What does Tim O'Reilly want people to do for vicarious experiences if the literary novel goes away?

In the January 2013 issue of Wired, Tim O'Reilly says on p.067 "..."I don't really give a ....if literary novels go away....there are new forms.... of popular culture." I wish he had said what exactly those forms are because all i can think of is watching something on a screen, or going to a live performance. There are probably other things but to my mind, nothing can ever replace a wonderful novel when it comes to living in another person's skin and broadening your way of thinking about the world. What exactly do you want people to do, Tim, to get out of their own little corner of the world? Speak up.
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  • EMPLOYEE
    I’m disappointed to be misunderstood
    I have no idea, just as the people who might have lamented "What will people do when we no longer have bards to sing us long narrative poems over the fire?" had no idea what might replace that as a form of entertainment.

    Don't get me wrong: I love long narrative fiction (and non-fiction.) And I would personally be very sad if there were no new novels (though I will also stipulate that there are far more great ones already in existence than any of us will ever have time to read, so if there were not a single additional novel produced, you would have plenty of chances to live in another person's skin. And in fact, much of my favorite fictional explorations are of books that were once bestsellers but are now largely forgotten. They give an amazing view into another time.)

    My point was simply that if a form passes, it passes because people have formed new preferences. For authors of a particular art form to claim that somehow culture will be irreparably damaged if they aren't able to get large advances to produce their art form is self-interested. That's the "elitist" position I was talking about, for which the "I don't give a s***" comment was intended. I misspoke when I said I didn't care if the art form went away; what I meant was that if there aren't enough customers to preserve an art form, I don't give a s*** if the entitled practitioners have to find a new public.

    See also my comments on this topic on Nick Carr's blog http://www.roughtype.com/?p=2315&cpag..., and Porter Anderson's summary of some explanation I made on a mailing list at http://janefriedman.com/2012/12/27/wr...
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  • I don't see literary novel going away. BUT, it will be developed in "opensource" mode.

    There is simple FACT - really good novels are written not because of monetary reward, but because author has an URGE to say something to the world.

    I personally waste most of my precious time reading novels from "samlib.ru" site. These are mostly in Russian. There are "next door" authors writing for their "next door" audience. Yes, many of them are not as polished as "professional" novels. But it is balanced by quantity and variety, and, well, it's nice to know that it is somebody speking up their mind, not trying to "make money".

    Of course all this may be an indication of modern Western (World) money system in a state of deer distress. Modern "money" created by banksters at will, not as a measure of doing something valued by other people. Thus, we see the "natural" economic forms rise, that includes novel writing. Seems like that some people that like to read are also capable of writing. Thus this is a self service. If "unfree" market can't provide what people want they start to do it outside of market. Since current World Govt. imposes criminal punishment for violating its monopoly on money, and since modern money are less and less functional, we see more and more sections of economy turning to some non-monetary forms. Nothing can be done until people will get normal monetary system, where not arbitrary ultra-rich bankster, but people at large, market, community are putting value on things and service, including literary novels.

    V.L.
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