Post

  1. Very impressed that you have got the visa application in so speedily. Good news about going in this direction is that the British academic year starts so much later than the American one, so it looks like you have plenty of time. Good luck for the next stage of the exciting journey!

  2. A push for open ebook models makes total sense, especially if one looks at some of the anticipations of the sort of metadata they could contain. See, for ex., :

    One really wouldn’t want to reinvent that wheel for every device or platform…

    In all events, it sounds like you’ll be busy but in a good way. Two years ago, Miki and I flew in and out of Glasgow, but mainly visited Edinburgh. One mortifying detail: we flew in to one airport in Glasgow, and out of another – but nothing alerted me to the fact that there were two airports. Quite a distance between them — missed the departure despite a sporting taxi driver’s effort to get there in time. Anyway, we loved what we saw of Scotland – its energy, civility, rain, robustness, sheep – and airports.

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