Gavin Oliver's blog

Human Spam—Best Blocked

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What do we do when spam enters our e-mails? We delete it, and we tend to do the same—or should—for the human version Austin Kleon writes about, as association with this type of people is constricting.

This was my takeaway from the discussion of “human spam” in chapter 7 of his book Show Your Work! E-mail spam isn’t beneficial, and neither is human spam.

Youth Strikes Back

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In America, children born in the 90s are most commonly known as Millenials. In China, children of the same decade are called “post-90s”.

In the eyes of many, neither are held in particularly favorable regard as a whole, with some people pointing to their obsessive use of the Internet and other technology as time wasting and unproductive for whom they view as a generally lazier group.

Delving into objective views aren’t the point of this blog, but instead a focus into how writing through different modern mediums is able to spur positive change in the life and well being of people—including betterments brought upon by motivated people in our generation.

Got It Covered

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Please, judge my book by its cover—first.

At least that's what authors who self-publish should think despite the renowned cliché, as they should feel comfortable enough with the cover of their book to have people make judgements about it, and also feel confident that people will find their cover appealing and move on to what's inside.

And Chapter 10 of APE makes me feel better that if the time comes to create my own book cover, I'll have it... well... covered.

A writer's biggest concern should naturally be the contents of a book on the inside, but many people won't give a book a second look if its cover is shabby and therefore won't read the glorious words an author worked painstakingly to write.

Who are you writing to?

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Who are you writing to?

This question goes hand-in-hand with that of what content one is writing, though Clive Thompson says the audience is often overlooked by writers and not pondered enough.

Said Thompson: "These are acts of self-awareness that professional writers struggle with: forming a theory of mind of one's audience, the better to communicate with it."

Sublime Storytelling

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Aspects of Austin Kleon’s concepts in Chapter 5 of Show Your Work are simple, yet difficult for some to realize and enact without reading his work that make his ideas apparent.

Titled “Tell Good Stories”, Kleon underlines the importance of professionals knowing their audience, which is basic considering an audience consists of people paying to read, listen, watch, etc.

Audience Listening

However, it is up to the writer to parlay and hoist the value of their work by communicating contextual — and hopefully enticing — information about it.

An Age of New Literacies

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Studying with my roommate in our apartment last week, I glanced at his computer screen and was dazzled by what I saw.

Instead of poring through the dense collection of information in a textbook in order to acquire knowledge about the content his class was covering, my roommate was participating in a virtual scientific laboratory experiment on his computer so lifelike that he was essentially wearing a white coat and doing the work in-person.

Ebook — Fruitful Features

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I am part of the statistic.

Chapter 4, “The Ascent of Ebooks,” provides a breakdown of the revenue generated from the sale of different types of books (trade, textbook, professional, scholarly, and other), and I am among the 51 percent of the market who has purchased a book under the trade category (adult fiction, adult nonfiction, juvenile fiction, and juvenile nonfiction).

I am not, however, a contributor to the $2.1 billion in profits made by ebooks in the adult-fiction category, or any other, as paperback and hardcover books line my bookshelf and backpack.

That should change, though, and the most important thing I learned about the future of the book in the three chapters we read is the exact reasons ebooks are on the rise.

Paying Attention to Your Own Attention

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Print, or PC? Clive Thompson, in chapter one of Smarter Than You Think, “The Rise of the Centaurs,” notes the implications of choices we inevitably face when encountering advanced technology in higher seminaries of learning like Clemson, and emphasizes the importance of introspection in the process. Thompson tells readers that “paying attention to your own attention” (14) is a must when deciding whether, for example, to accomplish long reading assignments on a computer carrying elevated distractions, or to read it in paper form without the helpful tools of technology.

Amateur Editor

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Because I am an amateur in many regards, narrowing this blog to a single topic took consideration. After deciding to dedicate the following words to my novelty as an editor, Austin Kleon's quote under the heading "Be An Amateur" struck as applicable to the topic of this blog: "The world is changing at such a rapid rate that it's turning us all into amateurs."