What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Monday, August 5, 2013

Linkee-poo same trailer, different park

Over the weekend I went down the stairs on my tailbone. I don't recommend this course of action to anyone. Seriously not fun, and the inflatable donut doesn't help all that much.

Sure, you've heard all the arguments about "self-publishing", but here are five good reasons to go with a traditional publisher. And if I hear the false argument about how the music industry has changed and that means story writers need to do the same changes I think I'll spit. First off, just because they're both entertainments doesn't mean they're the same thing. Second, we consume and learn about the medium by different routes (seen any good book-trailers lately?). And while publishers' contracts can be as one-sided as the music industry contracts, there are a lot of differences (I've never heard an author say they're publishing under a pseudonym to avoid contractual obligations they signed to decades ago).

The care and feeding of the author/agent relationship. As always, follow Weaton's Law, don't be a dick.

Some people don't believe in the magic of writing. And, well, they have a point. I, again, often talk about the Muse, being inspired and "In the Zone." But here's the thing, you can't wait for those things (unless you know the way to the Zone, like we all knew how to get to Sesame Street, or you have your Muse on speed-dial). You need to write cold, uninspired, and when you're dead tired (here that advice, Steve, you better follow it). And then, during the process, that's where you find the zone and hear the Muse's voice (hopefully).

"The quality of books seems tied to this homogenization of knowledge… The result is that mainstream agents and publishers select new books based almost exclusively on what they believe will sell, and that means the internet-addicted public ultimately gets to make the choice of what gets published… It creates a vicious, unimaginative circle in which publishing has become trapped—agents and publishers won’t take on anything different because they’re afraid the market won’t buy it, and mainstream readers can’t buy anything different because they rarely get exposure to it." A little cynical, but you can see similar cycles in most other forms of entertainment (note recent link to article about how all the movies are becoming the same). Eventually someone takes an educated guess/chance on something new, and then that becomes the standard. It's the old academy vs. succession cycle.

Today saw the first public preparation of cultured beef. No word yet on if it tasted like chicken. Okay, update since I wrote this, we do have some taste evaluation. (Pointed to by Dan and John)

Why Millennials are leaving the church. For similar reasons that Baby-Boomers and Gen-Xers left the church. Coming of age brings exploration and a leaving of the parent's life, and now because of a rise in "Biblical Inerrancy", the younger people raised in that tradition become disenchanted when they discover the lies. Don't worry, Church people, many will return as they reach their middle 30s and have children of their own at an age to be confirmed. But it will be a decreased number.

John Scalzi talks about Matthew Chapter 6. I think there was a link to that chapter earlier.

"While Chief Kessler and his armed followers may be able to delude some people into believing that they are 'exercising their First Amendment rights,' there is no doubt these militia members are aware that their actions and speech are causing many others who live in the borough of Gilberton to feel threatened, intimidated and terrorized. When armed men stand in doorways, with the direct intent of interfering with the rights of other members of society, when they seek to deny the rights of other persons to participate in open public meetings, when they verbally or physically threaten other citizens who hold opposing political views, when they interfere with the rights of others to speak freely about their fears and concerns, and most importantly, when they use their weapons as a way to intimidate public officials, and members of the general public, there should be no doubt these people are terrorists and need to be treated as such." Just so it's on the record of which side drew first. What this will probably take is State Police Action, or Federal Action. You might remember this wingnut from a previous post. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"This is an example of CNN doing PR and stenography for the White House. They did it when Bush was president, and they’re doing it now."

As the joke goes, "You say we all look angry. This is not angry face, this is hot face. It is very hot. Put me in air-conditioning and I'm so happy. Rising temperatures tend to make us more aggressive toward each other (personally and as a group). Thing is, the Pentagon already knew this. They've been preparing scenarios for the coming rise in temperatures and sea levels for almost a decade now. (Grokked from Tor.com)

"According to Alpert’s analysis, 69% of the jobs created in the second quarter – and 57% in the first half of 2013 – were in the three lowest-paying sectors of the economy: retail trade, administrative and waste services, and leisure and hospitality. These jobs, which account for 33% of all private sector jobs, pay an average of $15.80 per hour." On why the economic recovery doesn't feel like one and why the GDP isn't growing faster. But hey, I'm sure if we remove the onerous restriction of the minimum wage, we all could have jobs that pay shitty-wages. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

On a side note, this is one of the reasons why I'm having so many sleepless nights. I'm trying to figure out a new career path that pays well, doesn't suffer from ageism, has enough growth that I can get a job in it, and is something I can do and train for. There's very few positions that meet all of these criteria. This is also why some of us are champions of raising the minimum wage. Not only does that improve the individual's personal economy, it also improves the overall economy.

Also, want some more authoritative pronouncement that raising the minimum wage would be a net positive? Yea, that right there. Also read those points closely, if you're tired of supporting the "welfare/entitlement state", you should directly supporting higher minimum wages.

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