Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Everything is Going According to Plan—The Book

Six months ago I started publishing my weekly blog posts behind a paywall. Over the intervening months I have accumulated well over a thousand subscribers, most of whom pledge the minimum $1 per month. After all the fees (PayPal, Visa/Mastercard, etc., plus 5% for Patreon's service), this nets me just 77 cents. This rather minimal amount has had some wonderful effects. First, I no longer have to fight off trolls and filter spam from the comments. Second, the quality of the comments, which are now hidden behind the paywall, has improved greatly and now make very interesting reading, often as interesting as the blog posts themselves. Third, even this little bit of extra income has given me some needed breathing space, allowing me to devote more time to writing longer, more detailed, better researched weekly articles. The result is that over the past six months I have written over 300 printed pages, which I am now bringing out in paper book form. I hope that this book will please all those who have balked at making a monthly pledge but won't balk at buying a paper book.

At present the book is only available through CreateSpace, which works well within the US and hardly at all for foreign orders. If you are outside the US, please wait a couple of days, until it becomes available worldwide on Amazon. Thank you for your support.


PM said...

Will there be a Kindle edition? I do not have a credit card, and no plans to get one- and I can't figure out not credit card payments on Patreon. I would probably end up ordering the paper book- but a Kindle book requires less patience... :)

Dmitry Orlov said...

There may be a Kindle edition eventually. The point of publishing paper books is having paper books out there that people can lend to each other. "Owning" a Kindle book is like owning a can of air.

Klaus Roeben said...

Dear Sir!

Any chance to pay / donate circumventing patreon, paypal and credfir cards?
Wire transfer possible?

Best regards,

Don Stewart said...

This relates to your book on the Technosphere. You have some practical suggestions for deciding what might be a good application of technology and what might be a bad application. But there is not much theory that I could detect.

Let me call to your attention the very recently published The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains by Robert Lustig, MD. Lustig is a veteran neurobiology researcher and medical doctor, currently at the University of California in San Francisco.

The gist of his argument is that mental states promoted by the neurotransmitter dopamine lead to pleasure, while mental states promoted by serotonin lead to happiness. While we need both pleasure and happiness, at the present time in the United States (and around the world), our environment is strongly tilting the scales toward pleasure, which is fleeting and likely addictive, and away from happiness, which is long lasting and not addictive. Corporations and governments enter the picture by trying to sell us things which are supposed to give us pleasure, so that they can make a profit. But happiness is generated by the things which cannot be bought.

While I do have a few quibbles about Lustig's conclusions, I believe he is on the right track. I think he fleshes out your book with some neuroscience.

For what it is worth....Don Stewart

PM said...

You are perfectly right, of course. My problem is that I carry my Kindle everywhere, so books on Kindle get read, unlike paper books which sit at home in TBR piles. It is only a matter if time before Amazon starts censoring content like Youtube, the only reason they are not doing it already is that the number if people who read politically relevant material is tiny.

Dmitry Orlov said...

Klaus -

This is a question for Patreon, not for me. All I get from Patreon is a monthly wire transfer. There is not much transparency into their process (how they calculate processing fees is a mystery) and no way to influence it. Those who don't have a credit card should work on getting one before reading what I write, as assigned homework, since a minimal level of financial literacy is a requirement. Make sure that it's zero-fee (through a nonprofit credit union, for example; don't ever use banks) and never, ever revolve a balance.

Don -

I am aware of this book. It talks about the effect of distractions: infotainment, social media, etc. My book talks about things that ARE NOT distractions but parts of real life. Choosing the right technology to distract yourself from what you should be doing with your life in order to provide your children and grandchildren with a prosperous, survivable future is not interesting to me. And if you do succeed in this, you won't need artificial, corporate-provided sources of serotonin or dopamine.

PM -

I don't think that a 16-oz. book is too much weight to carry around with you. I'd rather optimize for longevity and actual ownership of media rather than weight or convenience.

Marc Brun said...

As a matter of principle I never pay for content in the web, which means that I did not pay the 1 dollar Patreon fee. It is a pity because I like your articles very much and I have been reading them for a while (I also made some comments a few times) but...I could not resist buying the book. I prefer to pay the 20 dollars I paid for the book than 1 dollar through Patreon. I bought it last week and it is arriving last week of September. I am looking forward to read what I did not read during the last couple of months !!!!!