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Today: Thu, July 24 2014  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
16 July 2014
Self-Publishing: A Brief Guide for Beginners
by Sean Gabb
 sub-topic» General

All this being said, what about promotion? You’ve created your product. You’ve made it available. How do you sell it? Well, if this is the advice you’ve been waiting for, you’ll be disappointed. The generalities are easy. You need attention. You must tell everyone you know that you’ve published your book, and where to buy it. You must scatter free and discounted copies about like confetti at a wedding. You must beg for reviews on Amazon. You must get mentions and endorsements on the right blogs. You must start your own website and blog, and drive traffic to them. You must write articles like this, and get them published wherever you can. If you have other books out there, you must make sure that readers of one are never more than two clicks away from buying another. Mainstream publishers trade largely on their names. They can get hard copy into the shops with a single telephone call. If you’re going it alone, you need to be inventive with your marketing, and politely relentless. These are the generalities. It’s the specifics that are hard. They depend too much on who you are, where and when you are, and what you’ve written, to be explained in less than a book.

30 May 2014
Frak! Has Your Mother Sold Her Mangle?
by Sarah Skwire
 sub-topic» General

This was such a perfect demonstration of the extension of Skwire’s First Law from politicians to those who enforce the laws enacted by politicians that I had to shelve my original plans and devote this week’s column to the question of cussing. (Skwire’s First Law, by the way, cannot be stated in Brighton, Michigan, without incurring a fine. Suffice it to say that it addresses my opinion of politicians.)

07 May 2014
The Future of the Printed Book
by Sean Gabb
 sub-topic» General

While the future is unpredictable, we seem to be moving to a world in which printed books will survive in ways that gramophone records and videocassettes cannot. Books will be increasingly digital. E-book readers will become increasingly sophisticated and flexible. The technical problems will be solved. Main publication will be digital. The price of second hand paperbacks will continue heading toward zero. Printed books, though, will remain as luxury objects. Like expensive pens, they will be given as Christmas and birthday presents. Religious and classical texts will continue to be printed and owned and read.

More than I cannot say.

23 March 2014
Strange bedfellows: Climate change deniers, newspapers partner in FOIA fight
by Alexis Sobel Fitts
 sub-topic» General

“By defining an exemption to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (‘VFOIA’) as broadly as the lower court has done, this Court Would be, in effect, removing almost all public documents from the ambit of the records law,” reads the brief. By exempting Mann’s emails from public release, the group argues, the court is setting what journalists see as a dangerous precedent—making it much more difficult to gain access to public records.

08 March 2014
A Win For Fair Use After Record Label, Copyright Lawyer Settle
by Laura Sydell
 sub-topic» General

In winning this tussle, Lessig was also able to score a larger victory for his cause. Liberation Music agreed to adopt new policies around issuing takedown notices. The label has promised to work with Lessig to improve its YouTube and copyright policies to make sure this doesn't happen again.

04 December 2013
5 Reasons I Stopped Taking the News Seriously
by Paul Rosenberg
 sub-topic» General

Have you ever noticed that there is no competition between news networks involving accuracy? There are no Fact Wars between networks. They spend millions to make people respect their chief news reader, but they don’t point out each other’s factual errors.

So, I don’t respect them or take them seriously. And now you know why.

10 November 2013
Market vs. Monopoly: Beating the "Intellectual Property" Racket
by Thomas L. Knapp
 sub-topic» General

These days, via Kickstarter, Indiegogo and hundreds of other web sites, “crowd-funding” is quickly becoming the way that artists and creators get their projects funded. The day is not far off when the standard way to get a book published or an album or movie released will be to go straight to the people who want to read, hear or watch it instead of to middlemen who bundle non-existent “rights” into packages that reward said middlemen far more than artists or audiences. When that model reaches full bloom,the “piracy” that dying class of middlemen complain about so much will be recognized as a feature, not a bug: Every “pirated” download potentially creating a new fan for the next round of crowd-funding and the creation of the next work.

13 October 2013
Back in the USSR: The Sovietization of American Life
by Justin Raimondo
 sub-topic» General

When writers and journalists are targets of government repression, you know you have a problem – a big problem – on your hands. And that is precisely the case here in the US. Why else would the Committee to Protect Journalists be doing a study – for the first time – of the mounting difficulties put in the way of reporters in America? Facing prosecution for "espionage" on account of their probing into Washington’s spying on its own citizens, as well as others worldwide, US journalists find themselves increasingly in the crosshairs of Justice Department prosecutors, who are taking some lessons from their Soviet forebears.

15 August 2013
Why Won't They Tell Us the Truth About NSA Spying?
by Ron Paul
 sub-topic» General

Supporters of these programs are now on the defensive, with several competing pieces of legislation in the House and Senate seeking to rein in an administration and intelligence apparatus that is clearly out of control. This is to be commended. What is even more important, though, is for more and more and more Americans to educate themselves about our precious liberties and to demand that their government abide by the Constitution. We do not have to accept being lied to – or spied on — by our government.

16 June 2013
What's Wrong with the NSA Collecting Your Phone Records?
by Michael S. Rozeff
 sub-topic» General

The government argues that it's going to use the data to catch terrorists or potential terrorists who intend to violate rights of innocent people. The government is for sure invading our free speech rights against the slim possibility that terrorists will invade our lives. Which of these is a greater threat to us? Our own government's totalitarian moves in the past 10 years or potential terrorists who are being encouraged by our own government's activities overseas?

11 June 2013
The Distortions of Prism
by John Kersey
 sub-topic» General

What should concern us in particular is the compromise of justice in the United States in favour of powerful corporate and political interests. For all that I find a good deal to criticize in our own justice system, we are still some considerable way from the point that they have reached, where the financial and lobbying muscle of the multinationals and the protectionism of the political class unites with the residual legacy of fundamentalist Puritanism at its least forgiving. I would like to think that had Aaron Swartz been British, our justice system would not have hounded him to the point of suicide. I do not believe that had Bradley Manning been British, he would be facing such insuperable odds as are stacked against him in his current court-martial. I am increasingly sympathetic to Julian Assange‘s actions in seeking to avoid what he believes is inevitable extradition to the USA by holing up in the Ecuadorian embassy. All three men have in common that they are or were public activists against the American establishment. What they have said threatens the powerful, and the action against them seems at once designed to ensure that they should be broken, silenced and that a message is sent to others that if they act similarly they will face the same fate. If this is not tyranny, I don’t know what is.

13 December 2012
Broadcast versus Internet
by Neil Humphrey
 sub-topic» General

So then, I have given up on TV. Do I then, now live my life in isolation from other people and their ideas? Not at all. I use the Internet.

07 December 2012
BBC bias more worrying than Savile scandal
by Brian Monteith
 sub-topic» General

IMAGINE for a moment that it was discovered, by chance, that six years ago the BBC had a high-level meeting of its executives and a group of “the best constitutional experts” to determine the policy of the BBC in reporting the ongoing debate about Scotland’s future governance Imagine that body said – unanimously – that maintaining the United Kingdom with Scotland as a member is the only model that should shape its editorial approach.

Even more unbelievable (surely) would be if the group consisted of only those who supported Scotland remaining in the union. It would (surely) be incomprehensible that the BBC would behave in such a way.

18 November 2012
Here's a BBC scandal that should really make you disgusted
by James Delingpole
 sub-topic» General

So who were all these ‘best scientific experts’ who did so much to shape the BBC’s climate policy (and by extension, one fears, government policy too…)? Well, two were from Greenpeace; one was from Stop Climate Chaos; one was a CO2 reduction expert from BP; one was from Npower Renewables; one came from the left-leaning New Economics Foundation… Only five of those present could, in any way, be considered scientists with disciplines even vaguely relevant to ‘climate change’. And of these, every one had a track record of climate alarmism. No wonder the BBC tried so hard to keep the list of 28 a secret. Its claim that its policy change was based on the ‘best scientific’ expertise turns out to have been a massive lie.

You pay for this propaganda with your compulsory licence fee. You pay for it again — and how! — through the myriad costly measures which have been adopted by successive governments to ‘combat climate change’. If this doesn’t make you angry and disgusted and determined to see root and branch reform of this mendacious, incompetent and institutionally corrupt organisation, I should very much like to know why.

16 November 2012
What to do with the BBC?
by Richard S. Courtney
 sub-topic» General

This is far, far more serious than the ‘Jimmy Saville Affair’. The BBC having abandoned its Charter can have far-reaching and long-lasting effects on UK culture, governance and security.

The BBC needs a root-and-branch reorganisation. Those responsible for the usurpation of the BBC need to be imprisoned as a warning to others who may want to usurp the BBC or any other national institution.

And if the BBC cannot be corrected then it needs to be abolished before its corrupted condition can do additional harm.

02 October 2012
Talking to Statists
by Lou
 sub-topic» General

The problem with most statists is that they want every intricate detail about how everything will function in LibPar. That is not possible as we cannot centrally plan a free market and individual liberty. When somebody asks, “Who will build the roads?” their little statist brains cannot comprehend “road builders” as an answer. We have to dumb it down for them and deal with their fears of freedom. The best way to do this is with the Socratic Teaching Method. For any of these government services that they cling to so much, we could ask them simple questions such as:

22 May 2012
Dead-Tree Luddites
by Genevieve LaGreca
 sub-topic» General

The Luddite tone of the attacks against Amazon rings like the following: The electric light will replace the candle. The car will replace the horse and buggy. The cure for tuberculosis will put the sanatoriums out of business. The computer will replace the typewriter.

The statist element lies in the attackers' desire to enlist the police power of the state to stifle the competition and artificially prop up their businesses.

10 March 2012
Fear is Spreading
The Evidence is There!
by OldRightie
 sub-topic» General

Now we bloggers must keep this all in view. Slowly people will realise that if you want any semblance of truth and understanding, the internet is where it's at. Rather than stare at the bias of the colluding media those sycophants should be as much in the firing line of invective as those crooked political and corporate gangsters.