The Morris Minor Millennium Company, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.
Last year, when I was photographing a lot of Morris Minors, I kept seeing window stickers for this lot. Today, whilst on the way to buy shelves for the workshop, I spotted something interesting down an alley and went to instigate. What I found was this workshop.
They gave me a price list. A boy can dream. In fact, at £6,500 for a fully restored Moggy with Fiat twin-cam power they’re more interesting than a bland and basic new car if you’re looking for one.
I posted a version of this comment on the blog of Joe Konrath, indie author and ebook guru, in response to his post about predictions for the future of publishing.
I predict that paper will go the way of vinyl- which means it’ll never die.
Go to any decent sized record shop and you’ll still see 7″ and 12″ pressings of new and recent releases. There are record fairs for collectors of old vinyl. I work for a company which sells hifi and AV (audiovisual) kit. In amongst all the 55″ 3D flatscreens and 9.2 channel, dozen format home cinema systems we still list turntables and related equipment. Most of these record players look nothing like your old gramophone, with new materials and ever more precision in their construction. Not only do some people swear they sound better but next to the kit bristling with features they do have an understated beauty.
Whilst ebooks will kill, or at least seriously injure, the plain words on paper, bread and butter end of publishing I predict a rise in books as beautiful objects. My Kindle’s convenient, and you can do some neat stuff with illustrations on an ipad, but there’s a joy to a big book on glossy paper. Add tipped in holograms, embossing etc. and I see what you might call coffee table books turned up to 11. There are also experiments to be done with the medium of words and pictures on paper, such as the recent SVK comic by Warren Ellis and Matt “D’Israeli” Booker which had elements printed in ink that only showed up when you shone the included UV torch at the page. There’ll be some successful publishers that do well from “value added” books, though they’ll probably not be one of the current big guys.
Before you start throwing stones at the Luddite can I just add that, otherwise, I think Joe’s predictions are close to the mark. I’ve been writing for ebooks since about this time last year when I discovered Brits could publish on the Kindle. The backlist and the sales are growing slower than I’d like, but I’m working on the basis that once it’s up it’s there forever and everything else just builds on it. I predict that I’ll have my first $100 month by Easter and will be looking at the prospect of $100 weeks by this time next year.
One of the most watched items on eBay at the moment is this guide to building stills and the art of distilling. I already know one person who brews beer and makes mead. Maybe I should buy him this so he can step it up a level and build a still in his shed.
The world isn’t as shit as some people would like you to think. I just thought that needed saying. We are, whatever they tell you, in a better place now than we were in whatever Golden Age they claim we should return to.
People are living longer and more productive lives, child mortality rates are down and diseases which could in the past kill or cripple can now be treated effectively. Some of the worst diseases have been eradicated. Provided you don’t take up chainsaw juggling there’s every chance you’ll live longer than your grandparents. Long term the human race is evolving faster than ever as groups move around the world, intermarry and mix their genes in new and interesting ways.
Freedom is spreading too. More and more people have more and more rights and protections from discrimination. In Britain the Conservatives- once the party of nasty, and occasionally closeted, homophobia- have announced consultation on, and likely introduction of, gay marriage. Racism and sexism are less prevalent than they once were, despite some hold outs. Certainly, some countries have a long, long way to go, but we’re dragging them after us.
Technology is breaking down barriers and spreading information. It’s harder to get away with doing wrong and easier to bust a lie. I have my moments of Luddism, but I do believe that technology opens up so many possibilities it can only be used for good (on balance) in the long run.
And there’s more, but you get the picture.
Of course, we shouldn’t get complacent. We still run the risk of bringing the planet to a point of ecological collapse where it rejects us. There are people who would gladly reverse the positive changes we’ve made, who don’t want others to get the same rights they have. They’re in the minority, and mostly just obnoxious ranters, but they’re loud and some politicians are stupid enough to be scared of them. We need to keep the momentum of progress rolling forward.
This has turned out a simplified version of what I meant to say, but I think succinct is fine. And it’s all just an excuse to play you one of my all time favourite songs anyway-
The Magic of Reality will be out next month in the US. At present Amazon UK doesn’t know when it will be available here.
Is the plural of stylus styli or styluses?, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.
I use styli when I’m writing about them, but still find myself saying styluses when talking about them. I ought to settle on a word, I have got over 200 of them, after all.
Harry and I have taken the next logical step with our bike recycling hobby cum business. We are now Handi bikes and we have a small business unit to operate out of. We also have an online shop at Spinneyworld.com. Spinneyworld has existed in other guises over the years. This one is a proper shop where the more interesting stuff Harry and I find whilst wombling.
Stuff such as hundreds of vintage styli. The majority of them are from Goldring, but this box is full of ones from a company called Tonar. I’m photographing them and adding them slowly so, if you have an old gramophone by the likes of Garrard, Sonotone or Acos then bookmark Spinneyworld’s styli page and keep coming back.