Hawking Up Hairballs

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Books And An Anniversary

I'm linking to this article in the New York Times about the publishing industry in Germany. Times article. Discounting of books is forbidden by law there. As a result, there is are plenty of independent booksellers and publishers. Without the sort of discounting that we see in the United States, it becomes much more difficult for the "supermarket" book chains to run the little guys out of business. The law was originally passed in 1929, which just goes to show you that something good survived the Hitler years. The motivation for the law is the notion that books are a public, cultural resource. Amen to that. In the United States though, books are all too often seen as negative resources that just serve to give people ideas. But, what else can you expect from a nation where 60% of the people claim to believe the Biblical account of creation? (Caveat emptor: This poll was conducted by the Barna Group which isn't exactly disinterested. Barna Group)

In any case, Happy Bishop Ussher day, though I'm a day late with the congratulations. For those of you who don't know, Ussher was the Anglican archbishop of Armagh during the 17th century. He calculated that the precise date of the creation was Oct. 23,4004 BC. Go tell it to the Egyptians.


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