Posts Tagged ‘books’

Cappuccino in Makushi

March 21, 2017

Last week, a lovely sunny warm spring day. Today, first day of spring, bitter cold wind blowing.

Today a different barista, moonlighting from Coffee Aroma.

Makes the point, little independent coffee shops cooperate.

Makushi is one of the coffee shops that has Standart, an excellent  quarterly journal devoted to coffee culture.

I would have liked to have been able to borrow a copy to read, bring back, but no can do.

Back down in the town, I popped in Coffee Aroma and picked up a copy of Northern Independent Coffee Guide.  Served by the same barista who had served me in Makushi.

The Alchemist: three hundred and ninety seven weeks in New York Times best-seller list

March 28, 2016
The Alchemist three hundred and ninety seven weeks New York Times best-seller list

The Alchemist three hundred and ninety seven weeks New York Times best-seller list

Congratulations Paulo Coelho, Sunday The Alchemist three hundred and ninety seven continuous weeks in New York Times best-seller list.

That is an amazing seven years, eight  months and one week.

And it is at No 8.

What a way to end March 2016.

Not bad for a book that was first published twenty seven years ago.

Good books spread by word of mouth. Only rubbish needs marketing hype.

And many thanks Paulo and Christina for the St Joseph’s Day Party in The Lobkowicz Palace in Prague Castle the weekend before.

And many thanks Paulo for taking the trouble to sign books as you were leaving.

Paulo Coelho books signed in Prague

Paulo Coelho books signed in Prague

The Alchemist: seven years and one month and one week in New York Times best-seller list

September 6, 2015
The Alchemist seven years one month and one week New York Times best-seller list

The Alchemist seven years one month and one week New York Times best-seller list

Congratulations Paulo Coelho, today The Alchemist three hundred and sixty-nine continuous weeks in New York Times best-seller list. That is an amazing seven years and one month and one week. And it is at No 3.

Not bad for a book that was first published over twenty six years ago.

Good books spread by word of mouth. Only rubbish needs marketing hype.

Manual of the Warrior of Light

June 7, 2015
Manual of the Warrior of Light

Manual of the Warrior of Light

Paulo Coelho has always been a maverick in the world of publishing. But he has also been able to see much further than others.

He does not mind if his books are pirated.

A couple of years ago he released his entire e-book back catalogue at a book for the price of a song.

His argument then, and my argument too, e-books are obscenely overpriced.

He has now done it again. He has released Manual of Warrior of Light as a free e-book. Better still, he has released as ePub, which is an open source format.

Note: If you require in Kindle format (which is a propriety format of Amazon), download Calibre.

Note: To download the free e-book, click through the book.

A pity more writers do not have the vision of Paulo Coelho.

But at the end of the e-book, instead of a link to Amazon, iTunes et al, it would have been better to have encouraged to go out and buy Manual of Warrior of Light in an indy book shop.

If I buy a book, a physical book, why is there not a code, that lets me download the e-book for free? I prefer real books, nevertheless I would find useful, to be able to access all my books as e-books.

The Way of the Bow has been produced as a collaborative effort. People can download for free. If they wish, they can make a donation to support the kids in a favela.

Try before you buy, is not unique to books. Bandcamp you can listen to entire albums, pay what you think it is worth.

Selling Right Now: Monsters sold for £25, £20 over the asking price.

Selling Right Now: Monsters sold for £25, £20 over the asking price.

Jewelia did this with her album Monsters.

The Sunrise

May 24, 2015
ghost city of Famagusta seen from the sea

ghost city of Famagusta seen from the sea

1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus.

Today the island of Cyprus is still under Turkish military occupation.

In 1974 the tourists were oblivious to what was going on, as they are today.

Cyprus was betrayed by many people. Greek Cypriots who were killing fellow Cypriots and mounted a coup against their own government. Greece under the control of a Fascist military dictatorship that helped to mount the coup. The British guarantors of the independence of Cyprus failed to intervene.

The Sunrise tells the story of these turbulent times from the 1960s when Cypriots were killing each other, the 1974 invasion, as seen through the microcosm of a hotel in Famagusta and three families associated with the hotel.

Turkey used the coup as a pretext to invade, they were there to protect the Turkish Cypriots (most of who have subsequently fled). Prior to the invasion Cypriots lived together, not separated by a Green Line guarded by the UN, the island divided, one half under illegal Turkish military occupation.

Famagusta is a ghost town, sealed off by razor wire. It can be viewed from the sea from one of the boats that sets sail from Protaras Pier.

San Pablo Librería

March 21, 2015
San Pablo Librería

San Pablo Librería

A wonderful bookshop.

Emphasis on religion, El Camino de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, the region, Catedral de Santiago.

A large selection of books by Paulo Coelho, including a window display.

But not only San Pablo Librería, the cathedral shop and the pilgrims shop, also had Paulo Coelho books.

Further down the street, another bookshop, with interesting books to read in the window display, Paulo Coelho, Naomi Klein, like bookshops used to be, books you may wish to read, not hyped celebrity crap.

British Heart Foundation: Where have all the books gone?

February 11, 2015
British Heart Foundation Aldershot

British Heart Foundation Aldershot

The British Heart Foundation shop in Aldershot always had a good range and an excellent display of books, albeit overpriced.

That they had a good selection, was down to the hard work of one volunteer.

Where have all the books gone, few now on display?

An overpaid idiot, at regional or head office, trying to justify their existence and salary, has decided books do not sell, and has drastically reduced the books on display.

Upon what do they base their crass reasoning?

They have decided, based upon no evidence, books do not sell as people read e-books.

Maybe the books are not selling because they are overpriced?

And books do not sell if not on display.

Now have a ludicrous situation, few books on display, but a large number of books in a back storage room.

Mass closure of Lincolnshire libraries

February 3, 2015
Lincolnshire pop up library

Lincolnshire pop up library

Councillor Worth and his fellow undemocratic clods at Lincolnshire County Council have committed cultural vandalism. — William Hussey

We go round in circles.

Lincolnshire County Council decided upon mass closure of public libraries.

There was no public support, but hey, we are arrogant county councillors, our only interest is in getting our snouts in the trough. We don’ t give a toss what the public thinks or wants.

The Council were challenged in the High Court. Lawyer acting for the Council was forced to admit, not a single person in favour of library closures. The judge slammed the council for its arrogant high handed treatment of local people. A victory for the local people.

The Council could then have done the decent thing, heeded public opinion, listened to what the judge had to say. But oh no, mass closure of public libraries was back on the agenda.

At a scrutiny committee last week, its role as the name suggests, to scrutinise. The public were allowed to speak, but only for three minutes.

A councillor who tried to raise valid points, was cut off mid-stream, all discussion or debate terminated.

The committee rubber-stamped mass closure as they had been ordered to do.

This is what constitutes scrutiny in Lincolnshire.

Today the executive voted on the matter. The same executive who had decided on mass closure of public libraries.

It was a foregone conclusion, mass closure of public libraries.

County councillors who show arrogant contempt for the public.

County councillors who think they are above the law.

County councillors who are unfit to hold public office.

County councillors who should be surcharged for so far wasting nearly three-quarters of a million pounds of public money.

The decision to close libraries has no support, not from local people, not from writers, not from local councils, not from county MPs, not from government ministers. The Philistines that took the decision to close libraries are completely isolated. They represent no one other than themselves.

This is what constitutes democracy in Lincolnshire.

Out of 45 libraries, only 15 will remain, leaving 30 that will either close or be run by volunteers. Volunteers are making very clear, they are not prepared to be unpaid labour for a corrupt and rotten council. The 30 will suffer a slow death. Of the 15 on reduced hours, the Council is trying to privatise.

The public do not want to see their libraries closed.

Two fingers to the public.

And what do the library staff think?

The library staff are gagged.

Consultation is not going through the motions. Consultation is heeding what is said, then adapting policy accordingly.

The Council has a legal duty to carry out genuine consultation. In this the Council has failed.

A second Judicial Review?

As we have seen in Greece a Syriza grass roots revolution is required in Lincolnshire, not because local people want the trappings of power or wish to get their snouts stuck in the trough, but because much needed reform is required in the way the County Council functions, currently Lincolnshire County Council is not fit for purpose.

eGaia

January 25, 2015
eGaia

eGaia

It is the convergence between commons and co-ops that will create a new economy and a new society. — Michel Bauwens

A story, a group of stories, people telling stories, stories of the future, stories from the future.

In eGaia, three interlocking economies described

  • local co-operative
  • regional
  • global

Within the local economy, everything is on a sharing basis, no money, people are expected to keep in balance, and contribute their fair share. It goes one stage further than granting a Basic Income.

For what the local economy cannot supply, will source from either regional or global economy, for which a financial exchange takes place, using a digital currency, there being a regional and global currency.

If one of the businesses operating within the local economy requires money, it goes to the regional bank. Free money is created (ie interest free), when paid back, the money self-destroys. The economy is not built on debt.

Additional accounts are kept of ecological footprint of every transaction.

Businesses innovate to offer a better service, not to gain a competitive advantage as not in competition, and will share their innovation.

All carried out by means of smart phone apps.

As Rob Bell explains in Love Wins, it is not that money is the root of all evil, it is what we do with money.

We can look around, see things that need to be done, but we lack the money, we can look around, see things that need to be done, but we lack the time, we have to work to earn a living.

Money is a means of exchange. I have something you want, we agree a price, an exchange takes place, money changes hands.

Usury places a levy called interest on what would otherwise be free money. The economy has to grow to service the debt. Companies sell us things we do not want to increase their market share. We cannot have linear growth on a finite planet.

Man has always had an impact on the environment. Civilisations have risen, then collapsed, when they exceeded the carrying capacity of the land. Once it was local, then regional, now the entire planet. Mass species extinction, habitat destruction, global warming, Those at the front line of extraction, are in conflict zones. We need several planets to sustain our extraction, we do not have several planets, we have one.

The problem is not Peak Oil. Innovation opens up more resources. The problem is that innovation is opening up more hazardous sources of oil, tar sands, fracking, deepwater, Arctic. The problem is, we cannot burm even known resrves, if we are to keep global temperature rose below 2C, and even 2C will lead to more extreme weather events. If we go beyond 2C, all bets are off, the models begin to break down.

We are naive, arrogant even, if we think we can save the planet. Recent extreme weather events has shown, Gaia always has the last laugh. We cannot. Nor do we need to create Gaian feedback loops, these already exist. The role of Man, is to learn from Gaia, and to act as custodian of Gaian feedback mechanisms

Early lifeforms emitted oxygen as a waste product. Oxygen is toxic. Later life forms learnt how to deal with oxygen.

Oxygen is kept within very narrow limits. Too high and there would be spontaneous combustion, too low and most life on earth could not exist.

One of many Gaian feedback mechanisms.

We know that to keep global temperature rise to below 2C, 80% of known carbon reserves have to be kept in the ground, and even 2C will lead to more extreme weather events.

This raises two points:

  • oil companies worthless
  • why are we still exploring for new reserves

The value of oil companies is the value of their reserves. If they cannot extract, the value of the oil companies becomes worthless overnight.

New extraction is increasingly hazardous: tar sands, deepwater, fracking, Arctic.

A different way of looking at the stored carbon is to go back millions of years. Carbon cycle was not perfect. Trees (strictly speaking not trees) formed coal, simple lifeforms formed oil. If we release this carbon that was extracted from the atmosphere, it means we return to the prevailing climate at that time, if we release within a few hundred years, we trigger thermal runway.

Insanity: UK government is granting fracking generous tax concessions, paying to drill. An Infrastructure Bill passing through Parliament will make it a legal obligation to maximise oil exaction.

Rapid growth is not the norm in the natural world.

We see it when we introduce an alien species to an island, with no natural predators, Rapid growth usually followed by catastrophic collapse.

We see it with cancer.

We see it on bare land, for example following a forest fire, or rapidly retreating ice at an interglacial, rapid growth by pioneer species, secondary species follow, and eventually steady state of a mature ecosystem, The interaction between the species creates the environment, the environment creates the conditions for the species.

In a rainforest, the rain is created by the rainforest.

Important is trophic cascade and keystone species. Remove the keystone species, rapid collapse. It is the keystone species that maintains the diversity.

Cod, wolves and whales are keystone species.

Traditionally, it was thought ecosystems developed from the bottom up: the soil determines the vegetation, the vegetation the herbivores, the herbivores the carnivores. We now know this not to be true, it is the top predators, the keystone species, those whose influence extends far beyond their numbers, that determine an ecosystem.

Top predators, in what is known as trophic cascade, can have an effect all the way down the food chain.

Reintroduction of wolves to the Yellowstone National Park, affected the landscape.

With no predators, the deer populations soared, destroying the vegetation and trees, denuding the landscape.

Though wolves were small in number, did not kill many deer, they changed the pattern of behaviour of the deer, the deer avoid the places most likely to be ambushed by wolves. In those areas, the trees recover, birds return, bears return. Beavers return, beavers damn the rivers, providing more habitats for mores species. The river changes. The trees stop soil erosion, the landscape changes.

The wolves may kill a few deer, but they also create life, they create the conditions for life to exist in more varied variety than existed before their introduction.

The Japanese would argue killing of whales, in fact the Japanese will find any excuse to kill whales, more krill, more fish.

Killing whales leads to fewer krill.

Whales stir up the waters, bring nutrients to the surface.

Phytoplankton feed on the nutrients, zoo plankton feed on the phytoplankton, fish feed on the plankton.

Phytoplankton capture carbon which is then carried down to the ocean sediments. Millions of tonnes of carbon capture.

The presence of whales, leads to more life, not less.

Top predators are not only affecting life all the way along the food chain, they are impacting on geophysical processes.

Instead of loony schemes to seed the oceans, imaginary machines to suck CO2 out of the air (and then pump into oil wells to extract more oil), protect whales.

Gaia does her job, if we let her.

Millions of years of co-evolution, networks within networks, mutual coexistence, should tell us how to organise our affairs in a manner that works.

Hierarchical system do not work, for one simple reason, it requires perfect knowledge of what is happening at the next level.

Self-organising networks, are adaptable, have feedback.

Exponential growth within finite resources, leads to catastrophic collapse.

We cannot propose a future, project it on the past, then use that as justification for the future we wish to see.

We cannot say, hunter-gatherers may have engaged in war with surrounding tribes but it led to little blood letting. Where is the evidence?

We can speculate on a sharing society, we can look at indigenous cultures today.

What we see is hunters sharing the kill. Very good reason for this. Spoils of the hunt do not keep beyond a few days, therefore better to share, and hope those we share with, will invite us to share when they have good fortune.

As Carla Stang describes in her description of Mechinaku in her essay Rampant Rainbows and the Blacked Sun in Dark Mountain 6, they have a deep and intimate relationship with the world around them, treat it with reverence and respect. But she also makes the point, we cannot apply our external views, we have to take what we see within its own context.

Nor is sharing, reciprocity, restricted to indigenous cultures.

In Istanbul, not knowing how to pay for the tram, an attractive local female kindly paid for me. I commented that it would be easy to hop on the tram, hop off, without paying. This was treated with horror, that I could even have the thought let alone carry out the act. It was something you simply did not do.

There is not a clear division between hunter-gatherers and agriculture. Hunter-gatherers will often plant trees, tend gardens.

Speech possibly evolved from music, music from the rhythmic sounds we hear around us.

Nonsense to claim ‘language functions to deny reciprocity with nature’.

Do we see this with Celtic writing or Zen masters or or Hildegard von Bingen or Henry David Thoreau or Ralph Waldo Emerson or Aldo Leopold or Wendell Berry?

Of course not. The disconnect is with the myths we tell, that got ever greater traction during the Industrial Revolution, that Man has Dominion over Nature.

Henry David Thoreau:

The earth I tread on is not a dead, inert mass. It is a body, has a spirit, is organic, and fluid to the existence of its spirit, and to whatever particle of that spirit is in me.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it.

Aldo Leopold:

enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants and animals

the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts

changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain members and citizens of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.

We now need a new narrative, Man in cooperation with nature. A new narrative the Dark Mountain Project has tried to foster.

The limit to the size of cities was not the carrying capacity of the land. It was the ability to transport food and goods in, and waste out. This changed with the arrival of trains.

The Industrial Revolution did not start in England because of nearby colonies to exploit. It started because James Watt invented a reliable steam engine in 1776 and the availability of coal.

Steam did not have an immediate advantage. Water mills were more powerful than early steam engines. Wind and water were free. What led to change were several factors, no longer reliant on the whims of nature, can work night and day, steam is transportable. Watermills, windmills, located where supply of water and wind, usually in the countryside, not a ready supply of labour if a strike, not so easy to replace workers. In cities ready supply of labour, close to market.

Propagation of the myth we destroyed our woods. It was lack of use that destroyed our woods, they were used sustainably. A myth Oliver Rackham has long demolished.

Basic premise of eGia, is that Gaia needs Man as its nervous system, hence eGaia.

What does it mean for the Earth to function with the coherence of an organism with humanity analogous to its nervous system?

At best this is arrogance.

Gaia functioned without Man, Gaia will continue to function without Man. The best Man can do is act as Custodian of Gaian feedback loops, to claim more is arrogance, the same arrogance that led Man to believe he was Master of Nature.

Hurricane Katrina, Sandy, typhoon in the Philippines, showed Man is Master of nothing.

Man evolved as part of the natural world, was part of Nature, the downfall of Man was when he became apart from Nature. We need to rewild our natural world, but we also need to rewild ourselves, even if it a walk barefoot along the seashore, paddling in and out of the waves.

You cannot take societies, close knit, good community relations, and transfer their dispute mechanism to other societies that lack those close community links. People agree, because they do not want loss of face.

But it can work both ways, close communities can lead to abuse. Pakistani girls being brutally gang raped, not able to speak out, and if they do threats of violence, forced marriage. Or girls in Nepalese communities, forced into marriage. They feel twice violated, as they lack the human rights of the wider society as wider society turns a blind eye.

Unbelievable ignorance on Israel-Palestine and Middle East. It is not caused by fear of the other, that is the symptom. It is caused by seizure of land, brutal occupation, Palestinians kicked out of their homes where they have lived for generations, villages that have been there for centuries, denied water, electricity, because they lack planning permission, destruction of olive groves, Gaza kept as a prison camp, massive destruction of Gaza.

Jews and Arabs had lived in pace together for generations, until Zionist terrorists established the State of Israel.

It is easy, as Canon Andrew White says, to talk to your friends, you have to be prepared to talk to your enemies. He has earned the trust of Sunni and Shia leaders in Iraq, got them to sit down and talk to each other.

Truth and Reconciliation worked in South Africa, because of the culture in which it was embedded.

In close knit communities, slight on one family, a slight that has to be avenged, goes on for generations.

Sustainability, a much abused word that has has become meaningless. Everything has the in word sustainable attached. A greedy developer trashes a town centre, it is called sustainable. And what is it we are wishing to sustain, the present inequitable, exploitative greed-driven system that is trashing the planet?

What we should be looking to achieve is steady-state, emulate Gaia.

So it looks at what is desirable sustainability in physical and biological terms while ignoring constraints due to entrenched beliefs, our current economic system …

Really! No one ignores economics factors, and economic factors do not apply constraints, far from from it, it is the economic system of exponential growth that is causing the problem. Fundamental to any discussion.

It is nonsense statements like this, and sadly not an isolated example, why eGaia lacks any credibility.

Similarly

What would it mean if humanity were organised so that looking after the health of the whole of the living Earth were one of its living values?

Gaia is more than capable of looking after Earth. What we require of Man is stop damaging her control mechanisms.

For our material needs, we need closed loops, where the output of one process feeds into another. Emulate the natural world, where there is not an accumulation of waste in either time or space. Use naturally occurring materials, and where we use man made for example plastic and steel, we copy the natural world, form closed loops. And any toxic materials we eliminate from our cycles. We have to move away from a linear systems, of extraction, sweatshop production, six months in the home, then onwards to landfill or incineration. A linear system producing stuff we neither need nor want, that does nothing to enhance our quality of life.

We need diversity, localism, co-operation, mutual support, sharing, collaborative commons, the greater the diversity, the greater the adaptability.

We need rewilding of our natural habitats. Reintroduction of keystone species like wolves, reintroduction of the European beaver. Beavers improve watercourses, enhance diversity, clean the water, stop downstream flooding. Rewilding also benefits Man, when we visit wild places.

We need agro-forestry. Greater output, supplying local markets. We should not forget the towns, which can be productive.

In Brazil, every municipality is funding perma-culture courses.

We need locally owned and controlled energy grids, into which feed local sources of renewable energy, only the surplus fed into the National Grid.

We need as Michel Bauwens has outlined, something more than co-ops, we need co-ops that contribute to the commons.

We need as Russell Brand has outlined in Revolution, autonomous, self-organising networks, that cooperate with other networks, the only restraint, no harm to others, either internally or externally, and no harm to the planet.

Kyoto was not a failure per se. It was a failure because it lacked teeth, no enforcement mechanism, contrast with various trade treaties, contrast with WTO.

We need polluter shall pay, reflecting the real costs of externalised costs, which we all pay, but indirectly. Not complex financial instruments for speculators.

A large number of smaller organisations, can become niche players, cooperate with each other.

No mention of the marginal costs of stuff falling. This is important, as can produce locally, 3D printing, open source, open source workshops. If marginal costs near zero, viable to produce locally, as shipping costs and energy dominate.

In Barcelona, the city has given a pledge, by 2020 one FabLab in every neighbourhood. By 2050, half of all food production and manufacturing to be local, through distributed manufacturing

Most products, the embedded energy is higher than the energy costs in use. Becomes of vanishing importance the efficiency of the product. Therefore quality products, designed to last, easy to repair.

FairPhone is an excellent example of a phone designed to be repairable, recycled, non-use of materials from conflict zones.

TechStart an example of a community enterprise, take in old computers, refurbish, re-sell at low price, reuse components, training, net cafe.

Bandcamp encourages music sharing. If you like, pay for the music.

Bristol Skipchen surplus food cafe does what it says, recycles waste food into delicious meals.

A cooperative economy is not the same as a moneyless economy. A moneyless economy, is a sharing economy, a gift economy, collaborative commons.

Co-ops benefit members of the co-op. Collaborative commons are shared resources.

In Quito, housing co-ops have reclaimed ravines used to dump rubbish as public parks.

When we share, everyone is richer.

An Open Co-op exists to supply a need, not to make a profit. Everyone who is impacted by the Co-op has a say. It contributes to the commons. Open Coops co-produce commons. An Open Co-op innovates then shares the information. Open Co-ops linked globally, can outperform multinationals.

Innovation in the market is to seek a competitive advantage. If no profit, innovation is shelved. It is not for need.

Much of the internet is built upon Open Source Software, collaborative commons. People choose to contribute, they are not forced, are not paid.

There is a growth in co-ops during economic crisis.

Co-ops are not any more likely to make a more stable economy. In a downturn, yes, less likely to lay off workers, they would more readily agree to a wage cut, and we are seeing that in non-co-ops, as companies are recognising it is easier to recover if have not lost skilled workers. On the other hand Open Co-ops yes, due to the greater involvement of society and their contribution to the commons.

For an information based economy, existing social networks are not a good example to build upon, in a commons based economy it would be peer-2-peer networks.

Social networks did not trigger either Occupy or the Arab Spring, though have proved useful to coordinate activity.

An information network is not a necessary condition to safeguard the planet, though can be a useful tool.

The availability of cheap air travel has not led to understanding of other cultures, quite the opposite.

NGOs do not suggest a way forward. They are little more than businesses, supplying a need, touting for money. It is far better we organise to satisfy those needs ourselves.

Global events like Band Aid and Live Aid have not led to better understanding, these were music events, little else. They emphasised the victim culture, reliant upon the West to mount a rescue. The release of the Band Aid single Band Aid 30 for Ebola has been heavily criticised and rightly so especially when there was a superior West Africa release, Africa Stop Ebola, superior in every way, musically and in the informative message that it carried.

The kibbutz movement in Israel is a very poor example to give as to the way forward, not unless suggesting use terror to illegally occupy the land of others, destroy their olive trees, steal their water, carry out ethnic cleansing, in order to establish our idea of what a community should look like.

The future is already here.

Look to the work of Michel Bauwens and FLOK and P2P Foundation.

In Quito, housing coo-ops are reclaiming the ravines and turning into public parks.

We do not need banks, when we can crowd source.

StartJoin is a platform to crowd source for community and cultural projects. It even has its own crypto-currency StartCoin.

Bandcamp facilitates sharing of music, and if you wish to pay, bandcamp facilitates that too.

Crisis stimulates innovation.

Sandy hit New York, the authorities were only interested in getting Wall Street up and running to show businesses as usual. The only help in poor districts, the worst hit, came from Occupy Wall Street, reformed as Occupy Sandy.

Greek economy has shrunk by over a quarter leaving many unemployed and destitute, no longer entitled to free health care, sell off of public assets. People are now organising their own affairs, with Syriza, with its roots in Occupy and opposed to austerity, on the brink of a historic election victory.

eGgaia is not a book I would recommend. Had it been limited to the fictional account of the future, it would have made an interesting pamphlet, but nothing more. It has been padded out with irrelevant material, even worse, much is inaccurate assertions.

It is available as free download, or as a print-on-demand book only the publisher fails to comprehend print-on-demand, and had to be chased for an ordered copy. Irony seems lost on the publisher, inappropriately called Fast-Print.

I would though recommend Revolution and Sacred Economics.

Print On Demand Publishing

January 8, 2015
eGaia print on demand

eGaia print on demand

As a publisher, you face a dilemma. How large the print run?

Economies of scale, large print run, only to have books to warehouse.

There is though a more fundamental dilemma.

Book publishing is a risky businesses. That hoped for best-seller may not sell. The majority of books never make a bookshelf in a bookshop, they go to be pulped. Others go to be remaindered, even best sellers are often over supplied and can be found remaindered.

Print on demand solves this. Literally print on demand, could be as small as a single copy of a book.

eGaia, is available print on demand from Fast-Print.

I was curious as to the quality of the book. No problems, well bound, no problem with the printing (though the graphics are too faint), the paper is off white which is easy on the eyes when reading.

The service though from Fast-Print is abysmal.

Fast-Print do not appear to understand the concept of print on demand or the meaning of the word fast. In today’s world of Amazon, unless listed as out of stock, you expect to receive a book within a couple of days of placing an order, anything less is not acceptable. eGaia was ordered to read over Christmas. It did not arrive by Christmas, it had not arrived by the New Year. It finally arrived a couple of days ago, the dispatch note dated the day before that.

This level of piss-poor service is completely unacceptable, for what is claimed to be print on demand.

On eventual receipt of eGaia, Fast-Print and author Gary Alexander were contacted re piss-poor service. Nether had the courtesy to respond. Though Gary Alexander had responded earlier when eGaia failed to arrive and said he would raise with Fast-Print, which may have kicked them into action.

Fast-Print will put together a package for an author, £150 for a paperback, £245 for hardback. This is reasonable, bar coded and ISBN, three copies to author, six copies to the required national libraries.

Note: Two different prices are cited for hardback, £195 and £245, depending where you look on their website.

Fast-Print have a free publishing guide. Available as pdf. Why not e-book format, why not click and download? It is necessary to order. Dispatched immediately? Er, no. All the more perverse when Fast-Print offer e-book publishing. Can also order as a paperback. Print on demand, prompt delivery? Er, no.

Fast-Print charge for converting to various e-book formats. Do not waste money, use leanpub, automatic conversion on download to requested download format.

What royalties Fast-Print, do they have exclusive publishing rights? Nothing said.

Print on demand is not the only means of removing the risk. Publishing an e-book, means there is always a copy to download, no matter how many have been downloaded, and the marginal costs are near zero. If you are being charged over ten pounds for an e-book, you are being ripped off big time. Unbound crowdsource, no book is published until there is a guaranteed market.