Atom Wave: February 2009

Atom Wave

Friday, February 27, 2009

Justice and other Jokes

Don’t expect any sort of new philosophy on this post, no scientific insights. I’m not into that right now. I may not be Batman, but I do have a sense of justice. One well-known secret of the American justice system is that it’s a joke. It frequently victimizes the very people that it is intended to protect.
Take Hale Demar, an upscale homeowner in Wilmette, a wealthy suburb of Chicago. Sometime back during the Christmas of 2003, a burglar broke into his house and received more than he bargained for. Hale, in the simple act of self-defense, shot him. While the burglar was recovering, Hale also received more than he bargained for. You see, the city of Wilmette bans guns, and the local prosecutor was stupid enough to prosecute.
As if that isn’t already fucked up, it is just the beginning. In 2005, Chicago police officer Michael Mette was attacked by 20-year old college student Jake Gothard while attending his brother’s birthday party at his home in Iowa. After being struck three times by Gothard, Mette responded with one firm punch knocking out Gothard. What did officer Mette get for his trouble? He was arrested and convicted of felony assault.
Now I’m old school, should someone attack you and you respond in kind, then you should get a get-out-of-jail free card, except for extraordinary circumstances. You can be sure that there will always be some guy out there who decides to use his own form of vengeance. Instead of simply shooting the burglar, say that some guy decides that it would be fun to drag him down to the basement and torture him for hours.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Driving The Sword Home

Before you get all happy on me, that financial stimulus just passed by Congress won’t mean a damn, in that our perfect monetary firestorm is still far from contained. Mr. Obama did the right thing, pumping money into the economy to sustain my crappy job, but it is by no means a cure. You see, this has already happened.
One of the top tourist destinations of the world, Japan has been down this road before. It all began in 1990 with the implosion of the Japanese Asset Price Bubble that was not too much different from America’s housing bubble. Japan implemented tariffs that encouraged businesses to invest domestically, until the stock market and real estate market gradually fell in what is known as their “lost decade”.
Anyway, after years of false starts they finally figured it out in 2003. It wasn’t until then that the leadership had the balls to do what needed to be done. They had already tried many things before, bank bailouts. You get the deal. They did it driving the sword home, and fully nationalizing failing banks while letting lesser banks collapse. On top of that, they forced surviving banks to brutal audits to bring all the bad debts into the open.
For now, the administration appears unwilling to do what needs to be done.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Immaculate Publishing Machine

The world has changed. Where once authors had to endure the torture of getting their book picked up by a publisher and after many months or years finally released to bookstores where you might buy it, yeah thanks! And as if that wasn’t painful enough, maybe you’d earn a dollar from the sale of a $15 book. Good luck at ever becoming the next Tom Clancy or Dan Brown.
The invention of the podcast has changed the equation. Assuming that you have a decent voice and a quiet space, and maybe even some sound editing tools you can make a half-decent podcast of your novel. Now I know what you’re thinking, “asshole, nobody pays for podcasts!” While that is true, people will pay for an enhanced version of your book should they like it. This is marketing 101; you always give your customer a free sample to draw them in, and after that they might buy more.
In publishing, this field has already been tried and proven by Podiobooks. It’s not just proven, it’s awesome. The first son of a bitch to pull it off is Scott Sigler, whom has not only written books like Nocturnal that grab you by the balls from the very beginning, but are now on the New York Times bestselling list.