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Arthur Attwell
Works at Paperight
Lived in Cape Town, South Africa
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Occupation
Founder and Director of Paperight (http://paperight.com)
Employment
  • Paperight
    Director, 2006 - present
  • Paperight
    CEO, Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, 2008 - present
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Male
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Introduction
I'm a tech, content and Africa enthusiast, founder and director of Paperight, co-founder of Electric Book Works, and a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow.

More info on my personal site.
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Previously
Cape Town, South Africa - Oxford, England - Pretoria, South Africa - White River, South Africa - Amanzimtoti, South Africa

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Arthur Attwell

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After all our groaning at government, us publishers had better come up with some concrete suggestions for how to change the way textbooks are made, paid for, and delivered. Here's mine. 
Right now, in South Africa, the textbook-publishing industry faces a real threat to its future, because – faced with constant non-delivery of books – government is desperate to change the way it bu...
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"We have more black authors, more major women writers, and they’re selling well internationally in more popular genres. It’s a very good time to be a wealthy book lover in South Africa. It’s not a good time to be anyone else."

I have some sobering things to say about local publishing, and explain what we're doing with Book Dash. 
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Mr Athur around joburg/pretoria please get me any grade 11 and 12 students u know doing Maths and Physics pass my numbers 0782629374 say is Dr Nkosi from Basic Education
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Arthur Attwell

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Give kids free books? Hell, yeah.
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Great piece in the M&G about the one-textbook policy. Love this quote from a teacher in Limpopo: 

'“One textbook per grade could be good because the examination would be set based on it,” she said. “But the question is: Who is going to choose the textbook? Those people sit in their offices listening to music. They’re not in the classroom but they choose textbooks for us. If a book is a bit expensive, the chances are that it’s thoroughly researched by the authors. Those [authors] who know they are going to get peanuts won’t put in much effort.”'
Storm of opposition greets the government’s plan of ?‘one book per subject, per grade, per language’.
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Arthur Attwell

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Help stop govt prescribing the same textbook for every child

If you're in books or education, you may have heard the DBE aims to prescribe one textbook per subject for the whole country. Many of us believe that this will do more harm than good. If you do, too, please add your name to this petition. It will form part of official public comment to the DBE due on Wed 8 Oct.
For decades, our government has tried to get textbooks to every South African schoolchild. It has been expensive and complicated, largely because of...
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Arthur Attwell

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Video: On News24 Live, Paperight's founder Arthur Attwell chatted to Jennifer Sanasie about turning print-copiers into bookstores.
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Have him in circles
372 people
Publishing Perspectives's profile photo
Andre Beukes's profile photo
Gillian Schutte's profile photo
Vincent “Kwame Mawuli” Agyei-Yeboah's profile photo
Kent Smith's profile photo
Narayan Singh's profile photo
James Jones (CubeSpawn)'s profile photo
Jimmy Victor's profile photo
Walter Pike's profile photo

Arthur Attwell

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Crowd-funding is one of the most intense and difficult short projects I've worked on. But when it gets really tiring, this great video that +Tarryn-Anne Anderson made from Book Dash books and +Shaun Swingler footage and a fabulous song from Simon and the Band just picks me right up.
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WhatsApp + TextSecure = HUGE FREAKIN WIN

Not many people realise what a big deal this is. Basically, till now it's been reeeaally easy for governments and other nefarious sorts to watch your WhatsApp conversations. No more, thanks to the team at Open Whisper Systems led my Moxie Marlinspike. I've had the pleasure of spending time with Moxie as Shuttleworth Foundation fellows. He has a firm spot on my top ten list of Most Interesting People. Thank goodness for people like him, making our crazy Interwebbed world safer without us even knowing it.
The most recent update to WhatsApp's Android app includes a surprising feature: strong end-to-end encryption, enabled by default. It's the strongest security any major texting app has offered, even...
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Arthur Attwell

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"Word … like all Platonic models … is magnificent in its inner coherence but mostly irrelevant to the real world."

Really wonderful piece on why working in MS Word is infuriating, and escaping it so liberating. I haven't used Word (or its open-source equivalents) in about a year, and I've never been happier writing. 

(On 8 November I'm speaking at the Professional Editors' Group's 21st birthday event at the Centre for the Book, and I'll be focusing on editing tools in a post-MS Word world. Let me know if you'd like details.)
The word processor that most of the world uses every day, Microsoft Word, is a work of genius that’s almost always wrong as an instrument for writing prose.
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Personally I always write text either by hand or in a vanilla text editor. I only ever import finished text into a word processor for formatting.
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If you're following the one-textbook issue, I've just added links here to the official Publisher's Association response and a great submission from UCT's Assoc Prof Rob Siebörger.

The PASA submission is very thorough. It's not only a solid response, but also contains lots of important and interesting information about the nature of local educational publishing. (Disclosure: I was part of the team that worked on it. It was a great team effort to pull together many disparate points of view.)
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The new publishing-industry must-read

Clay Shirky at his best. So many of these themes are familiar to me after years trying to get publishers behind distributed print-on-demand. I love this especially, Shirky on the physical and geographic barriers to book access that used to beset publishing: 

"…given recent technology, those barriers could be lowered. Demand can now create supply, in the form of ebooks and print on demand. This turns books into a different sort of commodity. No book need ever be out of stock, or out of print, anywhere in the world. It used to be that if you were OK with people in Podunk having inferior access to books than people in Brooklyn, you were just a realist about the difficulties of making and shipping physical stuff. Now if you’re OK with that, you’re kind of an asshole. In the twenty-first century, not being able to correctly stock or distribute a product whose main ingredient is information suggests a degree of technical and managerial incompetence indistinguishable from active malice."
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Arthur Attwell

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Last month marked the end for me of an incredible, life-changing 3 years as a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow. I'll write much more about it in time. Here's the SF team's take as Jaisen Mathai and I leave the fellowship nest. https://shuttleworthfoundation.org/thinking/thinking-fellowship-exit-2014/
While our fellowships are for a year at a time, Fellows can apply for consecutive years based on past performance and their idea for what comes next. Whether Fellows exit the programme after one, two or three years, we always hope that both they and us have learnt something useful, contributed a ...
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Hi Arthur, would be good to grab a coffee when you have a chance! 
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Superb spot for breakfast or lunch, with excellent coffee and amazing confectionery. Note, the place marker on Google Maps is currently wrong. The Farriers courtyard that houses High Tea is further up Whitby Road, pretty much on the corner of Whitby and Constantia roads.
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