Fitted Tablecloths and Throws

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The Future of Electronic Publishing

The emergence of electronic publishing was supposed to change all that. Yet a bloodbath of unusual proportions has taken place in the last few months. Time Warner’s iPublish and MightyWords (partly owned by Barnes and Noble) were the last in a string of resounding failures which cast in doubt the business model underlying digital content. Everything seemed to have gone wrong: the dot.coms dot bombed, venture capital dried up, competing standards fractured an already fragile marketplace, the hardware (e-book readers) was clunky and awkward, the software unwieldy, the e-books badly written or already in the public domain.

Terrified by the inexorable process of dis-intermediation (the establishment of direct contact between author and readers, excluding publishers and bookstores) and by the ease with which digital content can be replicated – publishers resorted to draconian copyright protection measures (euphemistically known as “digital rights management”). This further alienated the few potential readers left. The opposite model of “viral” or “buzz” marketing (by encouraging the dissemination of free copies of the promoted book) was only marginally more successful.

From an open, somewhat anarchic, web of networked computers – it has evolved into a territorial, commercial, corporate extension of “brick and mortar” giants, subject to government regulation. It is less friendly towards independent (small) publishers, the backbone of e-publishing. Increasingly, it is expropriated by publishing and media behemoths. It is treated as a medium for cross promotion, supply chain management, and customer relations management. It offers only some minor synergies with non-cyberspace, real world, franchises and media properties. The likes of Disney and Bertelsmann have swung a full circle from considering the Internet to be the next big thing in New Media delivery – to frantic efforts to contain the red ink it oozed all over their otherwise impeccable balance sheets.

But were the now silent pundits right all the same? Is the future of publishing (and other media industries) inextricably intertwined with the Internet?

The answer depends on whether an old habit dies hard. Internet surfers are used to free content. They are very reluctant to pay for information (with precious few exceptions, like the “Wall Street Journal”‘s electronic edition). Moreover, the Internet, with 3 billion pages listed in the Google search engine (and another 15 billion in “invisible” databases), provides many free substitutes to every information product, no matter how superior. Web based media companies (such as Salon and Britannica.com) have been experimenting with payment and pricing models.

Paradoxically, e-publishing’s main hope may lie with its ostensible adversary: the library. Unbelievably, e-publishers actually tried to limit the access of library patrons to e-books (i.e., the lending of e-books to multiple patrons). But, libraries are not only repositories of knowledge and community centers. They are also dominant promoters of new knowledge technologies. They are already the largest buyers of e-books. Together with schools and other educational institutions, libraries can serve as decisive socialization agents and introduce generations of pupils, students, and readers to the possibilities and riches of e-publishing. Government use of e-books (e.g., by the military) may have the same beneficial effect.

As standards converge (Adobe’s Portable Document Format and Microsoft’s MS Reader LIT format are likely to be the winners), as hardware improves and becomes ubiquitous (within multi-purpose devices or as standalone higher quality units), as content becomes more attractive (already many new titles are published in both print and electronic formats), as more versatile information taxonomies (like the Digital Object Identifier) are introduced, as the Internet becomes more gender-neutral, polyglot, and cosmopolitan – e-publishing is likely to recover and flourish.

This renaissance will probably be aided by the gradual decline of print magazines and by a strengthening movement for free open source scholarly publishing. The publishing of periodical content and academic research (including, gradually, peer reviewed research) may be already shifting to the Web. Non-fiction and textbooks will follow. Alternative models of pricing are already in evidence (author pays to publish, author pays to obtain peer review, publisher pays to publish, buy a physical product and gain access to enhanced online content, and so on). Web site rating agencies will help to discriminate between the credible and the in-credible. Publishing is moving – albeit kicking and screaming – online

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Personalized Christmas Ornaments

People who are looking for the authorized online retailer to buy the inspired designs of gift-ware, tabletop and trim products, then avail the service of d56 at this site. Christmas Place is an authorized club 56 dealer and offer charming and beautiful items, you can select your favorite theme collections from countless opportunities at a very lover price. Department 56 collectibles are new, you can use it that really meet your decorating achievements and celebrate life’s memorable moments with your friends and family.

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Morality As A Mental State

Moral values, rules, principles, and judgments are often thought of as beliefs or as true beliefs. Those who hold them to be true beliefs also annex to them a warrant or a justification (from the “real world”). Yet, it is far more reasonable to conceive of morality (ethics) as a state of mind, a mental state. It entails belief, but not necessarily true belief, or justification. As a mental state, morality cannot admit the “world” (right and wrong, evidence, goals, or results) into its logical formal definition. The world is never part of the definition of a mental state.

Another way of looking at it, though, is that morality cannot be defined in terms of goals and results – because these goals and results ARE morality itself. Such a definition would be tautological.

There is no guarantee that we know when we are in a certain mental state. Morality is no exception.

An analysis based on the schemata and arguments proposed by Timothy Williamson follows.

Moral Mental State – A Synopsis

Morality is the mental state that comprises a series of attitudes to propositions. There are four classes of moral propositions: “It is wrong to…”, “It is right to…”, (You should) do this…”, “(You should) not do this…”. The most common moral state of mind is: one adheres to p. Adhering to p has a non-trivial analysis in the more basic terms of (a component of) believing and (a component of) knowing, to be conceptually and metaphysically analyzed later. Its conceptual status is questionable because we need to decompose it to obtain the necessary and sufficient conditions for its possession. It may be a complex (secondary) concept.

See here for a more detailed analysis.

Adhering to proposition p is not merely believing that p and knowing that p but also that something should be so, if and only if p (moral law).

Morality is not a fictive attitude. One believes p to be true – but knows p to be contingently true (dependent on epoch, place, and culture). Since knowing is a fictive attitude, the truth it relates to is the contingently true nature of moral propositions.

Morality relates objects to moral propositions and it is a mental state (for every p, having a moral mental relation to p is a mental state).

Adhering to p entails believing p (involves the mental state of belief). In other words, one cannot adhere without believing. Being in a moral mental state is both necessary and sufficient for adhering to p. Since no “truth” is involved – there is no non-mental component of adhering to p.

Adhering to p is a conjunction with each of the conjuncts (believing p and knowing p) a necessary condition – and the conjunction is necessary and sufficient for adhering to p.

One doesn’t always know if one adheres to p. Many moral rules are generated “on the fly”, as a reaction to circumstances and moral dilemmas. It is possible to adhere to p falsely (and behave differently when faced with the harsh test of reality). A sceptic would say that for any moral proposition p – one is in the position to know that one doesn’t believe p. Admittedly, it is possible for a moral agent to adhere to p without being in the position to know that one adheres to p, as we illustrated above. One can also fail to adhere to p without knowing that one fails to adhere to p. As Williamson says “transparency (to be in the position to know one’s mental state) is false”. Naturally, one knows one’s mental state better than one knows other people’s. There is an observational asymmetry involved. We have non-observational (privileged) access to our mental state and observational access to other people’s mental states. Thus, we can say that we know our morality non-observationally (directly) – while we are only able to observe other people’s morality.

One believes moral propositions and knows moral propositions. Whether the belief itself is rational or not, is debatable. But the moral mental state strongly imitates rational belief (which relies on reasoning). In other words, the moral mental state masquerades as a fictive attitude, though it is not. The confusion arises from the normative nature of knowing and being rational. Normative elements exist in belief attributions, too, but, for some reason, are considered “outside the realm of belief”. Belief, for instance, entails the grasping of mental content, its rational processing and manipulation, de-feasible reaction to new information.

We will not go here into the distinction offered by Williamson between “believing truly” (not a mental state, according to him) and “believing”. Suffice it to say that adhering to p is a mental state, metaphysically speaking – and that “adheres to p” is a (complex or secondary) mental concept. The structure of adheres to p is such that the non-mental concepts are the content clause of the attitude ascription and, thus do not render the concept thus expressed non-mental: adheres to (right and wrong, evidence, goals, or results).

Origin is essential when we strive to fully understand the relations between adhering that p and other moral concepts (right, wrong, justified, etc.). To be in the moral state requires the adoption of specific paths, causes, and behavior modes. Moral justification and moral judgment are such paths.

Knowing, Believing and their Conjunction

We said above that:

“Adhering to p is a conjunction with each of the conjuncts (believing p and knowing p) a necessary condition – and the conjunction is necessary and sufficient for adhering to p.”

Williamson suggests that one believes p if and only if one has an attitude to proposition p in-discriminable from knowing p. Another idea is that to believe p is to treat p as if one knew p. Thus, knowing is central to believing though by no means does it account for the entire spectrum of belief (example: someone who chooses to believe in God even though he doesn’t know if God exists). Knowledge does determine what is and is not appropriate to believe, though (“standard of appropriateness”). Evidence helps justify belief.

But knowing as a mental state is possible without having a concept of knowing. One can treat propositions in the same way one treats propositions that one knows – even if one lacks concept of knowing. It is possible (and practical) to rely on a proposition as a premise if one has a fictive propositional attitude to it. In other words, to treat the proposition as though it is known and then to believe in it.

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Global Warming Are We To Blame

Global warming is one of those topics that I still find myself wondering what to truly believe. Is our CO2 production really the culprit in the warming of the planet? Or are there some other larger influences at play here. I have a hard time believing mankind’s activities are solely to blame for any kind of climate change.

After all, CO2 is only one of many greenhouse gases that can affect the warming trend. Water vapor is by far the most abundant and effective at influencing the greenhouse problem. But I don’t see any kind of public concern over evaporation of water in any way at all. Okay, I realize that there is little or even nothing that can be done about that but the point is CO2 is just a tiny fraction of the greenhouse gases affecting our climate. So if water vapor is by far the largest greenhouse gas then why are we so obsessed by man-made CO2? Mankind’s ego.

We see a small trend in the planets temperature rising and of course we assume it must be what we are doing. I am truly pleased to see that we are taking an interest in reducing pollution from cars and industry but I really have my doubts about the connection to global warming at least in the significant way the media would like us to believe.

The media is sounding the alarm bell which of course sells more newspapers than reporting the less extreme predictions surrounding the warming trend. The weather models produced by scientists predict a reduction in the temperature differences between the poles and the equatorial regions. This will in fact reduce the number of violent tropical storms, as there will be less of a temperature discrepancy to stimulate them. Also the warming of the regions closer to the poles will allow agricultural pursuits in areas where it was not possible before. Food production would be able to rise accordingly. The alarmist media isn’t interested in those types of stories it seems.

The change in the world’s temperature is just that, change. There is irrefutable evidence that the temperature of the planet has and most likely will always be changing regardless of what we are doing. What are we so afraid of? Do the alarmists doubt mankind’s ability to adapt and cope with a few degrees of temperature change or even sea levels rising a meter or so? There will doubtless be hardships and even some displaced people in some regions but man has the ability to adapt and change. We have demonstrated this through the ages. I am confident that we will not only survive these changes but also learn to use them to our advantage.

I live in Canada and if you ask anyone living north of the temperate zone about rising temperatures the resounding response would be “bring it on, we could use a little global warming around here”. Life will improve greatly for huge numbers of the world’s population with a couple of degrees increase in the planet’s temperature. Migration to areas that were before considered uninhabitable by most will have a more moderate climate allowing for farming and other activities. You can’t sell newspapers with stories like that.

The scientific data indicates that 1998 was the warmest year on record. The planet has been cooling ever since. A quote from Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences “The earth is at the peak of one of its passing warm spells, It’ll start getting cold by 2012, and really, really cold around 2041″. So who are we to believe? A respected scientist or Al Gore who has made millions from his crusade for the planet and his questionable agenda and phony pseudo science.

If the planet is warming I can honestly say I hope so. We will get by and probably do well in the process. What really concerns me is the muzzling of real science in the debate. An objective media would go a long way in helping us all deal with the facts as they truly are. Focusing on the alarmist perspective only causes undue fear where none is warranted.

Is driving our SUV’s and minivans really the problem here? Or is our planet just going through another climate cycle like it has done so many times before? The only thing I know for sure is I can’t count on the media to provide the answers

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Junior Drum Set

Anyone is interested in buying the little drum to give your child on the occasion of birthday, you can easy to find the leading brands at musicans friend. They offer The Pulse 5-piece junior drum set like bass drum, mounted and floor toms, snare, a kick pedal, a pair of 10″ hi-hat cymbals including stands, and a throne that are specially designed for little drummer. Junior drum set is very convenient to your little drummer, using it and enjoy playing.

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Learning Strategies Made Easy

We all could use a little help in making learning a little easier. With simple strategies, you can help yourself or your child learn to perfect test taking and improve study skills.

Studies have shown that from late elementary school into college, studying and test taking is often a major hurdle for children. And if your child already has a learning disability, the difficulty can be even more pronounced. If your child’s test scores have fallen during this time period and their stress level has increased, there are a handful of ways you can help. Questions to ask include:

1. Does your child know what to study? If your child appears to have difficulty discerning what to remember during a lecture or in reading a textbook, ask them these few questions: a) Have they checked in with the teacher about the content of the test? b) Has the teacher provided a study guide or practice test? c) Does your child have a plan for studying?

Helping your child recognize verbal cues the teacher may give that will signal the information’s importance is also important. If the teacher says, “Write this down”, “Let Me Summarize”, “This Is Important” or “I’ll write this on the board”, the student should make note of the information. Review information in your child’s textbook with them as well, going over chapter and section headings, words, phrases or sentences that appear in bold, sidebar information and questions at the end of each chapter.

2. Does your child know how to study? – Show your child strategies in organizing, remembering, and prioritizing information. Make sure your child is also doing nightly reading assignments and using a system to record information. Have your child summarize to you what they have learned and help your child organize their materials by cleaning out binders and folders, or setting up sections with tabs. Showing your child tricks in remembering information through sentences or acronyms, rhymes or relating information known to something unknown, can be helpful. Drawing pictures or cartoons is also helpful to many students, especially if they are a visual learner.

3. Does your child know how to monitor their work?– As a student, you need to have necessary skills to check your work. Ask your child to look through graded homework assignments and previous tests to find patterns of mistakes. Another solution is to help your child make a personalized checklist of test taking techniques, looking back to see if any questions were missed or if the answer to the problem was properly spelled out and answered accordingly.

4. Does your child know how to set goals and pace their work?– Does your child rush through studies? You can help your child set goals and pace their work. Ask them to create and review a study plan, setting a timer for a certain study period. Make sure your child builds short breaks into their schedule. Encourage your child to focus on their strengths and emphasize their efforts and that you are proud of them.

Practice these four strategies with your child or even with yourself and you will find that such practices will follow you through a lifetime and reward you over and over again.

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Wedding Garter Sets

Anyone is looking for the wedding garters at an affordable price, then Classy Bride is the right place for them. They offer the finest bridal garters that are full of flavor and color. Wedding Garter Sets are classic and made of satin, silk, lace with flowers, feathers, crystals, you can select the perfect fit one to wear. This is the right place to buy the bridal apparel, bridal gifts and related accessories at a very competitive price here that make a highlight many attending the special event.

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Common Sense Tips to be Successful

We are all looking for a way to make life better but what it comes down to is looking at what others are doing and trying to model your efforts after what’s already being done. Success is not about recreating the wheel… it’s all about “little” modification with your own personality on it… isn’t that what everyone talks about anyway… it’s never about the newest thing that makes anyone successful… it’s all about small changes or improvements that we make that makes things what they are.

Tip 1: Keep it simple; watch others… I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to look at what others are doing.

Tip 2: Set goals for yourself… if you don’t know where you want to go do you honestly think your lazy but is ever going to get there ?

Tip 3: Action Plan…. You already know what your goals are, do you have benchmarks set so that you know what you’re going to do every step of the way. Anyone can write “my 30 days to success” so chart out what you’re going to do day by day to get there… because goals are only a piece of the puzzle. Most importantly “Don’t rush to get there”.

Tip 4: Listen…. Oh my god… what a concept.. half of us trying to get somewhere want to tell someone who’s already there how to do what they are already doing right ! If you spend all your time talking then you’re never going to hear the message you need to hear to get to where you want to be.

Tip 5: Stay current…. If you’re so conservative about things just staying the way they’ve always been…. honestly I don’t know how successful you really want to be.

Tip 6: Talk about success… the most successful people talk and breathe it all day long. If you’re all about the negative then guess what you’re bound to stay right behind the front door while the rest of the world is actually “doing something”.

Tip 7: Motivation… Figure out what is going to motivate you to “be successful”. For some of us it’s “things” and for others it may be your children so do a little sitting and write down what’s going to motivate you.

Tip 8: Keep it Real… Money is a vehicle in this society and we need it to keep things moving, but DON’T PUT IT FIRST.. however be real with yourself about the importance of money in society and in your life.. not only for you and your piece of mind but for what you want your children to be able to accomplish in life as well. No one wants to say it but money really is important and it certainly gives us all piece of mind.

Tip 9: Patience… Success is NOT overnight; success is “progressive” with many avenues to it and as it’s been stated before “Don’t Rush” as that alone can kill the work and time that you’ve invested into it. Be patient and the fruits of your labor will come. If you work hard in your lifetime you’ll always have something positive to show for it.

Tip 10: The Epiphany… You don’t know what you don’t know until you know what you don’t know. So get out there and learn so you can join the rest of the successful people out there.

Good Luck!

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Is Solar Power the key Energy

An uncertain global economy is causing fluctuating energy prices, is it time to claim energy independence through solar technology or is it an unnecessary cost during the economic downturn?

A barrel of oil, which reached an all time high, a drop of more than half, although it’s a dramatic drop it has been mirrored in many other fuels. However the average household energy bill, which increased by up to one third in the summer hike, is yet to see the benefit of the falling market. Ed Mayo (2009), chief executive of Consumer Focus, confirms, Energy companies all put their prices up arguing that it was down to rising cost of oil and gas, but now that is reversed, we are seeing delay, blather and procrastination.

This situation is particularly infuriating when placed in the context of a global recession. As consumer goods become more expensive and household incomes are slashed, cheaper energy could be a lifeline for families and businesses alike and would facilitate a speedier recovery from the downturn. Collusion between the big energy companies has also been questioned, with providers increasing costs at the same time and now delaying cuts together to ensure maximum profits.

With condemnation coming from all directions including the Prime Minister’s office and so little action it is clear that the industry regulators are ineffectual and the companies are free to hold the consumer to ransom.

It is easy to become frustrated when reading this information and it’s not hard to see why more and more people are taking control of their own energy needs by installing PV solar power technology.

Solar power isn’t a new technology, in fact it dates back to ancient times when the Greeks and the Chinese would design buildings that faced towards the south to provide optimum heat and light, however active harnessing of solar energy had its first significant application as a back-up power supply to the Vanguard I satellite in 1958 becoming a prototype for today’s residential solar panels. Throughout the 1960s the high cost of solar cells meant that terrestrial use was limited, however in the 1970s price levels made technology a feasible option for remote areas without grid access such as oil rigs and tele-com stations. The rising cost of fuel continued to drive the enhancement of the technology until the early 1980s when a falling oil price led to a reduction in funding, shifting leadership in the sector from the US to Germany and Japan.

Now that energy efficiency has been placed high on the agenda of many national governments, all sorts of initiatives are available for households and businesses willing to generate their own power. Across Europe many countries have long established tariffs allowing individuals to sell their surplus energy back to the grid, encouraging energy sustainability through financial incentives, dispelling one of the major drawbacks of solar, the installation cost.

The second drawback with this energy is that it requires greater efficiency on the part of individuals; in order to make the most out of solar power many recognize that by fitting energy saving light bulbs, using energy efficient appliances and turning electronic devices off standby can help to generate more excess power and thus more money. Your lifestyle need not be compromised – just made more efficient.

The idea of a major shift to solar technologies has always true that the technologies on offer today could not supply the major heavy industries, however by adopting more efficient technologies smaller businesses and households could be running on solar power, not only cutting their high-priced energy overheads but also making money selling the excess.

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