Andy Jones TV Season 5 Episode 10

Rand Paul 2016?


Copywriting and Literary Art

When is writing a job, and when is it art?

On the highly engaging ‘Anecdotal Evidence’ blog, a really interesting interview transcript, from a talk by poet (and associate creative director) L.E. Sissman from January 1972. Sissman looks at what is both similar and different about writing poety and creative copy:

Copywriting should always be precise, true, purposely literal. Poetry should always be ambiguous—i.e., capable of being read different ways at different levels. You work for compression but you’re building a skyscraper on your little plot. Obviously, I don’t mean copywriting should be devoid of humor, nuance, or colloquialism, but I think it ought to give the reader as honest an account of the good points of the product or service as possible, and without equivocation or weaseling …

Copywriting is evanescent and poetry is, the poet hopes like hell, perduring, but there are a lot of similarities otherwise. Copywriting teaches you to say exactly what you mean in the fewest possible words the first time around and under pressure of time [as does journalism]. This is a valuable lesson for the poet.

It’s worth reading in full.

Happy Mom(s) Day

From the May 2013 edition of the New Yorker – a celebration of marriage equality:

New Yorker may 2013

DRM on eBooks

wbookA great post on TechDirt about an ebook publisher that hasn’t seen any significant increase in piracy since they stopped using DRM (Digital Rights Management, or copy-protection) on their titles.

If anything, the number of copies purchased increased. I always thought this would happen if you sell your digital products that are more aligned to what the market wants – i.e. a very good price and with no restrictions on where you can make use of them – you will always be better off.

If you have heavy copyright restrictions on a song, TV show, movie or ebook, the pirated version is actually better than the legit version. And you’ve just created a kind of moral hazard – there is now an almost valid reason or motivation to remove that copy-protection and once you’ve done that, why not just add it to a file sharing site or torrent? Where as if you just have it available cheaply, and copyright-free, people just buy it, use it, and – generally at least – have less motivation to share it. Just buy it yourself dude, and use it however you’d like.

Now let’s be clear, I’m a hypocrite. All of my books are available on the Nook, Kindle iPad, etc. And all of them have DRM. But that’s seldom a decision that’s made by the author. That’s a publisher/distributor issue. And I’d love to have no DRM on my books. In fact, DRM-free pdf versions of most of my books are available and as far as I’m aware, it hasn’t increased piracy on my books one jot.

“Perfect” is the Enemy of the Good

A fascinating and – for my money at least – a highly accurate discussion between Paul Bloom from Yale and Barry Schwartz, the author of “The Paradox of Choice“. Schwartz argues that always seeking “the best” can lead to unhappiness.

I think there’s quite a bit of truth in that.

If you want to see more, the whole video is here. And you can subscribe to The Mind Report here.