Threads for sehqlr

  1. 7

    Can we just stop storing programs as 1-dimensional strings of ascii, and then all this stupidity will go away, everybody can project it however they like locally.

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      A thousand times yes!

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      I want this but as a calendar: it syncs family calendars, and cycles through family photos and/or other image galleries

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        ah yes, much more functional.

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        I’m increasingly convinced that the problem isn’t tabs, spaces, or indentation characters, but treating text as the canonical representation. Byte streams are easy and portable, but what would happen if we built something more structured? The entire problem goes away.

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          It would but the problem is that tooling is frequently proprietary and bytestreams are notoriously opaque. It would probably be a bad thing if languages represented themselves in non-human readable formats because it would probably indicate a single business controlling the language to the point where you have to purchase their editor to use it. Autoformatters also fix this problem and offer none of the risks.

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            At one of our local meetups, we’ve kicked around the idea of storing source code in a database of some kind. Either a specialized document database or a RDBMS with lots of SQL functions.

            One function this system would have is to prettyprint the source into a directory of text files for editors, compilers, and other tools that expect that. But then, you could do other things, like program slicing, with a SELECT query.

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              I’m working on a prototype and for my MVP I’m just storing the “file” as a directory. Subdirectories mean subsections of the hierarchy. It’s opening up some interesting ideas but I don’t have enough to fully form an opinion on it yet.

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            Here is a link to a computerphile video where they talk about this technology in the first 4:45

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              I don’t totally agree with Stallman on a lot of things but I’m extremely impressed with how much common sense is being applied here. This approach is a lot better than the various codes of conduct bolted on to so many open source projects. Many CoCs are somewhat authoritarian in their tone in that they simply tell you what you can and cannot do without offering any advice about effective communication. (Worse, some projects require you to agree to the CoC, which makes it a binding and enforceable contract whether you realize it or not.)

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                It is my understanding that CoCs are meant to communicate in clear language what a community will and will not accept, and the consequences of unacceptable behavior. And perhaps all communities converge to something like a CoC even if it isn’t explicit, e.g. “Do what you like, we don’t moderate here.” Perhaps community organizers can have CoCs and communication guidelines side-by-side and cross-referenced, so that the guidelines come first and the CoC is there for when boundaries are crossed?

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                  The original motivation by the author of Contributor Covenant was forcing far left politics on folks everywhere. When such people get one passed, they use its broad language to do that. They just talk about obviously bad stuff that few would argue with in lead up to it. Hence, the strong opposition.

                  There’s also folks who saw the trend, didnt know/share the political goals, liked emforcing civility, and added one to their project for that reason. That happens, too. Most of the enforcement interpretation comes down to moderators and/or vocal members, though.

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                    forcing far left politics on folks everywhere

                    That’s not what far-left politics is, it’s pretty milquetoast liberalism.

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                      I’m not familiar with this word. The dictionary definition doesn’t help me much; what does it mean in the context of politics?

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                        It means ineffective or inoffensive.

                      2. 0

                        It depends on who you ask. Maybe geographical area, too. I honestly don’t follow all the terms closely since they themselves become part of political battle and sophism. I try to simplify. Most of what leftists call right-leaning people all oppose that kind of politics. So, it’s best to call it leftist politics of some sort. Most liberals I meet aren’t for systematically controlling peoples’ speech or banning them in every forum or place for their casual remarks in one. Obviously, there’s exceptions where people flip out over something like an N-bomb exposing what person might really think on inside. Most of the time, though, the liberals out here and in lots of places don’t go that far with enforcement. They’re also willing to make practical tradeoffs for greater good even if it sacrifices a bit of ideological purity in decision-making.

                        So, these people that put ideology above everything and want universal, constant, severe enforcement are a rare breed compared to majority. At least, from what I can tell. I’d love carefully-worded surveys to get more objective data. If they’re rare, leftist, and stronger on ideology than most, then calling them far leftist is a fair description even if not precise. I think radical leftists or leftist extremists is even better showing the fact that many leftists would argue with their position or actions even supporting their goals. Some might even distance themselves from them in business or politics.

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                          This conversation isn’t going anywhere because your understanding of the left is so wildly different than mine. For me, far-left means socialist or communist, not people who shout things on Twitter. I suggest you read Exiting the vampire’s castle by the late Mark Fisher if you want to learn more about this distinction.

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                            Thanks for the reference. Maybe the term has multiple meanings in practice with people using it relative to their own political stances. I might stick with radicals or extremists to avoid confusion.

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                            The use of coercion to make people adhere to their own worldviews is not exclusive to either side of the traditional political spectrum but an orthogonal dimension entirely. There’s a long but ultimately good explanation at

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                              Most political theorising and philosophical discourse happens in the anglosphere. And the anglosphere is mostly, by numbers, the United States.

                              There are texts that haven’t even been translated into English that are valuable pieces political theory. Especially from the left. Don’t even get me started on philosophy.

                              Also, Scott Alexander is garbage and if you want any kind of actual political insight you should not be reading him or reactions to him. His personal politics boil down to GamerGate for nerds. Of all the armchair social “theory”, only Moloch is a somewhat good text, but it’s also just a distillation of small bits of Nick Land’s philosophy. If you’re looking for actual insight, read the things that he hates.

                              All this talk of “axes” and “spectrums” are totally useless and trivial, appealing only to people who view politics as some kind of an internet ideological picnic. They get infatuated with ideas themselves, without wider philosophical, historical, and material context, they view them as identity badges, and that leads to confusions and perversions like the political compasses.

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                                re “why do people who want laissez-faire free trade empirically also prefer a strong military”

                                I’ve countered them with exactly that! I told them I don’t support the troops. “What? What?” I told them military wastes money constantly on stuff that’s useless in general or against today’s threats. Most bases and deployments are unnecessary even to a lot of military people. The companies wasting money are protected year after year. None of this is like free market where you have to get useful to people or perish. Then, I suggest maybe they can pay out of their taxes for all the extra bullshit and waste they want while people like me force competition among lean defense contractors that deliver only useful, necessary stuff. We’ll pay less, too. They’re always so shocked and pissed at the concept despite some agreement.

                                re “The common thing between leftists is utilitarianism.”

                                I have said the right is about individualism: follow personal opportunity and responsibility even if failure can kill you. If left is opposite, then them being utilitarian would seem to follow. Liberals out here being willing to loose something every year to improve society’s baseline is something that differentiates us from conservatives. That said, it falls apart with the charitable aspects of conservatives where they’re fine helping people so long as it’s their own private donations given to their choice of recipients. The churches are also usually centers of charity and support in smaller towns, too. They also believe pushing people hard to do their best improves the baseline much like we liberals do with socialist-type activities.

                                So, even this fails to really categorize them.

                                re article in general

                                Emotional, herd behavior as described in the article seem to fit best. Yeah, I might drop left and right for general discussions since their meaning is too diluted. Thanks for this article that does an excellent job illustrating that, too. I’ll keep it.

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                                  Liberals out here being willing to loose something every year to improve society’s baseline is something that differentiates us from conservatives.

                                  Please stop using these terms like an American, even if you are one. It’s incredibly annoying to see people that say things like ‘liberals hate the free market’.

                          3. 5

                            Most of the strong opposition I’ve seen has been an amorphous blob without much substance to them but vitriol.

                            Yes, I think Coraline handled this poorly, but after the backlash and personal attacks against her I think that’s kind of understandable. I also think the flashpoint of this backlash (Linus) is kind of indicative as well. Linus was a dick. He often provided an entertaining display of brutal honestly which people unconnected to the issue at hand would latch onto. They wouldn’t care about the issue being argued, only Linus’s display of maleficent brutality. I’m cool if you call my idea stupid. I’m less cool when you start calling me ugly.

                            Sooo @nickpsecurity is there anything specific argument you have against these CoC’s?

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                              The CoC’s are specifically designed to enforce one type of politics from a leftist minority in every space on Earth they can. This includes the usual language policing where a tiny portion of America, who may not even be contributors or minority members, attempt to police everyone else’s speech based on their interpretation of what discriminatory or offensive speech is. Even if there’s no overall consensus on that or disagreement by majority and/or dissent by many minority members on specific claims. Despite being “pro” minorities, the minority members who disagree will themselves be chastised or ejected for supporting discrimination. And finally, the author pushes for projects taking up the CoC to enforce it everywhere: good, inclusive behavior in a project doesn’t count if you said something their type of politics doesn’t like on another forum. The best example, where she and her pals showed true colors, was OpalGate with highlight being them trying to set maintainer up to look like they supported child molesters. As usual, they wanted their rules enforced and major contributor removed for ideological reasons with nothing in return for project.

                              A group of them also put me on trial here wanting me banned with one going after user tree. I stopped doing invites to avoid others being targeted and harassed via association with me. I knew political suppression would follow adoption of a CoC that’s designed for political suppression. Like in other situations, those pushing the CoC only talked about over abuses nobody would argue with. Since it’s activism or war to them, they’re always dishonest when getting them adopted (end justifies means). They rarely straight-up say: this is a tool to enforce a specific set of political beliefs about speech, actions, and affiliations on everyone in the project in every space they inhabit with non-conformance leading to admonishment and/or ejection from all with our rules. That’s how they try to use them, though, once adopted. So, I oppose them so such sneaky manipulators have less leverage over their targets.

                              Stallman’s looks really good overall since it just encourages kind and wise behavior. That’s the kind of merit-based, but with kindness and respect, CoC that I was promoting in the past. You don’t need leftist extremist setup to block many bad behaviors in project guidelines. He just illustrated that nicely.

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                                Again: is there specific arguement you have against the CoC?

                                Most of your complaints listed thus far seem to be focused on the personal actions of individuals, not the conduct of the organizations. Paradoxically, this is what you are arguing these people are trying to police.

                                The CoC is scoped to interactions of the organization (both internally and while representing the organization).

                                This Code of Conduct applies both within project spaces and in public spaces when an individual is representing the project or its community. Examples of representing a project or community include using an official project e-mail address, posting via an official social media account, or acting as an appointed representative at an online or offline event…

                                You are free to be racist, sexist, or transphobic. It just says don’t do it when you are working in an official capacity.

                                The best example, where she and her pals showed true colors, was OpalGate with highlight being them trying to set maintainer up to look like they supported child molesters.

                                This was a personal action by Coraline to petition the project to remove an very anti-trans contributor. Also they did not try to frame the maintainer to supporter of child molester. When meh declined, they asked what level of behavior would merit ejection. e.g. being a neo-nazi, a rapist, or a child molester.

                                The entire thing very quickly turned into a shit show when people from unrelated to the project flooded arguing there support or in disagreement of the original verdict by meh.

                                Coraline emailed the owner of the project apologizing for the mess, as well as to Elia (the person she petitioned to be removed).

                                A group of them also put me on trial here wanting me banned with one going after user tree. I stopped doing invites to avoid others being targeted and harassed via association with me.

                                Yeah and some people are just dicks. I don’t know what the background on this is, but if they are harassing you, then report then. That is why things like CoCs - exist to codify the conduct between individuals.

                                There is no far left cabal trying to undemocratically control the behavior of people, or at least this isn’t it.

                            2. 3

                              When such people get one passed, they use its broad language to do that.

                              I understand that this is a popular theory among people who oppose the Contributor Covenant. Is there any evidence for it?

                              Most of the enforcement interpretation comes down to moderators and/or vocal members, though.

                              This seems like the “bottom line” for all projects. Accepting a CoC written by someone else isn’t giving up the existing project/community and their standards, it’s just encoding them in a more formal way than most projects have (up until now).

                              1. 2

                                Answered that here.

                                “Accepting a CoC written by someone else isn’t giving up the existing project/community and their standards, it’s just encoding them in a more formal way than most projects have (up until now).”

                                It really doesn’t since most don’t want political domination and control according to specific views by specific groups of people who might not be contributors. That’s what the CoC was designed for, though, as I say in my other comment. The next move they try is getting people that think like them in enforcement positions. Whatever original reason for adoption, the CoC becomes a tool for them to achieve their political goals. Even if those aren’t there yet, they can always get in later to use CoC for its intended purpose.

                                That’s what Ehmke did at Github with quite a backlash. I bet Github’s management weren’t told of Ehmke’s actual goals either: probably just the regular BS of “we’re only trying to stop trolls and haters doing things like N-bombs or saying women can’t code.” Who would argue with a need for better moderation or stopping such people? Hardly anyone with sense given all the toxic behavior. Then, she recruits a crew like her… that would enforce their views on the masses and ignore the outgroups’ complaints. Outgroup mostly being straight, white males that she vilifies that are a huge chunk of tech projects. Politically antagonizing them might mean reducing market share, impact, or image of any tech-focused service she’s working for as they switch sites or services. I bet she didn’t tell executives she intended to cause that and was OK with such results given their ideology trumps everything. In her later write-up, she said all the hate that came in was just because she was trans person basically trying to make people nicer and more inclusive. Nothing more.

                                Den of jackals they are. I consider any rules they create to be tainted and subversive by default. Double so if I see them used for political subversion. Let each community make their own rules codified from their existing practices like you said. They can draw on language from any source. Just be honest about goals, discuss it, vote on it, and so on. Then, what sticks they commit to. Lobsters already has a non-political-domination CoC that I follow: unwritten but illustrated by admin/mod responses to comments in various threads. It maintains civility and reduces visibility of problematic comments without outright suppression of dissent. Bans are only when necessary about behavior on this site, not others with other rules. Much better. As usual, I’ll add that the fact that this site runs so well is an argument in favor of such non-political CoC’s being able to do the job. Add Stallman’s to the list or as a start on another one.

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                                  I can see that you feel very strongly about this, and I don’t want to inflame this argument at all, but I do want to point a couple of things out.

                                  The replies above mention a number of examples of things Coraline Ada-Ehmke or “her people” have done. For the most part, they don’t involve adoption of CoCs or the Contributor Covenant.

                                  In the “OpalGate” thread I agree a lot of unpleasant and angry things got said. I suggest a substantial part of that was people arguing from the basis of what they personally felt the project’s standards should be, and “arguing past each other” as a result. In the end the maintainers adopted a code of conduct for the project which clarified “the standard this project will be run against”. The person who was the subject of the original post is still a core maintainer today. This seems to me like a pretty mild outcome - the project’s standards are no longer in dispute, and noone got banned…?

                                  (I’m not arguing that the ends necessarily justified the means here, but I am genuinely trying to understand what the catastrophic consequences of adopting CoCs are, as I don’t see them.)

                                  Regarding the actual Contributor Covenant, I’ve read it carefully a number of times now and I don’t see how “thin end of the wedge” or “far-left politics” arguments follow from the text of the actual document. It has a Scope section which clearly excludes people’s activities outside the project. Under “Our Responsibilities” it makes it clear that banning is only one possible outcome and is entirely at the discretion of project maintainers. These are the same fundamental power relationships that a project without a CoC has, only now it’s made clear rather than implicit/vague.

                            3. 1

                              Nobody ever had a problem with projects that had rules. Everything had rules. Forums had rules, mailing lists had rules, IRC channels had rules. People had issues with specific rules, but if I’ve ever seen a complaint about the very idea of having rules I don’t remember it.

                              The backlash against contributor covenants is not as simply as people not wanting rules. Having rules against being racist or sexist or whatever isn’t new or unusual or what people have a problem with. What people usually have a problem with is when they’re busy minding their own business writing code and someone turns up and demands they accept a list of rules that they’ve written, usually based on some grievance they have with someone in the project for something they’ve done outside the project.

                              Frankly, people don’t like being told what they should be doing and why what they’re doing is wrong by people that aren’t part of their community. And that’s the very essence of contributor convenants: you should do things in this way because we say so, and because if you don’t you’re an evil sexist white male chauvinist pig that likes pushing women away from projects and it’s your fault that women earn less.

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                            One thing I’d like to ask the author: do you need “to lead instead of follow” in order to want to learn something? Or was that just a rhetorical device?

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                              I linked this thread to the author, and he replied:

                              It was contextual. Same for “to create instead of build.”

                              Nothing against builders or followers. But I was aiming against the usual, “don’t do that!” response I see to everyone trying new things. Specifically the recent article doing the rounds about running a website in C++ (spoiler alert: aside from this forum, my site runs on C++ code.)

                              I was saying, do you want to follow others’ advice, or try something new and learn for yourself? Maybe C++ ends up going badly for you, in which case you learn why, and can apply those lessons going forward, instead of just parroting others’ advice not to even try. Maybe it goes well for you, in which case you have something exciting and potentially innovative on your hands.

                              I was saying, do you want to just incrementally build websites based on what everyone else has done? Eg maintain yet another Wordpress blog, maybe monkey patch in a client feature request or two? To copy everyone else and try to deploy whatever JS framework is handy this week? Or would you rather work on a framework and understand your craft on a more fundamental level?

                              My own experiences are that the deeper I go into computer science, the more sheer fun I have. The most exciting time I can remember programming was working on a language of my own. It didn’t bear fruit, but what I learned transformed my GUI toolkit (among other things) into something far more robust. And the more I work on these things, the more I recognize how unbelievably bloated every last thing in computer science has become. It’s refreshing to shed away decades of cruft and just start fresh. To see how much you can do with 1/20th the code. Eg I just wrote a fancy cross-platform CRUD application with lots of input validation in 400 lines … of C++ code! I can parse PNG images in 16KiB of code from two headers … no need for 400KiB of zlib and 300KiB of libpng. I have a functional IPv4+6 web server in 200 lines of code. A high-quality audio IIR filter in 3.8KiB of code. A delta-patching format you can describe in full on a postcard. And every time I hear, “but you could have just used $library!” And yeah, I could have. And I would have added lots of dependencies making the code harder to build, and I will have learned nothing meaningful in the process. No thank you.

                              I understand there are coders that just wanna get paid. Surely, the least amount of work is the easiest way to do that. But I was appealing to people who enjoy programming as an art: don’t let other people convince you to be a worker bee when you could have so much more fun experimenting. One thing is for certain: nobody’s ever going to remember the 9-5 office worker who maintained But they sure will remember Daniel Bernstein, or John Carmack, or Bjarne Stroustrup.

                              I also understand it’s not a good idea to deploy your own homegrown Caeser cipher out at your job at Wells Fargo. I’m talking about applications where safety and job security aren’t on the line here. Someone has to learn how to write crypto libraries. If we all leave it to the OpenSSL guys then we get a software monoculture that screws us all when, surprise!, they’re not perfect either and now everyone has to deal with Heartbleed.

                              But, look how fast my site loads. You click that article link and the page is there in 20 milliseconds. Now go try a web 3.0 darling like Slack, and you’re sitting there twiddling your thumbs for 20 seconds while the chat loads. Is my C++ on the web approach really worse than that?

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                              I thought for a second this was a poem ?

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                                I’m writing a book, which is giving me a perspective on various technologies as a client rather than as a producer. I also find myself (perhaps surprisingly, because I’m also a programmer both by trade and tribe, and its corporate culture seems so toxic) cheering on Amazon.

                                For those who don’t know the book publishing industry, it’s fucked up in an ungodly number of ways. It’s also hard to assess blame because most of the fucked-up-ness hurts publishers (e.g. the consignment model) as much as it hurts writers. It’s not like those editors and agents (about whom unsuccessful writers love to complain) are living high on the hog. They’re not. There’s a relationship-driven, feudalistic aspect of the publishing business that hurts almost everyone (not to mention the quality of the product) and that includes 95+ percent of the people who work at literary agents or publishing houses. Moreover, studying this industry makes you realize that the chain bookstores (that Amazon killed) were never sympathetic characters. They had the chance to change their business model, and they didn’t, and now they’re dead.

                                I don’t know whether I’ll use a traditional/“trade” publisher or self-publish. It’s still too early to make that call. I am very glad, as a writer, that Amazon exists. They’re at war with the Ivy Cliques and Boomer Cliques that run the publishing world. Trust me; this is a good thing. It will always be hard for writers to make enough money to support themselves, because there will always be an oversupply of mediocre talent, but it’s gone from almost impossible to merely very difficult. In the old world, you waited a year to get an agent, then two more to get published, accepted an advance that didn’t remotely cover your costs, and unless you were well-connected, got neither reviews nor advertising. It sucked, and you could lose your livelihood if your agent fucked up a contract (or if you were dumb enough to go bareback) or if your book didn’t get reviewed in the right places. In the new world, people can self-publish. People don’t have to take deals that can endanger their career (e.g. by locking up rights, or by tying their reputations to a publisher who won’t do a good job). It still takes a hell of a lot of work to get to the point where you can live off your writing (probably 10-20 years for average publishable talent) but you’re less likely to have your progress erased because someone in publicity fucked up and your third book didn’t sell and you got dropped by publisher and agent in the same week.

                                To put fairly accurate numbers on it, the old world would tend to offer you a $5000 advance for your first book. If that number sounds shitty, well… (a) it is, but (b) the advance shouldn’t matter if all goes well, because you’ll earn more in royalties unless either your book sucks or your publisher fucks up promoting it. (Both are frequent and kill many a book, but who got blamed? The author.) Unfortunately, 70% of books don’t even make enough royalties to earn back the advance. So, you’d often get one or two small advances, then be dumped by your publisher, then lose your agent, and be fucked forever in publishing. In the new world, you can start over. There’s more risk (because you have to pay for an editor, and cover art) and your floor is zero sales instead of a $5,000 advance, but there’s more upside unless you get the star package (book tour, six-figure publicity budget, executives personally calling in favors to get you reviewed) that very few authors get. Really, the only reason in fiction (non-fiction is different) to go with trade publishing is if you get that star package.

                                Amazon is at war with trade publishing. I don’t want either side to win. I want both sides to stay in existence so there’s genuine competition. It was bad for writers under the Ivy Cliques in New York, but it’ll probably be just as bad if one company ends up in a dominant position.

                                It’s unclear what self-publishing (or trade publishing) will look like in 10 years, and undoubtedly Amazon has a scary amount of power, but right now, it’s hard to argue against the claim that Amazon’s influence is positive. In a business where authors were lucky to get 15% royalties, Amazon is offering 70%. [1]

                                I don’t have a seething hatred for trade publishing. I recognize its purpose. [2] It has a lot to offer society, and it provides important jobs, and it would be a shame if it disappeared outright. I do, however, like the idea of taking a sledgehammer to entrenched cliques that make everything terrible.

                                [1] That’s not quite a fair comparison, because e-books have no marginal cost and print books do; it would be impossible for authors to collect 70%– that would put bookstores and publishers out of business. However, most trade publishers only offer 25% e-book royalties. So Amazon is offering almost three times as much. Andrew Wylie (the most powerful literary agent) tried to get the trades up to 50%, to no avail.

                                [2] Self-publishing will probably, over the next twenty years, win in fiction. In fact, many fiction authors plan on trade-publishing their first book (to prove to the world that they have the talent) but then self-publish once they have a platform. However, there are niches where the trade publishers add a lot of value. In historical nonfiction and biography, the publishers’ fact-checking services are invaluable… and, to be fair to them, under-compensated. Fact-checking a biography of an obscure 19th-century attorney that’ll sell 250 copies is a genuine public service.

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                                  Your second footnote sparked a question: could fact-checking books become it’s own thing?

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                                  Anyone know what those nifty monitor thingies they’re using are?

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                                    It’s the pi-top CEED.