Utterly Ignorant Dreck

Passive Guy linked yesterday to an appalling example of ignorant pessimism.

Read it, if you have a strong stomach, and a strong tolerance for BS.

I can’t fully express how idiotic this speech, or whatever it is, is.  The guy goes off into so many ludicrous cliches and unsupported claims that it’s ridiculous.  Yet he is given a pedestal to speak from as though he knows what the hell he’s talking about.

PG did a good job pulling the rug out from under some of his more silly claims, but I felt the need to comment further.  Here’s what I wrote on his blog:

I haven’t read the other 53 comments, so I apologize if this is repetitive.

Man, this guy is totally full of crap. Completely. Utterly.

Hmm, here’s a thought. If a writer doesn’t earn enough from writing alone he’ll…get a day job. (gasp) Gee, I seem to have heard somewhere that many “professional” writers do that now, and have done that for the entirety of the last 50 years that he regards as nirvana.

Frankly, as a guy who’s just getting started, I’d definitely entertain taking NO advance, in favor of higher royalty rates, on a brand new book. Because A) I already have a professional career that pays pretty well. And B) I understand finance, and I can do basic math. And unless the advance is a LOT higher than most publishers will probably be willing to pay, a revenue stream from strong sales over the “long tail” that the speaker so derides could be quite a bit more than a measly $10k or whatever. Now, for a book I already have a sales history on, via indie publishing or something else, they’d damn well better pay me an advance greater than the NPV of my expected future cash flow stream from said book, or be a LOT more generous with royalties, or do something else to sweeten the pot. But that’s not the point of this particular rant.

Moving right along, I’ve heard this “everything will be free” meme before, from multiple places, and it’s utter bunk. Just because a thing is digital doesn’t mean it costs nothing to make. And if people spend money to make a thing, they’re damn well going to expect to be repaid, otherwise they won’t make it any more. Sure some writers will go the “free with ads” route, or some other piece of stupidity like that. But those won’t be the people who take themselves seriously. And since they don’t take themselves seriously, no one else will. And guess what? They won’t make any money from their writing. Big shocker there.

This diatribe contains an almost complete ignorance of history, economics, and business, and an appalling eagerness to adopt tyranny as a “solution”. As though political “solutions” to economic matters ever result in anything other than decreased freedom, decreased choice, decreased quality, and decreased standard of living for the very people who the “solutions” claim to help.

Guys and gals with his mindset should be mocked off the stage, tarred and feathered, and run out of town on a rail.

I need a drink.

I’m serious about that tyranny bit.  It’s unbelievable how quickly people of a certain mindset endorse laws and rules that shackle their fellow man, when those people think they will gain from it.  Rather than take the time and expend the effort to learn how the economic world really works, rather than have faith in their fellow man to take care of himself or help his neighbor take care of himself, rather that doing any work themselves to help make the situation better, and rather than spend a few minutes to learn, from history, the inevitable and horrible results that will come from these sorts of laws and rules, these sorts of shallow-minded, lazy, heartless, and downright evil people will instead entreat the most corrupt and vicious among us (the political class) to bind the rest of us in amoral and unjust laws.  And then, when inevitably those laws fail to achieve the result that these people thought they would, instead of blaming the laws, these people blame the marketplace all over again, and just make things worse with further tinkering.

And then, years down the road, they wonder why they’re living in a poverty-filled police state.

It’s happened before, too many times to count.  Too many people seem hell-bent on making sure it will happen again.