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printing press workers

The Gutenberg Press made books widely available for the first time ever and was instrumental in making possible education for the masses.  Since then, the world has witnessed the development of modern warfare, the Industrial Revolution, and now the dawn of the Technology Revolution. The invention of the Internet has magnified the changes arguably first made possible by the Gutenberg Press. As a result, it is curious that the Internet seems at times to be used solely as a tool to discourage literacy, which is like buying a new car in order to make it easier to walk everywhere.

The publishing business has been forever changed. The sources of information people rely on are now virtually unlimited and unregulated. While some would argue that "leveling the playing field" makes the world more fair, more business-like, and more accessible to everyone, others contend that too many choices and an absence of standards result in lower quality, and that the lack of regulation makes success more difficult to achieve.

There is merit to all these arguments, but trying to win by choosing one viewpoint and rejecting all others is unwise and seems to run counter to all the openness and accessibility proponents of technology claim as their reason for imposing an exclusively high-tech society on everyone, regardless of the cost. Remember, technology and the Internet are designed to open the world, not close it down.

Not so very long ago, your choices at the bookstore, at the newsstand, on the television, and on the radio were fairly limited: we all got the same list of best-sellers to choose from, and there was only way to get there, reserved only for a pre-selected few. Now, with a more level playing field, we are confounded with limitless choices, which can be discouraging. And since anyone can get a book published or sell a nicely polished collection of karaoke covers and hit the big time, how do we know where to find the good stuff?

This page offers a selection of links to independent sites and items produced by independent authors, photographers, and writers. It is not an exhaustive list, but we hope that it will continue to grow, and we hope the sources we provide can help you find your way in an increasingly difficult-to-navigate landscape.

 

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