Gravity's Rainbow

botany, shoes, books, and justice

Real science

| 1 Comment

Doing science can be incredibly exciting, breathtaking, and inspiring.

But usually it’s more like this:

via @mathematicsprof

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One Comment

  1. As an author I spend about a year writing and editing each book. My publisher pays the artist, the art director, a line editor, a copy editor, an assistant and a great lot in building overhead. These costs are fixed. The relatively small number of bestsellers cover production costs of the huge number of books that don’t catch on.  To make e-books cost the small bit illegal downloaders are willing to pay, the people who work 50 hours a week writing and polishing a book would have to take the equivalent cut in salary– about 95 percent. (And publishing salaries are already notoriously low). For  every James Patterson, Jodi Picolt and JK Rowling, there are hundreds of authors– many who have written several critically acclaimed books and won national honors– who don’t make enough to live on.  I know more than 200 people who write books. Only one makes enough to work full-time at his craft. The rest work at other jobs and write at night an on off days. Most of us also spend a substantial amount of money on research, travel and computers. So, when you take a book from a “free” site it is no different than if I stole a couple of bucks from you– which you might dismiss as not much. But if every writer whose work you downloaded without paying accessed your bank account and removed two bucks , you would be understandably furious. When 10,000 people download with out paying that is stealing about $20,000 from me. Let’s say $15,000 since people are choosier when they are paying. For me that is two years worth of groceries. At the same time you are stealing from the publisher, who you look at as a greedy corporation. Look closer. They are people, working hard in a business with a relatively small profit margin. We all agree that Bernie Madoff is an immoral thief and that banks and mortgage companies  who cheat their customers and take advantage of loopholes and tricky accounting should be fined and the masterminds arrested. But people, stealing books and other media is the same thing. Just on a smaller scale. 

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