As publishers, authors and retailers look to sell direct to a global audience pricing in local currencies bring some interesting and new challenges. 

With the advent of the digital dynamic comes the idea — the ideal — of crowd wisdom, of crowd leverage, of crowd choice, and, of course, of crowdfunding.

What Canetti, a 1981 Nobel Prize laureate, described were concepts that would come to be called by many of us the “crowd mentality” — basically, turning over one’s own discretion and judgment to a group or community…or mob.  The less attractive term might be “running in packs.”

Like it or not “crowds” are have become the new social norm of the digital age and they will impact us all from how we get news to how we earn a living.  

Is your library a place were crowds meet and gather or a place to get away from the crowd and seek refuge and quiet? 

Will crowds help authors make their books better or herd us toward homogeneous mediocrity? 

Can writers make a living funded solely from the kindness of strangers?

Is the new journalism just improved rumor mongering fueled by the madness of crowds?

Are crowds good or bad? ~ eP 

Storytelling might have been almost as pivotal in the development of civilization as fire itself.

For a writer, it’s heartening to learn that the first invention to set the human race on its triumphal march towards global ecocide – fire – is intimately linked to the development of storytelling. According to a study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), and widely reported inScience Magazine and elsewhere, “comparison of 174 day and nighttime conversations among the Ju/’hoan (!Kung) Bushmen of southern Africa, supplemented by 68 translated texts,” suggests a major dichotomy between daytime talk and nighttime banter around the campfire, with the latter given over, as well as to “singing, dancing, religious ceremonies,” to “enthralling stories, often about known people.”