As a technophile, indeed by some definitions a technologist, I embrace many aspects of modern life.  Yet, I find the increasing tendency in the industrialized world and the U.S. in particular to read less and less each year,  disquieting. I understand the pressures, distractions, lack of time, and other vagaries of modern life, but I still think that books still matter. A bit of my own backstory relative to books is one of my posts.

I embrace the ebook, although I find for many types of reading a physical book is still my preference. Still from an author empowering perspective ebooks have created a new age, a new paradigm.  Like many new paradigms there are new issues, new opportunities, and unexplored territories. Much has already been written about this, some by me in previous blogs that are now sunsetted, but I will no doubt comment on ebooks and even print on demand as things continue to change.

These About sections general include some sort of biographical information. My personal history includes a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering, two masters degrees in public administration and international studies with a concentration on technology policy and Japanese technology policy, and finally an MFA in Creative Writing. As you can see, I tend to have a lack of focus, but perhaps a broader insight than some specialists.

A friend of mine and I co-founded a micro press (less than 10 titles per year), New Libri Press. This effort, while a financial loss, has provided some insights into both writing and the current state of publishing, self-publishing, independent publishing, and the conflict of ebooks versus physical. In the interests of full disclosure, I publish my own work under the New Libri imprint with the nom de plume Tobin Loshento. One thing we do as a small press is still edit, unlike even some large publishers. That said, our marketing acumen, or at least muscle, approaches zero. No doubt some discussion on those topics will end up here.

On the business and corporate front, I have some experience at the “C” level and at the startup level which means occasionally I may comment on technology and business, particularly if it connects to either books, or the almost rural life. One aspect I have interest in is how can startups thrive in non-tech centers.

I do read a lot. While I won’t review every book I read, I will start to be consistent on posting more reviews.

Finally, while I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and have generally lived and worked in larger cities, including the greater Seattle Area (at Microsoft and Amazon), I have recently moved to Northern California–just outside of Redding–and we have a cabin on the east side of the Cascades in Washington, on ten acres on the Twisp River, next to an organic goat milk farm. This is the “almost rural” aspect of the blog, where I will seemingly diverge from books to discuss what I see as interesting aspects of living in non-metropolitan areas. Increasingly, the U.S. concentrates in cities (over 85%), but this means that simultaneously an increasing neglect of rural, or even semi-rural areas. A random example is broadband Internet service. There is none in many places. This divide is important and in some ways I see parallels with the divide between those who read, really read, books and those who don’t.

I tend to be opinionated and often come off sounding a bit egotistical. I try and soften that, but apologies ahead of time for those who take offense. It is never meant to give offense, but it has been taken that way enough times that I know it seems that way. I like strong opinions and welcome good comments, but with logical support. Given the amount of spam and trolling that goes on on blogs, it is quite likely that very few comments will make it through the filtering process. One of the other vagaries of technology: over 85% of email and comments on the Internet is pure spam.

In many ways I am lazy, so there won’t be huge promotions of this blog, but if you find it interesting enough, please pass on and subscribe. The inspiration for this is also captured a bit in the initial post.

Stanislav Fritz – June, 2016