About Rationally Speaking

Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rationally Speaking, the blog, now available on Kindle

The Kindle's march continues, with Amazon having just announced the release of the new Kindle DX (deluxe), which is larger than the Kindle2 and aimed more specifically at newspapers, magazines and other graphic-heavy readings. The two machines complement each other (think of them as the e-equivalent of a paperback and hard cover, respectively), and according to a recent New York Times article, the success of Amazon's venture is prompting a number of other big players, beginning with Apple, to release e-readers over the next few months (think Kindle with a touch screen!). Hopefully all players (including publishers) will eventually settle on a standard format so that users can read the same stuff on a variety of hardware platforms.

Meanwhile, I have just released the Rationally Speaking blog on Kindle, where you can get it for $1.99/month (I don't set the price, Amazon does). Why would you want to buy something that you can get for free? Well, that's what I do with the Slate and Huffington Post versions for Kindle, for instance because -- believe it or not -- I'm not always next to my computer, or because I like to read in bed or in the subway, where, frankly, bringing a laptop would be impractical or downright silly. At any rate, I just checked out how RS looks on the Kindle, and it's sleek and easy to navigate. Let me know what you think, should you happen to have a K-device handy. Or maybe you are reading this on the K. already?


  1. Would do this if I could get a Kindle here in Canada (*shakes fist at Canadian cell companies*). I wish there was a good way to get blogs on my Irex Iliad.

  2. I think its very cool and look forward to the day that I carry around a pocket library.

    I'm actually finding the notion of e-magazine storage more of a selling point, since I find it more difficult to find space for my back issues of Discover and what not than books.

  3. Oh, man. Massimo, has Amazon hired you? These enthusiastic endorsements are really putting the pressure on me to fork out for a Kindle.


  4. John,

    no, Amazon hasn't hired me. But it is true that the Kindle has dramatically affected my reading habits, for the better. I find myself reading much more and more widely, largely because of the portability of the device (and because, unlike most others, it is easy on the eyes, since it doesn't use a backlit screen).

    That said, it will be interesting to see how the whole field of e-reading develops over the next few years...

  5. Hey, Max, it might interest you to know that I've just translated the Amazon/Kindle specs for Kindle's forthcoming launch in Japan.
    Not so much a Kindle anymore as a mighty flame...

  6. Kimpatsu,

    very cool! Maybe I should give a call to my cousin and tell her to pre-order it! :)

  7. In spite of being quite the geek, I'm never an early adopter. So I guess I'll stick with the computer screen for now...

    Mind, it took me 5 years to be convinced the iPod was ready (I got the first generation nano, still use it everyday), or until 2004 to decide that digital photography had enough quality (at humanly-accessible prices) to be used alongside my trustworthy K1000 SLRs.

    I think the ebook readers are still too expensive for such a narrow purpose device -- I do want one though. :-)

    So as capabilities grow and prices fall, I'll probably get one in a few years.

  8. Oh, forgot to mention: title availability (at decent prices). I'd like to see more of that too. As Hume's Ghost mentioned, my stack of Scientific American numbers is not very manageable, takes space and accumulates dust, and will end up donated or recycled. Would be much better if I had it all digital to store and search.

    Then, I probably am also a little responsible for the chicken-egg problem: people don't buy ebook readers due to lack of titles, and publishers don't publish ebook/emag titles because people don't buy the readers...


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