[plt-scheme] Re: Change the World

From: Rohan Nicholls (rohan.nicholls at pareto.nl)
Date: Thu Mar 24 04:52:46 EST 2005

At Tue, 22 Mar 2005 18:04:20 -0600,
jekwtw  wrote:
>   For list-related administrative tasks:
>   http://list.cs.brown.edu/mailman/listinfo/plt-scheme
> I can't speak for the book situation nation-wide, but it's been pretty
> dismal around the Minneapolis-St. Paul in recent years.  I've watched
> Borders and Barnes&Noble both succomb to the "foo for dumies" trend, and now
> even Microcenter is beginning to show signs.  I've spoken to managers a
> number of times over the years, but with no discernable effect.  

I have always (it seems from what I can never find in bookstores) had
this problem, and have to say that having online bookstores is a large
breath of fresh air.  Even the specialty bookstores were falling down
in the scheme/lisp line of things.

> I'm sure
> that Amazon, etc. have applied pressure, and of course no one wants to keep
> inventory.  Whatever the causes, the net effect has been contraction of
> stock to the most popular -- 10^6 largely redundant texts on .net, C##,
> Java, and no replenishment of stock dealing with the Lisp/Scheme, much less
> ML or Haskell.

But what I think we are seeing is a paradigm shift, and maybe even
more importantly having the limitations of the brick and mortar
bookstore being underlined by the fact that there are wider selections
available elsewhere.  If you have limited shelf space, you have to
make sure that what is sitting on it can move in a relatively short
time, so you are not going to be taking risks esp. with the
notoriously fickle and fad ridden IT market.  If it is just an entry
in a database, it costs nothing to carry it.  

I think this is a good thing, where before, things went out of print
or were just not accessible, now you can usually find what you want
either new or used, so I have to say that I think the opposite has
happened, it is much easier to learn from books than it used to.  But
I might be the only one.....;-)


> Thus, learning on one's own from books has gotten much harder since I
> started.
> *gloom*

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