Nature: The rise and fall of scientific authority — and how to bring it back. “It is tempting to think that scientific authority is natural and will soon reassert itself like a sturdy self-righting boat knocked over by a rogue wave. The ugly truth is that science is more like Facebook, whose positive features are also vulnerabilities. Precisely because it allows us to connect and share, Facebook creates opportunities for misuse. Similarly, science is an exemplary form of enquiry because it is technical, fallible, done in communities and able to reshape our values. But these very features allow detractors to reject the authority even of eminent experts.”
The Next Web: Novel ways to find what book to read next, curated by a huge word nerd. “Hi, I’m a huge word nerd. And I’m sure you’ll agree: reading is great! It’s like a word-movie in your mind, but without the crushing self-doubt that comes from looking at people too attractive to be right. Thing is, how do you know what to read next? You can only read so many books in your lifetime, how do you know they’re gonna be good? Well, I’ve got some tips to help you find your next favorite word splurge. Here are the best ways to do just that.”
The Scotsman: Scottish authors unite against ‘book pirating’ website. “Scottish authors have added their voices to a campaign against an ebook website which they say is stealing their work. The site, run by Vancouver entrepreneur Travis McCrea, who also led the now-defunct Pirate Party of Canada, publishes hundreds of books for readers to download for free in what he describes as a ‘digital library’.”
Preservation Underground: A Fleet of Futons–Yours for the Making. “I first heard about book futons in graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin. It may be that the futon originated there. I am unsure of their provenance but I am fairly certain the conservators at the Harry Ransom Center made book supports of various kinds and likely futons were in the mix.” I had NEVER heard of book futons before.
Big thanks to Esther S. for the pointer! EuroNews: Digitising Slovakia’s literary heritage for posterity. “Books are an essential element of any country’s culture. To ensure this knowledge is preserved, Slovakia has launched a huge programme to digitise its national literary heritage.”
Engadget: Hitting the Books: The Second Kind of Impossible. “Welcome, dear readers, to Engadget’s new series, Hitting the Books. With less than one in five Americans reading just for fun these days, we’ve done the hard work for you by scouring the internet for the most interesting, thought provoking books on science and technology we can find and delivering an easily digestible nugget of their stories.”
Forbes: The Arabic Collections Online Has Digitized 10,000 Public Domain Books. “A digital library focusing explicitly on Arabic-language books hit a big milestone this month : the Arabic Collections Online has officially digitized and made available over 10,000 volumes (10,042 as of this writing).”