Hugh Howey posted a blog today titled “The Greatest Threat” which echoes some of what I’ve been thinking.
I don’t generally post much political stuff here, but I really don’t think this is political. It’s just common-sense. Give it a read, if you believe (or if you don’t believe) that income inequality in our country is a serious problem.
I’ve been hammering on this theme for a long time, even since high school (spurred on, among other things, by goodwill visits to farm laborers’ camps). Howey’s a bit more famous, so maybe his words will get more resonance. I discussed this with Nobel prize winner Abdus Salam (1979) in a different way, leading to his contention that if the U.S. would just share the cost of one McDonald’s meal per day, there would be no starvation in the Third World. Howey’s speaking specifically to the situation in the developed world and specifically the U.S., but we must reach out a bit farther–famine and starvation should be a thing of the past.
I’d invite all your readers to go to the NASA photos and see the photos of that spinning orb we call Earth. We’re all in this together. I was reviewing Vonnegut’s Man without a Country yesterday (for some quotes). He basically said the same thing, and more pessimistically that we’re all going down together if we keep going as we are.
BTW, I just learned in a Goodreads discussion group that Howey has some kind of project that tracks books and their reviews on Amazon using some hefty computer power. Know anything about that? I haven’t had time to investigate it more. Of course, Amazon has all that data and has completely mined it, I’m sure, but they’re not telling anyone about the results. I was suggesting on GR that after some average number of reviews, nothing new is said. I don’t read many reviews, but I’ve scanned the “bandwagon” cases like those for Howey’s Wool, so I’ll refine my conjecture here: after some average number of reviews, nothing new is said, in the sense they’re either repeating what others have said, or are zero content.
Guess that’s all a wee bit political too? 😉
Re: Howey’s project: The only thing I know about is the Author Earnings project, where Hugh and an anonymous guy who goes by the handle Data Guy have been taking snapshots of sales at Amazon over the course of the last couple of years. They did some at B&N as well. Is that what you’re referring to? I don’t think it has anything to do with reviews, only with sales. You should check in at The Passive Voice on occasion. I make it a stop almost every day. 80% of what he links to isn’t of much interest to me, but every once in a while he links to an article that really grabs me. They always link to the Author Earnings reports. Their discussions are informative, although I rarely get involved too much.
I’ve been trying to convince people that the income disparity and the accumulation of wealth by fewer and fewer people (and the subsequent removal of wealth from the rest of us) is the most important issue. But so many people seem to be sold on the idea that the way to redistribute wealth and pull up the bottom 99% is by reducing the taxes on the wealthy. I don’t get it myself.
Inre the last paragraph: you’re talking to the wrong people. Young Sanders supporters and many others know trickle-down is malarkey. That and other myths have been created by the one-percenters to try to pacify the 99%–it doesn’t work anymore.
Inre that Howey project, I think you eliminated my confusion. I don’t see how sales data can help indie authors or any other authors at all, except make most of us feel bad!