Looking For A Fight

by John Holbo on September 25, 2006

I am proud to announce our CT book event on Chris Mooney’s The Republican War On Science has become a book! (You’d rather buy from Amazon? Here you go.) I declare it an event! There is a certain danger of regress, admittedly. But I think it is quite sound publishing procedure. I’m now an editor for Parlor Press. We’re calling the line Glassbead. I like connotations of transparency and combinatoric possibility. All our books will be available as inexpensive paperbacks and freely downloadable PDF’s; all released under a Creative Commons license. We’re starting with book events – some ones that have happened here at CT and at the Valve. I also want to make anthologies of good blog material. Dig things out of archives that are worthy of editing and preservation. And some nice critical editions of public domain works. More generally, the idea is to figure out a low-cost, fast, efficient model for peer-reviewing and publishing. Mostly the idea – I’ve said it before – is that academic publishing can only truly distinguish itself in this day and age by becoming an exemplary gift culture. (Chris Mooney seems pleased with the treatment.)

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09.26.06 at 8:53 pm



tom s. 09.25.06 at 8:25 am

“I like connotations of transparency and combinatoric possibility.” – but not, I hope, the connotations of otherworldliness, remoteness, and irrelevancy?

Actually, it sounds like a great idea. Congratulations.


John Holbo 09.25.06 at 8:27 am

I think “The Glassbead Game” is such a wonderful joke I’m willing to transvalue those other more questionable values into something sounder, from a public intellectual standpoint. (And I do hope this whole venture doesn’t end with me drowning in a lake. That would be a terrible let-down.)


Contradictory Ben 09.25.06 at 8:42 am

I applaud this. But why only PDF? Why not also marked up with a more machine reading, web friendly, user-stylizable digital format such as HTML, especially when it comes to “nice critical editions of public domain works”? (Or possibly DocBook or TEI.)


Daniel Nexon 09.25.06 at 8:50 am

You could easily milk an anthology out of Tim Burke’s solo efforts.


JRoth 09.25.06 at 9:05 am

I know that some would whisper of insider-ism and preferential treatment, but surely any serious effort to publish “good blog material” would have to include what Brad DeLong has called “The Best Weblog Post Ever.” I suppose it’s a little on the short side for book treatment, but a bibliography of subsequent pony references should bulk it up into OED proportions.


Matt 09.25.06 at 9:14 am

Congratulations, John. It looks nice. With luck this can be as cool as those Boston Review books, but more accessable (in the sense of get a hold of, not of understand.)


Jacob T. Levy 09.25.06 at 9:24 am


There’s something amusing in seeing the trademark Holbonic prose in a book catalog being used to describe the whole line of books.


Delicious Pundit 09.25.06 at 9:24 am

Fafblog’s Guide To Pies.


otto 09.25.06 at 9:52 am

Is the book exactly the same as the CT discussion? or does it have what the DVD business calls extras?


John Holbo 09.25.06 at 10:58 am

There’s an outtake reel with lots of humorous footage of us composing drafts containing ludicrous but winsome falsehoods and sundry logical howlers. Then Jackie Chan mugs for the camera.

In all sober seriousness, the book is the CT discussion with some of the posts revised – by the authors or by me, the editor. It’s neater and cleaner.


SamChevre 09.25.06 at 12:44 pm

My suggestion for a future book:

Comments on Timothy Burke’s reflections on the 2004 election and Doug Muder’s “Red Family, Blue Family.”

Or, in other words–how should the government relate to actually-existing communities?

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