On the Marriage Equality Issue

EDIT: here is the link.

What I really wanted to post here was a link to an NPR interview I heard years ago with an evangelical involved in the creation of the Moral Majority.

I wanted to post this because I don’t have anything original to say about the recent controversy’s regarding marriage equality, but I felt the need to say something.

I felt the need to comment, because despite the fact I should be inoculated against it by now, I am shocked and dismayed that this is a legal controversy.

Not because I don’t understand how someone could be against it. I just don’t understand how such large numbers of people can feel as if it’s acceptable to give that dislike voice in the law.

The interview I wanted to link to was with a sincere evangelical who believed that homosexuality was a sin. He talked about the calculations required to raise it up over other sins such as money lending.

I despair over our ability to handle complex problems if we cannot agree on minority rights. If we can’t say, “I don’t like it but it’s not really my call.”

If we cannot agree that if marriage is a big enough term to legally encompass all the non-christian weddings, the loveless marriages, the sexless marriages…

If it includes the people who don’t have ceremonies,

If it’s a concept that (legally speaking at least) really just involves two people declaring that they want to bind there lives together in some amorphous way….

then it is also big enough to include people irregardless of their gender.

If the libertarians can’t show up in force for this issue…

If slippery slope fallacy is able to stand uncontested…

If we can’t acknowledge that in the “culture wars” same sex marriage is the next logical step now that we’ve made marriage about romance…

If a hundred other things I’m forgetting to mention. Then how are we ever going to solve the complicated problems. The policy problems.

So, I couldn’t link to the NPR article, and I didn’t have anything new to add to the issue. But apparently I felt the need to say something anyways.

Also, the last link, the “made marriage about romance…” one. Is worth reading if nothing else.

The Power is Yours For the Taking

Greetings Stumblers,

A Purple GoatA purple goat

You hold the power in your hands. You can change the course of a life.  Lives. If you walk away, nothing happens. But if you click the thumbs up button… If you share this link…

then others will see it.

And if they do the same. My friends, you might start a movement.

That is, until you crash my servers, because I use cut-rate hosting.

That’s not the end. It’s the beginning. It will force others to act. I will need to decide how dedicated I am to this.

Until I realize it’s not a decision. You will inspire me. How can I, or anyone stand in your way?

I know some of you are thinking: “Well this is kinda fun, and I liked the goat picture. But someone else will surely hit the ‘like’ button.” Someone else will make it happen.

But there is nobody else except for you.

That’s it. All society is, is a collection of you’s.  When we band together  social structures are formed but without your active participation it all falls apart.

Some of us live in an attention based economy and you are the taste-makers if you choose to stand up and claim your right.

And if you don’t feel like making some random blog a temporary blip on the internet famous scale, consider joining EFF. Or something else all together.

Does my free novel devalue entertainment? OR Why do I hurt the ones I love?

Note: This post was originally conceived of as a forum topic here.

Exhibit A: I believe that creative/intellectual endeavors frequently bring value into the world, even when they are digital objects.

Exhibit B: I have decided the best thing (for me) to do with my novel is to give it away.

Providing my novel for free meets a variety of my goals (I am not convinced that it alone maximizes my readership, but that’s a topic for another day).

But doing so puts me in a precarious position vis a vis exhibit A.

In theory, some readers will hopefully enjoy the book and think that it was of value to them. It will be value they did not pay for, which could contribute to the general devaluing of electronic entertainment.

Once people are used to getting something for free, it loses value. Similar to the race to the bottom (read 99 cents) in the iTunes store, where many people no longer even consider purchasing a 5-dollar game, I wonder and worry if giving away my book does not help train people to think they should be able to get e-books for free.

I finesse the problem slightly by mentioning gift economy a few times, encouraging people to share the book with friends and so on. But even that has problems, because it can lead a fan to assume that I am simply operating within a successful business model that they simply do not understand.

That model does not exist. For me at least.

That’s ok for me (except inasmuch as it means people don’t bother to try the book because of perceived value problems) but I wonder if it wouldn’t have been the moral thing to do to charge something as show of solidarity to my fellow authors.

All of this is probably taking the impact of a single book by an unknown author too seriously, but the larger question seems worth considering.

Thoughts?