Friday, August 20, 2010

Slight Consolation

Seriously, how do you even
turn this thing on?

from Robert Pinsky at The New York Times:

“The story begins with money. Johannes Gutenberg did not find a way to profit from his technical achievements. The Gutenberg Bible, a gigantic project, required large amounts of capital that needed replenishing over time, long before there was any hope of profit. The finished product inspired awe, but the print run was 180 copies. Gutenberg “died bankrupt and disappointed.”

Nor was he alone. Apparently, it took decades before some people figured out how to make money from this remarkable invention. For decades after Gutenberg, it was not even clear that print would become a success. How do you market books? How many should you run off at one time? Piracy was a problem, as were texts changed, mutilated or combined in unauthorized editions. Many printers were ruined, trying to exploit the new medium.”

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