Quote Interesting. They say that Samuel Taylor Coleridge was the last person to have read everything. By the time he died there were too many books, they suggest, for any single brain to engage with. “They”, as usual, are wrong. There were already millions of books in Europe by the year 1500, just half a century after the first printed page flew from the first press. To read a million books in a lifetime you would have to read 40 a day for 70 years. I couldn’t even smoke half that many cigarettes for half as long before giving up and it takes a lot longer to read a book than to smoke a cigarette, let me tell you. — Stephen Fry, The Independent

British Library’s treasure trove of authorial voices on CD. Rare recordings of some of the last century’s greatest writers are to be released for the first time – from F Scott Fitzgerald reciting Othello to Tennessee Williams lambasting critics and Raymond Chandler drunkenly slurring his way through an interview with Ian Fleming. — The Guardian

Call centres are fodder for India’s pop culture. In a training session at a suburban call center in India, the instructor writes “35 = 10” on the board, as though he is gifting the recruits with a magic mantra. “A 35-year-old American’s brain and IQ is the same as a 10-year-old Indian’s,” he explains, and urges the agents to be patient with the callers. That is a scene from “Hello,” the first Bollywood movie about the distorted and dual lives of India’s 2 million call-center workers. Washington Post

Will the economy kill ‘Free’ on the Internet? Web businesses that rely on free labor and crowdsourcing to survive are in for a rude awakening, says Andrew Keen, journalist, author and self-proclaimed hater of all things free. He argues that the current economic downturn will pop the open source, Web 2.0 bubble and sites that depend on the kindness of strangers for content like Wikipedia and The Huffington Post will start to see a decline in user participation. — Wired

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey