Is it really that surprising that our generation is cynical about any analogue workflows when we’ve seen several outmoded in our lifetimes? Unfortunately, it is that exact disillusionment that causes some genuinely useful pre-Y2K skills to be overlooked. Case in point: hand-marked editing.
As an alternative to the worn-out phrase “jack of all trades,” Thesaurus.com provides a term you may never have heard of before: “pantologist.” Pantology is the systematic view of all human knowledge, and it was written about at length by a man named Roswell Park. Certainly there aren’t pantological handymen roaming the halls of Portland State, but “Oolies,” as the Ooligan staff members are called, provide a sufficient knowledge base for the development of the many systems needed to run the press.
I’ve known for a long time that I learn best through listening and through verbally discussing a topic. My favorite classes have always been the ones where the professor was a great orator, because it meant I could just sit back and absorb what they were lecturing on. All I ever needed to do was jot down some key words or phrases in my notes, and when I studied later the entire lesson would come flooding back. People thought I was crazy, but it worked for me.
We’ve all heard the conventional wisdom that staring at screens all day is somehow bad for our brains: supposedly it destroys our attention spans, blunts our intelligence, and transforms us into technology-dependent zombies. But is there any truth to such grim speculations? Are screens really changing our brains?
Publishers, just like any other business, must keep up with changing tides in order to stay relevant, and as the demand for easy technology grows, the industry is increasingly turning towards audio and digital in order to survive.
Will Self asserts that the great literary fiction novel is falling from popular demand and will only continue in society as a source of entertainment for a select few. History preserved in the present, like “easel painting or classical music . . . a subject for historical scholarship rather than public discourse.” In a world where big publishers absorb smaller publishers at an alarming rate, I’ve started thinking perhaps he’s right, but what is an aspiring publisher to do?