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Some Thoughts About "Special Moments..." Book Project Experimental Approach

There are 41 excerpts from a variety of sources which are now accessible in the current “Table of Contents” for the "Special Moments of Inspiration and Insight: A Reader from Books and Documents in the English Language" Book Project (accessible at www.specialmomentsbook.net ). The addition of new excerpts led to a revision of the subject headings for the Table of Contents, so below, as a postscript, I am including the current list of subject headings. If the potential of this approach to creating a “reader” and an educational resource is recognized by many others, much more revisions will take place, in the course of the planned effort of two years.

Readers who do explore the documents “Current List of Accessible Excerpts” and “Table of Contents” will find that there are now many excerpts for which “Fair Use Approach Exercised” is the pathway for appropriate use. Most writing projects do not make their work-in-progress efforts visible to the public, and most writing projects have secured permission for extensive use of copyrighted pieces before using them in a project made visible to the public. Because this project is attempting to illustrate the potential of a collaborative effort, because the project is hoping to produce an accessible for free educational resource, and because many sources which this writer has made fair use of are sources which are also educational in nature, and their hope is to reach the widest audience possible with their message, this writer has felt that fair use of even whole articles can be justified—for that span of time until permission can be secured, or is denied. An important part of this thinking is that use of whole articles can help people who might be participants, or contributors, or grantors of permission, to clearly see the “transformative” quality of the excerpts when they are all together in one place.

The approach being explored here is a very wide interpretation of what a “reader” is (as something more flexible than an anthology), and the effort to be collaborative is an experiment which may or may not appeal to many others. This work-in-progress approach also raises some questions about “fair use”—and how copyright owners can decide about granting permission when it is not clear what the final product might look like (the background information and commentary which will introduce the excerpts, and the introductions to the book as a whole, are as yet not even contemplated…(and yet because of the selections made so far, there will be visitors who can imagine what an introduction to this book might eventually look like... ) Yes, the “construction” process might be a little rough in some places, but besides being ready and willing to make whatever modifications, improvements, and remedies as are necessary for this project to achieve its potential, this writer is of the belief that the challenges of our times are such that many similar efforts will need to be made. Thus, there are likely many already, and it is likely in the future there will be many more, of these kind of projects which are at first a little unexact and untidy in their interpretation of what are accepted codes of propriety on questions of ownership for personal gain vs. needful community use in times of urgency. Since this writer’s beliefs are tending to lean towards giving needful community use a little more weight, he is therefore a little less shy about experimenting, while it is possible to do so, in an effort to realize worthy goals.

That’s all for this update.

The above mentioned current outline for the “Table of Contents” is included below, and a pdf file of the current "Table of Contents" (which includes the 41 excerpts) is attached to this post.

[Update: June 6, 2010-- 4 excerpts were added to the current "Table of Contents" on 6/6/10, so that the total accessible is now 45 excerpts. The pdf file of the current "Table of Contents" attached to this post has been updated so that it includes the excerpts added 6/6/10]

With Kind Regards,

Stefan Pasti, Project Coordinator
The “Special Moments…” Book Project

Current Outline of “Table of Contents”:

Section 1 On the Challenges of Our Times
Section 2 Children’s Stories (and quotes from 2-5 year olds)
Section 3 Nature
Section 4 Autobiography
Section 5 Non-Fiction Humor
Section 6 Biography
Section 7 History
Section 8 Exploration
Section 9 Philosophy
Section 10 Native American
Section 11 Ecological Sustainability
Section 12 Education
Section 13 Religious, Spiritual, and Moral Traditions
Section 14 Fiction Short Story
Section 15 Fiction Novel
Section 16 Fiction Plays
Section 17 Fiction Humor
Section 18 Miscellaneous (Speeches, Letters, Report Cards, etc.)
Section 19 Music/Art
Section 20 Songs

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