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Old 10-11-2009, 11:56 AM   #136
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I find this thread extremely disturbing......its bringing out te worst in some of us.
I couldn't agree more. Well said.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:34 PM   #137
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Yes, this thread *is* disturbing. And well it should be. It is opening up a pus-filled sore of a topic - however, doing so allows the wound to be cleaned and healing treatments applied.

Still, the very premise of the original poster's comment shows an alarming trend to presume racism as the MAJOR DRIVING FORCE behind any corporation's actions. Yeah. Right. And next we'll be hearing that 2012 is the end of the universe.

Derek
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:05 PM   #138
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I find both the presumption of racism and its existence to be disturbing.

I'm also concerned by the trend to find a single (and often malign) root cause behind things, as I believe that's far too simplistic for the real world. I think the majority of things are far more complicated, and that you can ascribe far more to incompetence than to evil.

It's worth asking why so many of the countries which are not receiving the Kindle are majority-Muslim, but I don't think that justifies an immediate jump toward an "anti-Muslim" bias on Amazon's part. It could be rights issues, export controls, or some other factor we're not aware of.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:14 PM   #139
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I'm also concerned by the trend to find a single (and often malign) root cause behind things, as I believe that's far too simplistic for the real world. I think the majority of things are far more complicated, and that you can ascribe far more to incompetence than to evil.
I also notice that many people seem to not be able to differentiate between correlative and causative relationships.
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Old 10-12-2009, 03:16 AM   #140
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It's worth asking why so many of the countries which are not receiving the Kindle are majority-Muslim,
Before you waste more than 20 or 30 seconds that you can never get back doing that...

You might conceivably consider looking at a listing of all the countries on earth. Next see which countries have the Kindle and exclude those. Identify which of the remainder are primarily Muslim. Compare that to the non Muslim number.

Hint: The article that started the thread did not by the slightest stretch of the imagination list all the countries that do not have kindles, but did list more Muslim countries than non Muslim countries.

Hint 2: Amazon didn't make that list.

Last edited by Phogg; 10-12-2009 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:03 AM   #141
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Actually, I think the fact that so many Muslim countries are left out does show Amazon's respect for their cultures. Have you actually considered that the vast majority of books Amazon carries would not be welcomed there? If Amazon, at this point (without having special muslim bookstore) shoved all those books down their throats wouldn't they be accused of "cultural imperialism"?
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:32 AM   #142
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Here follows my opinion on the matter.
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:58 AM   #143
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I'm sorry but I'm going to be insufferably nitpicky. The Times actually said:


That's slightly different. If they had sold 48 ebooks per 100 pbooks, that would be 32%. That would mean out of 148 total books, 48 were ebooks and 100 were pbooks rather than 48 out of 100 total which is 48%. Sorry. I'm a dork. I can't help it.
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There's nothing wrong with accuracy, Alisa.
My apologies for not making this clearer - my source was The Times, not the NYTimes .... and I was quoting from the paper version not the electronic one .... (pardonez moi)
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:00 AM   #144
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I find both the presumption of racism and its existence to be disturbing.

yes it even extends down to who likes cats and who likes dogs ..... (sorry)
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:25 AM   #145
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Actually, I think the fact that so many Muslim countries are left out does show Amazon's respect for their cultures. Have you actually considered that the vast majority of books Amazon carries would not be welcomed there? If Amazon, at this point (without having special muslim bookstore) shoved all those books down their throats wouldn't they be accused of "cultural imperialism"?
Don't you think it's rather more likely to be due to the fact that Middle-Eastern countries use the Arabic alphabet, and the Kindle does not support right-to-left alphabets such as Arabic?
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:30 AM   #146
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Don't you think it's rather more likely to be due to the fact that Middle-Eastern countries use the Arabic alphabet, and the Kindle does not support right-to-left alphabets such as Arabic?
If that was the problem, they could still be selling English books.
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Old 10-12-2009, 04:51 PM   #147
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I googled the term "book censorship in arab countries" and found this very interesting report by the Rand Corporation (pdf).

From the summary:
Three major barriers confront the dissemination and consumption of Arabic literature. The first barrier is censorship, which is a significant problem in the Middle East. Nearly all Arab Middle East countries employ government censors. Censorship is often aimed at stopping the publication or distribution of content deemed politically, morally, or religiously sensitive. Religious institutions, such as al-Azhar, Cairo’s center of Islamic learning, often assist government censors by recommending books to be banned. A second barrier is the small market for literary material in the Arab world. Book production and, presumably, reader consumption are relatively low in the Middle East in comparison to other regions with similar socioeconomic levels of development. One factor behind this low book-consumption rate is the region’s high rates of illiteracy, especially among the generations born before 1970. A final barrier is the poor internal distribution systems for books. This is compounded by the challenge of selling books across a vast number of countries all with their own censorship requirements, regulations, and tax codes.
All of these reasons, in various ways, provide rationales why Amazon either could not bring the Kindle to certain countries because of these barriers, or made a business decision that the potential profit was simply too low to justify the costs of doing so.

If any country insisted that every Kindle book go through a censorship review prior to being available in that particular country, do you blame Amazon for saying that doing business in that country probably isn't worth it, when you add that on top of the costs of the wireless service, the probable low rate of Kindle sales, etc.?
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:50 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by whitearrow View Post
I googled the term "book censorship in arab countries" and found this very interesting report by the Rand Corporation (pdf).

From the summary:
Three major barriers confront the dissemination and consumption of Arabic literature. The first barrier is censorship, which is a significant problem in the Middle East. Nearly all Arab Middle East countries employ government censors. Censorship is often aimed at stopping the publication or distribution of content deemed politically, morally, or religiously sensitive. Religious institutions, such as al-Azhar, Cairo’s center of Islamic learning, often assist government censors by recommending books to be banned. A second barrier is the small market for literary material in the Arab world. Book production and, presumably, reader consumption are relatively low in the Middle East in comparison to other regions with similar socioeconomic levels of development. One factor behind this low book-consumption rate is the region’s high rates of illiteracy, especially among the generations born before 1970. A final barrier is the poor internal distribution systems for books. This is compounded by the challenge of selling books across a vast number of countries all with their own censorship requirements, regulations, and tax codes.
All of these reasons, in various ways, provide rationales why Amazon either could not bring the Kindle to certain countries because of these barriers, or made a business decision that the potential profit was simply too low to justify the costs of doing so.

If any country insisted that every Kindle book go through a censorship review prior to being available in that particular country, do you blame Amazon for saying that doing business in that country probably isn't worth it, when you add that on top of the costs of the wireless service, the probable low rate of Kindle sales, etc.?
Though the Egyptian Bibliotheca Alexandrina maintains the only mirror of The Internet Archive; which contains a fair number of secular and anti-religious texts.
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:31 PM   #149
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I also notice that many people seem to not be able to differentiate between correlative and causative relationships.
and some light relief...

http://xkcd.com/552/

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Old 10-12-2009, 08:24 PM   #150
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and some light relief...

http://xkcd.com/552/

That one is brilliant.
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