By the time this posts the election will be over and well good riddance. Moving on…
I’ll get to what I came to post about in a minute, but first a sidebar. I got an email today saying I’d gotten a new subscriber. Every time someone subscribes I get an email, I just haven’t been paying attention to them. Since, I came to make a new post anyway I figured I’d check on the situation. There are actually more of you than I expected. I thought maybe it was fake accounts set up to spam the comment section (I realize that sounds cynical, but when you’ve dealt with as many sites as I have behind the scenes it becomes expected), but I went and checked and low and behold no comments awaiting approval. So, without any evidence to the contrary I’m going to assume they’re real accounts and say welcome to everyone and enjoy the show.
And now back to our originally schedule programming…
I have two completely unrelated topics that I’m going to pull together in the end and hopefully share a little hope to help us all with our post election state of depression.
First, I’ve mentioned before that I do work on Github. Well today I got two emails which were replies to a major contribution of code/upgrade of a program I’d written and submitted a couple of months ago. The first post was somebody that had come by, seen the work that I did, and basically commented to the owners of the project that if what I implemented was added to the code it would be a massive step forward for the project. That was nice to hear.
I just checked my email again before coming here to post and one of the owners had replied to the post saying that they were reviewing the changes and planning on implementing most of them in an upcoming update. That was exciting, but this time it wasn’t the rush of being recognized. I did that work months ago. I was over it. It was exciting cause the changes I made would make it way easier for other people to contribute in the future, which could potentially make the program grow much faster and become way better. I like this project so it was exciting to see it take a large step in a direction that will hopefully help it explode.
I’ll come back to that…
In other news, I recently signed up for Kindle Unlimited. I had started reading a series and I couldn’t borrow the next book in the series from anywhere, so I considered buying it. When I found it on Amazon, it turned out that it, and the next book in the series, were available from Kindle Unlimited. Since Kindle Unlimited was available to try for free for 30 days and I’d been toying with the idea of trying it out, I figured now was as good a time as any.
A quick review of Kindle Unlimited before I get to the point. Kindle Unlimited is simultaneously disappointing and addicting. It’s disappointing because while it talks about over a million books or something available, you quickly find out how few books you actually want to read are included in that million or whatever. By that I mean, when I finished the two books in the series I originally signed up for I went looking at the other series I was into and I don’t think any of them were on Kindle Unlimited. Even series by authors that were clearly independently publishing. However, I’ve done some research into the economics of publishing under this program and I think more authors are going to start finding that this isn’t the worst deal in the world and might start using it more.
As for it being addicting, when you have a metric ton of books at your fingertips at the click of a button for free it’s really easy to click around to find something you might be interested in. And because it’s free, anything you’re interested in is at least worth checking out. Add to this, that if you’re like me you start only looking for books with three or more books in the series it’s quite easy to look up and realize that you’ve read three books in as many days.
At any rate, I’m rationalizing keeping Kindle Unlimited because the sheer volume of educational books makes it a valuable resource for research purposes.
That was a longer review than I intended, but moving on. I’m reading a series right now by a guy named Michael Anderle. As of this writing he has 12 books on Amazon and they’re all in this same series. To be perfectly honest, under most circumstances I would never recommend this series to anyone. First off it’s sci fi aliens and ai meets vampires and werewolves. I’m ok with that, but most people I’d be recommending a book to wouldn’t be interested. Secondly it’s not terribly inspired writing. If I hadn’t been in the mood to read something easy to get my mind of things, I probably wouldn’t have made it through the first book.
Here’s the thing. The author has written those twelve books in something like a year and half. I’m talking 12 full length novels. That is huge. There is a saying that goes, “sometimes quantity has a quality all it’s own.” That totally applies here. These novels aren’t going to being winning any awards, but putting out a novel in NINE DAYS is utterly amazing. Try it sometime and let me know how that goes for you.
Something this author also does is at the end of each book he has an update about how the whole authoring thing is going for him which is how I know one of the books only took 9 days to write. The reason all this gets a comment here is because, besides this being an amazing feat, in his latest update he talked about the work he was doing to help other authors and how his offer to help kind of grew out of control on him. In addition to helping a ton of authors he let any of them that wanted add a pitch for there books to the end of his book… Just to help them out… For free (as far as I can tell.)
My grandfather swears this never happened, but I’m positive that at about the age of twelve when I told him I wanted to be an author he explained that most authors never made any money and those that did didn’t find success until forty at the earliest. If wanted to be an author I was going to have to find something else to pay the bills until then. I call this “the talk” and I have an ongoing debate about how many of my cousins if any besides me may have gotten “the talk.” The reason I’m pretty sure it happened is because I proceeded to read everything I could about the publishing industry which lead to self publishing which lead to marketing and business in general and eventually to online marketing and programming and on and on.
My point is that while what my grandpa told me was probably true at the time, it’s not any more. Technology is changing everything. It’s funny because in 2008 everyone was talking about how President Obama was using technology to recruit, educate, and mobilize a massive volunteer force for to help him win the election. And yet eight years later this election proves that politicians and probably most of the world still don’t get how much the world is changing. They focus on the trolls and hate mongers on the internet that can stir up a frenzy, but they completely miss that it’s the people who are willing to help out just for the hell it that are actually making things happen.
Some random guy can decide he wants to be an author and no gate keeper can tell him he can’t any more. And since he’s doing what he loves and isn’t cynical from years of trying to get through the system he’s happy to help others when he starts to see some success. Another random guy can add a bunch of code to a project that he saw promise in and breathe life into a project that seemed to be languishing. Anyone can help anyone because nobody can tell them no and that’s the driving force that is changing the world around us.
The “leader of the free world” doesn’t exist any more, because the free world is moving forward on it’s own so fast that anyone trying to lead is just going to get steamrolled. So whatever you think of the election results, whatever they happen to be when this posts two weeks from now, take heart in the fact that it probably doesn’t matter. The majority of the world may not have realized it yet, but the “those that can will” freight train has left the station and those that don’t get out of the way are just going to be run over sooner or later.
P.S. Dave Rubin recently did an interview with the presidential candidate for the Transhumanist Party which was created for the sole purpose of trying to raise awareness for this fact that technology is accelerating at an unfathomable rate, and yet the two presidential candidates aren’t even talking about what earth shattering changes that could be here in the next decade.