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Take Petard and Hoist: One Person’s Thoughts on Bezos and Kindle

Mike wrote about Kindle, I wrote about it too, and now someone has an interesting attack on Bezos and the device. The post offers six acts The Act of Buying, The Act of Giving, The Act of Lending, The Act of Reading, The Act of Remembering, and The Act of Learning. The acts progress by using contradictory quotes and then complimentary quotes to contrast claims about the need to have better access to literature and then the shift to closed systems. The contrast between some of Bezos’s words defending reselling practices and new positions against such sharing as evidenced by interviews and/or the Kindle Terms of Service shows how a business model may change a view rather fast. Quoting Orwell may seem tired but take a look at the contrast with the Kindle and see what you think:

Another possible change: with connected books, the tether between the author and the book is still active after purchase. Errata can be corrected instantly. Updates, no problem. –Newsweek, The Future of Reading

Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. –George Orwell, “1984″, Book One, Chapter 3

In general it seems that corporate spin (or O.K. corporate belief at the time) should be frequently used to belie current positions. For example, in the writer’s strike the Daily Show writers who noted the inconsistency in the producers’ position–on one hand suing anyone who used material online claiming billions in damage while claiming that there is no way to see what online distribution is worth regarding the writers’ demands–is a great example of this phenomenon.