Friday, February 03, 2006

"BlackBerry Blackout?" Oh, the humanity!

The February 2 issue of USA Today featured an interesting article called "Blackberry blackout?" For those unaware of what a BlackBerry is, it is a small electronic device primarily used for e-mail. It is popular because of several factors, chief of which is the ability to receive e-mail whenever the device is on (basically e-mail can be sent and received anytime, anywhere). People have gotten addicted to these things, leading to the darkly humorous device being called a "Crackberry."

At any rate, there is a slight chance that BlackBerry service will be turned off because of an ongoing court battle with a small company that claims to hold the patent for some of the technology that makes BlackBerries work. This has caused much consternation among its 4 million or so users in the U.S.

One person quoted in the USA Today article said, "The thought of this very useful tool being taken away is literally frightful. It's terrifying, the thought of not having access to my e-mail."

Grim Herr Korbes thinks this is ridiculous. The 24/7 technology mentality is harming our sensibilities. Certainly there is a case to not "blackout" BlackBerries for critical enterprises such as medical use, law enforcement, fire fighters, etc. But the average person with a BlackBerry can certainly live without it for a time (and if they are addicted, they need to!).

One person in the article suggests advice for avoiding addiction to the BlackBerry: "It's a self-restraint thing." To which the author of the article cleverly and rightly replies, "Self-restraint--yeah, right, Americans are good at that."

Grim Herr Korbes calls people to turn off their gadgets for awhile. Live like human beings, not like slaves to BlackBerries, cell phones, e-mail, etc. Try to find a quiet place and go there. You'll be shocked to realize how hard it is to do so.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Publishing houses haunted by ghostwriting

Ghostwriting bothers Grim Herr Korbes. This is when someone writes something but it is published under the name of another person or perhaps the names of others. There are different kinds and levels of ghostwriting. The kind of ghostwriting that bothers GHK the most relate to the Christian publishing industry. In order to make a buck, organizations that foster ghostwriting sacrifice integrity.

Many parties are at fault when it comes to ghostwriting. First, the publisher should know better. Second, the ghostwriter should know better. Third, the person getting the credit for someone else's work should know better. Nevertheless, ghostwriting is an all too common practice.

Why does it bother GHK? Because ghostwriting by its very nature involves deception. Readers are deceived into thinking they are getting the words and ideas of a certain individual, when in reality they are getting the words and ideas of someone else. Also, ghostwriting tends to thrive on "celebrityism." Since certain Christian figures are viewed as having name recognition and are high profile, but often can't write or think coherently for themselves, publishers sometimes resort to calling in the ghostwriters.

There are other reasons GHK is against ghostwriting, but the above should suffice for starters. Christian publishing houses should not be haunted by ghostwriting.

It's a grim world, full of challenges.

It's a grim world, full of challenges. The Grim Herr Korbes blog is a place where I hope to confront the darkness and absurdities of reality as we know it. Those who point out such things are rarely praised and, to their credit, they usually do not seek praise. Instead, Grim Herr Korbes prefers to seek truth and expose whatever may strive to diminish or destroy it.

This view of reality may seem like a dark picture, but Grim Herr Korbes is not always grim. In fact, Herr Korbes appreciates humor and, when not feeling so grim, will inject some levity when appropriate.

The name of this blog, by the way, is based on the story of Herr Korbes as told by the brothers Grimm.