Archive for October 18, 2008

Writers: Just Effing SAY It!

October 18, 2008

Over at Dear Author is a post and discussion about the merits/demerits of writers voicing their opinions.

This bit really got under my skin:

Women have to work twice as hard to gain respect as men do. This is as true in the real world as it is on the internet.

And so, of course, I left a Comment.

Really, if there are readers out there who are going to drop your books because you’re a thinking human being who dares to have independent thought, well, those readers can just go fuck themselves.

I don’t give a damn whether a writer supports Bush, McCain, Obama, or Nader. Whether a writer is pro or anti abortion. Whether a writer favors government regulation or sees government as a stifling force that distorts free choices. It’s the art that matters. I can even appreciate bits of self-alienated drug-addicted psychotic Ayn Rand, for crying out loud, and there’s probably very little we would have agreed on as people.

If a writer worries about offending someone, then that cowardice is bound to show itself in the work too. “Oh my god, this would be so great for this scene — but wait, what will people think?!”

Fuck. That. Shit.

I think it was Ayn Rand herself who once stated (loosely paraphrased): “Afraid of what? Being disapproved of by people you despise to begin with?”

Readers come and go. They always will.

Writers fall into and out of fashion.

Readers sometimes outgrow writers or writers leave readers behind.

There never will be — can’t be — a perfect balance with either art or life.

I’ve ripped people apart left and right in this blog. I stood before one in person whose firing I called for in this blog.

I ripped another two and even told them not to Follow me on Twitter. They now Follow me on Twitter — and I them — and we get along just fine.

It’s about ideas, not individuals.

Any reader who can’t stand a writer being a different human being is a reader all writers can do without.

I’d rather have a small group of discerning, intelligent readers over a fat wad of the scared masses any day.

So should you.

Previously here:

Some People Ignore Hints
Today’s Advice For Writers
Charles Bukowski: Outsider, Writer, Poet
This Made Me Snort

Why Not Be A Writer?

October 18, 2008

I’m presenting just a snippet of it here:

Click = Big

Click here for the Full Monty.

— Via Twitter from reddit

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #352: D&O

October 18, 2008

Down and Out, With a Typewriter

ONCE, Richard LeMieux was the envy of all his friends. He owned a publishing firm in Washington State that produced medical and university directories. He also owned a beachfront house, three boats and assorted luxury cars.

But the rise of the Internet contributed to his downfall, and in 2002, Mr. LeMieux’s business failed. In short order, he lost almost everything he had held dear. He became estranged from family members. The bank foreclosed on his house and evicted him. At 59, he was left with his clothes, his Oldsmobile van and a little white pooch he called Willow the Wonder Dog.

For 18 months, Mr. LeMieux was homeless. In what can be seen as a cautionary tale for our time, he recounts his descent in “Breakfast at Sally’s: One Homeless Man’s Inspirational Story” (Skyhorse Publishing, $24.95).

Mr. LeMieux slept in his van in church parking lots in Bremerton, Wash. He hung out at the local Salvation Army, which he and other homeless people affectionately called “Sally’s.” He started writing his book on a discarded manual typewriter.

I must read this book.

So should you.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #351: Sociopaths

October 18, 2008

Welcome to our sociopaths-gone-wild economy

Commonalities between Wall Street speculators and/or Fed bankers and sociopaths

Further, it’s hard to imagine anyone else who would believe a serial bubble economy would be viable. All sociopaths are cause and effect disordered. This childish sense of cause and effect cause sociopathic inventors to invent and reinvent, over the ages, perpetual motion machines. A let’s-inflate-bubbles economy is the economic equivalent of perpetual motion. If the perpetrators and looters come across as “learned worthies,” all the better for their purposes.

I’m glad to see others waking up to this too: They’re Singing, Bye Bye Miss American Pie …

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #350: NEMITW

October 18, 2008

Not Enough Money in the World: The Real Monster in the Meltdown Closet

I unleashed a torrent of ARGGGGHing into the Twitterstream today because for months I’ve been saying — only to myself! — “There’s not enough money in the world to fix this mess!”

I wish I had put it in the blog! Now this guy has said the same thing, and it’s one hell of a read.

Try to imagine that: a $55 trillion market now at risk of complete destruction. Even the derivative debt owed by individual institutions stands at nation-wrecking levels. For example, a single bank in Britain, Barclays again, holds more than $2.4 trillion in credit default swaps, the tradable “insurance” mechanism against securities default. This is more than the entire GDP of Great Britain. If all this paper goes bad, there are not enough assets in the entire country to pay it off. And that’s just one bank, in one country.

If you didn’t read the PDF I recommended yesterday, grab it before it goes Poof! — just like all the money is doing!

Sony Reader PRS-700: Key Issue

October 18, 2008

Sony Reader Model 700 Raises the Bar

Both the PRS-505 (with latest firmware) and PRS-700 fully support the PDF and EPUB standards, both open access and protected with Adobe ACS4 DRM, which means commercial eBooks can be purchased from hundreds of retailers and borrowed from thousands of public library systems. To me this is table stakes interoperability for a device worthy of my investment and attention. As a consumer, lock-in sucks. Sony has their own Connect eBook store, which they have been steadily improving, but I am not stuck with it as my only choice.

Emphasis added by me.

Let’s see … with the abominable Kindle you can

1) Buy eBooks from one store: Amazon

2) Borrow eBooks from zero public libraries

Yeah, but ain’t that wireless worth being locked in and isolated on Amazon’s Alcatraz?

PRS-700 Finger Gesture F lg
The Sony Reader: For People Who Like To Read More

Kindle: Rhymes with Swindle!

eBooks: The Reality Of Plastic Logic

October 18, 2008

BBC News gave some PR love to Plastic Logic with an article and embedded video: The revolution of paperless paper

I reveal the secret FAIL of Plastic Logic in these pictures.

Ah, the rev-o-lu-tion-ar-y Plastic Logic Reader!

Why, notice how thin it is!

The plastic screen heart of it.

B-e-n-d!!!! Ha! Ha! Ha! Try that with an LCD!

Notice he does not likewise bend the framed screen!

Because that frame contains things that would break when bent: non-flexible circuit boards and a LiOn battery that will cause you grief if it rips open.

So yeah. A flexi-screen is a neat parlor trick.

But that’s all it is.

Be prepared to stuff that ginormous thing in a similarly-ginormous carrying case that won’t flex.

Reference: Free eBooks At Internet Archive

October 18, 2008

I keep forgetting about it!

The Internet Archive – Texts

September 2008 Contents Now Up

October 18, 2008

Better late than never. Right here.