Number Three

Thanks in large part to you all, TIA is going into its third printing in three months. And thanks to those of you who have been pointing out errata as well as one hard-working woman at BenBella, we’ve been able to incorporate the corrections into this print-run.

Unlike the New Atheists, I don’t believe refusing to admit my errors, I’d rather correct them and improve my case.

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Calling out science

So much for the scientists’ climatology models. There hasn’t been any global warming in ten years:

This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory. But experts say we are still clearly in a long-term warming trend – and they forecast a new record high temperature within five years.

Okay, science fans, who is willing to step up and put their trust in science up against my skepticism of it. The global warming experts are saying that 2013 will be hotter than 1998. I’m saying that it won’t be, based on nothing more than my distrust of the motivations underlying what passes for “global warming” science.

If, in five years, I’m proven wrong, I will publicly acknowledge that the science of global warming merits more respect than I have hitherto shown it. If you’re wrong, you will publicly acknowledge that my scientific skepticism is more reliable than this application of the scientific method as well as the scientific judgment of all the scientists who subscribe to the theories of global warming and global climate change.

First things first

There’s a bit of sob sisterhood about the terrible burden born by the modern woman in this article, but it’s still interesting to see that in order to have it all, the Compleat Women of the 1980s went about their lives rather differently than the Future Cat Ladies of America are now:

And that, it seems, is the key difference between then and now. Weldon, Kitzinger and Hughes were never conventional working women…. There was no grand plan: they simply got married, had children and worked for a living, albeit not always in the kind of high-powered office-based jobs that women undertake nowadays.

While employment and degrees will always be there, children and men interested in fathering them will not be. It is the height of illogic for a young woman to make a priority of pursuing a degree and a career if having a family is a life objective. Those who find this tremendously complex concept too difficult to accept on its face should take a look at the long-term societal objectives of those who have been encouraging education-first thinking among girls, one of which is to reduce the human population. Then, do the math. If you can.

And if you happen to be a career woman who is deliriously happy with feline companionship and didn’t never nohow need a man in the course of your barren walk to the end of your genetic line, please do us all a favor and have a nice chat with Fluffy and Mr. Tiddles instead of demonstrating your total lack of reading comprehension to everyone here. It’s called an IF-THEN statement, deal with it.

Amyndan irony

While I have a certain amount of sympathy for Ms Marcotte’s annoyance at posted “reviews” and one-star ratings by non-reading critics – note how the review of TIA rated “most useful” begins “I only managed to read the first 3 chapters of this book” – I can’t help but laugh at the unintentional irony contained in her complaint about them:

Anti-feminists who haven’t even read my book are posting negative “reviews” at Amazon. I hate to bleg, but I’d be so grateful if people who actually know what they’re talking about and aren’t motivated by a white hot hatred of women could counterbalance that.

It’s so weird how a bunch of men who’ve never met me hold me personally responsible for the fact that they’re too obnoxious to get laid or have women look at them with much besides disgust.

It’s even weirder how a woman complaining about men judging her book without reading it would simultaneously pronounce judgment upon their sexual attractiveness to women without possessing any information about them except their dislike of her book. What an interesting metric of sexual attraction! Unfortunately, with the likes of Amynda, this sort of obtuse cluelessness is not so much predictable as inescapable.

As for reviews, it’s pretty simple. If you haven’t read the book, your opinion is irrelevant and anyone who would review a book without reading it in its entirety is a ridiculous cretin. This is true of intellectual zeroes in every camp, I have no more respect for the clueless theist who writes a negative review of The God Delusion than for the autistic atheist who writes a fictional one of The Irrational Atheist. If you want to criticize something, then read it. If you can’t be bothered, then keep your yapping little mouth shut and leave the discussion to the adults.

The world, it changes

And it’s about time:

Marking a radical departure from traditional book-publishing practices, HarperCollins Publishers says it will launch a new book imprint that won’t accept returns from retailers and will pay little or no advances to authors.

I’m excited about this, because it will give newer authors more of a fair shake. One thing that I’ve always hated about the conventional publishing model is that a publishing company tends to put its efforts behind those books that it gave the biggest advance rather than the ones that have the greatest sales potential. This tends to cause the inexpensive book with potential to disappear without a trace – since no one has ever heard of it – without doing much for to aid the success of the more expensive one. Back when The World in Shadow was published, Pocket Books put a major effort behind a really bad series of foreign novels to which they had acquired the American rights while putting no effort behind my book or the book of another insigificant author.

The foreign series flopped despite an expensive marketing campaign which included endcaps in every Barnes and Noble, while my book sold just well enough for them to sign me to another book in the series. The other guy’s book didn’t, which is why Pocket Books didn’t publish his next one, a book that just happened to be entitled The DaVinci Code.

The publishing model is simply broken, so it’s good to see that publishing companies are exploring more rational new options. And on that score, some congratulations are in order, as The Original Cyberpunk and his wife have announced their new endeavor, Rampant Loon Press.