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Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Mon Oct 31, 2016 at 01:12:10 AM EST) Reading, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "Dietland", "The Fifth Season". Watching. Me. Links.


What I'm Reading
Dietland, a satirical novel by Sarai Walker. Plum, A fat woman on a perpetual diet, whose job is to answer letters from unhappy teenagers on behalf of a teen magazine, is saving for a stomach operation which she believes will solve her weight problems forever. But when a mysterious stranger writes "DIETLAND" on her hand, she discovers two networks of feminists, one peaceful, one violent.

Plum is an appealing character and it's rewarding to watch her grow. The satire is sharply observed, just exaggerated enough to be fun: "Waist Watchers" and the "Baptist Plan" are squirmingly realistic.

Politically it's all fairly familiar stuff, at times it does seem a little didactic the way you're taken through various Issues.

Overall though, a good read.

What I'm Reading 2
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. SF/Fantasy about a world plagued by earthquakes where civilization is periodically obliterated by tectonic events.

I really liked this book, found it utterly compelling. The characters are well drawn, the SF elements are worked out well, the world is fascinating. There's an element of tragedy that I found quite hard to read at times.

I quite liked the Inheritance Trilogy I read by the same author, but I thought this one was a step above. Just hope she can keep it going through the whole trilogy.

What I'm Watching
Saw Doctor Strange. Good Marvel movie, nice balance between drama and comedy (apparently some of the lines were improvised) and some nice trippy visuals, though it is very CGI-y. Worth a look.

Me
Took toddler to London Zoo, met up with my sister's family. He had a great time but it's very exhausting to keep up with him and then carry him. It was a bit of a tricky journey especially with some transport problems at the weekend: took 2 hours door to door to get there, a bit faster back. Sometimes he says the giraffes are his favourite, sometimes the lions.

Links
Articles. Spiegel: What happened to Britain? " Fault lines have appeared in British society that are larger and more extreme than elsewhere." The legends of No Mans Land. Julian Assange: "These days, WikiLeaks routinely publishes information without redaction, and seemingly with only minimal pre-vetting. This is merely a change in expediency: There are no longer newspaper partners to keep onside."

Politics. What is behind the right-wing 'Reichsbürger' movement? (Sort of like German "Freemen on the land"). What can British polling mishaps tell us about the US election? Was Brexit an anti-immigration vote? The ultimate causes of Brexit. David Cameron income tax law promise 'made up on the hoof'. "The Republican Party is simply better at being a party of capital than the Democratic Party is at being a party of the working classes".

Random. Classic monster horrorscopes. Balloon stories comic. Sci/Tech. We’re increasingly paying extra to get the digital version of a book or movie (doesn't really consider that producer power or price fixing might be factors, if there's like 3 online stores rather than 10,000 retailers price competition isn't as intense. "Prices are higher in the town with one burger bar than the town with a thousand, why do we like their burgers so much?").

< The Digital As Sacred | TPD Minification >
My empire of dirt | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden)
I wanted to vote for both by Alan Crowe (4.00 / 2) #1 Mon Oct 31, 2016 at 12:07:54 PM EST
Producers can force higher prices because consumers prefer them.

Yeah by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Oct 31, 2016 at 02:20:53 PM EST
It's just basic supply and demand.  More demand means higher prices.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
More demand only means higher prices by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Nov 01, 2016 at 01:55:45 PM EST
If the supply is limited. But there isn't a shortage of bits to be arranged into eBooks.
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It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Supply is artificially limited by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Nov 01, 2016 at 10:27:07 PM EST
If supply were infinite as you suggest, then prices would be too low to allow any profit.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Exactly by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Nov 01, 2016 at 11:12:28 PM EST
It's producer power. But with eBooks, the producers control the supply by setting prices: they set a high price and not many people buy them. It's not like some physical markets (say, designer handbags) where producers create a limited supply and the market drives up prices.
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It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
well part of the supply&demand logic by bobdole (4.00 / 1) #13 Wed Nov 09, 2016 at 05:04:38 PM EST
is based on the binding of capital in unsold supplies. Which forces the supplier to drop the price in order to recover capital. With electrons, warehouse costs are negligible. You can keep your price point indefinitely without loosing out to attrition.

-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
Good point by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Nov 11, 2016 at 12:56:09 AM EST
I think that's another factor in eBook suppliers ability to keep prices high.

But overall what gets to me about the original article is the way it depicts a real market as being like an idealized Econ 101 market.

In an Econ 101 economy there is intense competition between a huge number of suppliers who are forced to offer the lowest possible price. All the power is with the consumer.

In many real markets there are a handful of suppliers engaged in weak competition, with significant power over the market itself.

Journalists tend to interpet the outcomes of the real market as if they were an econ 101 market, as the pure will of the consumer.
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It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
I get all my Ebooks on the pirate bay so yeah -nt- by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Nov 02, 2016 at 06:37:49 AM EST


[ Parent ]
Also different people have different preferences by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Oct 31, 2016 at 03:07:22 PM EST
If 20% prefer ebooks and 80% paper, a cartel can exploit that to get a huge profit margin from the 20%. In a competitive market the 20% would have a big consumer surplus from lower prices, some of the 80% would shift to ebooks despite their preference for the sake of lower prices, and some new customers might be tempted in.

But the article might be making a mistake to assume that because the current buyers of the high priced variant prefer it, therefore everyone prefers it.
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It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
publishing boggles my mind. by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #4 Mon Oct 31, 2016 at 11:37:21 PM EST
Before the birth of kuro5in, Doom was born. Id apprarently made a bad deal with GT (whatever) about publishing rights, and was forevermore soured on "shareware" or self publishing. I'm fairly sure they could have made bank self publishing, but presumably they were at ground zero and couldn't be bothered. No further attempts at shareware were attempted.

Long before kickstarter, there were comments on rec.arts.sf-lovers about paying authors to write the books that readers wanted, regardless of market realities. Authors (of which there where more than a few: Terry Pratchet hung out there, along with Lawrence Watt-Evans, and some others (including one who managed to ink a deal while on the ngroup) uniformly thought such an idea was redonkoulous, reader could completely understand shelling out $100 for the book they *really* wanted.

The market for books is weird. I suspect is a matter of horders (guilty) accumulating physical copies while others buy and sell.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]
Minds change by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Nov 01, 2016 at 04:26:24 AM EST
Lawrence Watt-Evans has now written several books along the lines of releasing a chapter every time a certain amount has been raised. I thik the first couple at least were continuations of series that publishers were reluctant to carry on with.




[ Parent ]
Everyone prefers the high priced variant? by lm (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri Nov 04, 2016 at 05:25:20 AM EST
Or enough to make the higher margin more profitable?

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Re: Logan by hulver (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Nov 01, 2016 at 03:54:33 AM EST
The trailer for that looked interesting. There's certainly a trend towards "grey" as the palette for superhero films.
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Cheese is not a hat. - clock
Seems odd the way by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Nov 01, 2016 at 10:54:00 AM EST
That seems to have become Johnny Cash's defining song.

Movie looks good though.
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It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
How time flies. by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Nov 17, 2016 at 11:28:55 AM EST
I think you were the first person I know off that mentioned Games of Thrones (the books) way before anybody was thinking about making them the monster TV series they are today. So watch this space people, you heard it here first about The Fifth Season.

Regarding "Fault lines have appeared in British society" it is telling that in Britain people think that other countries suffer the same problems and have the same attitudes to them. I think Brexit will be a massive eye opener to most Britons in the sense that all of the sudden they will find that the UK is out of step with most countries in many aspects (if this is good or bad only time will tell, sometimes is good no to be a lemming).

My empire of dirt | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden)