September 7, 2009

Keeping story offline keeps story alive

A writer who focuses on the impact of the Internet on global politics asks if Conde Nast is suffering the Streisand effect with its decision to not keep GQ"Vladimir Putin's Dark Rise to Power, out of Russian or online.

Evgeny Morozov links together most of the significant postings on the decision. He wisely notes that most of us would not even remember the article without the controversy, much the way Barbara Streisand's effort to forbid publication of an aerial photo brought more attention then the original photo would have.

Over at the Atlantic, Julian Sanchez tells us that self-censorship went out with denim vests. It's an interesting read crediting the editors who tipped NPR to the action, but questioning why they listened to their legal advice. Perhaps, the editors like getting regular paychecks in this landscape of furloughs and layoffs. You've already got McKinsey & Co.looking at Conde Nast for possible job cuts and savings plus how many magazines are hiring these days.

Mother Jones also talks of the Conde Nast Conspiracy.

GQ and Wired are two subscriptions that still pour into our house, purchased long ago when employees of newspapers branch of the Advance Publications got a deep discount. I read Wired cover to cover and occasionally drool over the ads and lifestyle perpetuated in GQ. If the GQ stays out long enough, I get sucked into an article or two.

"The art of getting lost" intrigued me enough to move past the illustration of a woman's backside. The title reminded me of my mother's tendency to get lost and her ability to turn the prolonged trip into an adventure so I can easily answer the author, David Amsden, when he asks what do we lose, if no one is ever lost in the age of GPS. We lose the chance to explore the unmapped roads and dive into the afternoons of unplanned stopped.

In these days of the Internet, we lose the ability to keep information quiet once it has been released.


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