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Publisher's Office [Public] / Re: Converting serious lit into big business
« Last post by Vijaya on November 21, 2023, 01:22:19 AM »
Cecilia, hats off to you and your son! We had friends in CA who started homeschooling due to the violence in schools. This was back in the 80s when there weren't very many resources for homeschooling parents and they had very little support. Their kids thrived. Now I know many who homeschool and our parish has a homeschool co-op and it's been beautiful to see how well the kids are growing both in academics, not just in the humanities either, and in virtue. It brings to mind the truth that parents are really and truly the first educators and they need to remain so. Even when a child is in school, the parents need to be involved. I was always grateful that for us (even in my childhood), school was an extension of the home with the same values.
Bot Discussion Public / Re: SFWAs Comments
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on November 21, 2023, 12:53:43 AM »
I remember the anecdotes, but not specific data, including the prompts that lead to the infringing text. AI doesn't "know" the text to be copied (it doesn't store anything), it only knows the likelihood of the next word in the series or the next pixel. The Getty logo in AI images only proved that Getty owns a lot of soccer images1. These artifact abstractions show up in a lot of AI images. One weird one was rulers showing up next to moles. This is because most images of moles are medical, and the datasets often show a ruler to document the change in size. That's a learned association.
I've said this before, but I don't really care exactly how AI works. Somehow, it is trained on copyrighted material with the intent of ultimately producing competing products. Yeah, courts might find that fair use, but that's by no means a done deal. I'd argue that's a ridiculously broad definition of fair use. The fact that many companies moved of their own accord toward consent and/or compensation models suggests that the very least that the business world isn't certain about the fair use issue.

And yes, AI doesn't know the text to be copied. That's precisely part of the problem. It also doesn't know the difference between fact and fiction, which is why it makes up fake legal cases in legal briefs and fake bios (including statements that could be considered defamation). It's the intent of the developers that matters here, because AI isn't capable of forming an intent.
Formatter's Forge [Public] / Re: Paperback Sizes
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on November 21, 2023, 12:44:42 AM »
Yeah, it depends what you want to do with them. If you're mostly reading at home, that's one scenario. If you're moving around a lot and want a book or books with you, then that's a very different situation.
Publisher's Office [Public] / Re: Converting serious lit into big business
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on November 21, 2023, 12:43:02 AM »
Yes, Cecilia sounds exactly like the kind of parent who could make home schooling work well.

Her son's inclinations and goals also seem well-suited. If you want to be in a creative field, and your home-schooling parent is already in such a field, that's a really good fit.

It's also good to be aware that there are home schooling organizations out there that can be really helpful, particularly with group activities and socialization.
Formatter's Forge [Public] / Re: Paperback Sizes
« Last post by TimothyEllis on November 21, 2023, 12:40:38 AM »
As someone who owns over 8,000 books, I can tell you that 6 X 9 was around long before self publishing.

I stopped buying paperbacks around the time the 6x9 Trad paperback started to become standard here. I hated them. They were too big and too heavy.

I've replaced all of the ones I did get with eBooks now. I still have them in my shelves though.
Formatter's Forge [Public] / Re: Paperback Sizes
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on November 21, 2023, 12:37:11 AM »
As someone who owns over 8,000 books, I can tell you that 6 X 9 was around long before self publishing.

As someone who eventually stored by size to maximize use of shelf space, I can tell you that my 6 X 9 section is the single biggest one, though 5 X 8 and similar is probably second biggest.

As far as what each size screams, keep in mind that mass market paperbacks were the cheapest alternatives, what publishers printed after they had successively exhausted the market in hardcover and paperback.
In short, paperback books are larger, higher quality, and most expensive, whereas mass market paperback books are smaller, with less durability but a lower price. The biggest difference to me is legibility: traditional paperback books are both larger and spaced greater between the lines, so they are much easier on your eyes.
Paperbacks are larger than mass market paperbacks in part to give the impression of being more like hardcovers (and thus worth more money than mass market paperbacks).

None of this means anything in terms of what sizes we choose for our books today. Pick whatever feels best to you. I'm just clarifying the history of mass market paperbacks, and historically, they weren't viewed as a superior option, though they were a great boon to readers on a tight budget.
TV/Movie Talk [Public] / Re: The Abyss in theaters
« Last post by Lynn on November 21, 2023, 12:27:41 AM »
One of my favorite movies. The novelization was particularly good imo and I used to read it along with the movie. It really made the villain's story so much better and filled in a lot of backstory for Lindsey and Bud.
Publisher's Office [Public] / Re: Converting serious lit into big business
« Last post by Hopscotch on November 21, 2023, 12:02:49 AM »
What Cecilia accomplished is fabulous, and I'm no way a home schooling advocate.  Cheers to her and her son!  :clap:
Publisher's Office [Public] / Re: Converting serious lit into big business
« Last post by cecilia_writer on November 20, 2023, 08:03:16 PM »
What an interesting and wide-ranging discussion this has turned into. Sorry to be jumping in when it's progressed so far already. I just wanted to say something about home-schooling/hone education. I'm always interested to hear people's experience of it. I had to take one of my sons out of school when he was about 12 because he became so anxious about going that it was more or less a phobia, although in fact he didn't see it as a phobia but as a reasonable reaction to an impossible situation. The school authorities were unable to offer any solution so we were on our own.
Anyway, once we got past these initial stages of panic and disbelief, we just got on with it. I am not sure how feasible it would have been if he had been interested in science or engineering or anything practical, but he had always been a voracious reader (and still is) and interested in a kind of philosophical approach to things, i.e. he thinks a lot!. We took part in some group events, including a holiday, with a home education organisation, we wrote plays together for a youth drama group and he also acted in them, and in his later teens he took some exams at a local college. He was writing all the time too. He then went to university and graduated with 1st class honours in English, published a book, won some short film competitions with a group of friends, and now works in communications.
Although I happened to be a qualified history teacher, in this role I was more of a facilitator, searching out places we could visit, books to use, etc. He had to teach himself for a lot of the time as I was the sole earner in the family for some years and had to go to work. He is still quite an anxious person in certain situations but he has good friends and gets on well at work.
In some cases I suggested books for him to read (at last she gets to the point!) and in others he found them himself. I remember him doing a project on the works of Orwell for one of his exams, for instance, though generally he liked fantasy and grew up waiting for the next Harry Potter book. He and some friends run a book club now and I'm always surprised by their random choices of reading.
Formatter's Forge [Public] / Re: Paperback Sizes
« Last post by Hopscotch on November 20, 2023, 06:48:57 PM »
...a book that is 4-1/8" to 4-1/4" wide by 6-3/8" to 6-7/8" tall is just a more convenient size.  Fits in various sizes of pockets.  Doesn't take much room in a bag.  More portable.  Etc.

I, too, yearn for a return to the old "pocket book" size, but buyers in generations younger than mine don't know what it is and don't (horrors) seem to care.  Happy w/their 6x9" Kindles, drat.
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