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Save some ideas for the next book

Why does every book need to be a massive three volume or longer story? I certainly understand the desire to try and generate future sales. However, you are also now have to convince me that your story is worth investing that much time and money into. If you do a nice tight standalone story you got a better chance of success and you can still take those other ideas and use them to write a sequel.

Here's another question, why does every new book need to rival the Bible in length? Do we need to mention that Bible is actually a collection of books that are only loosely related? I understand you have a word processor and can crank out text at a prodigious rate. It doesn't mean it is a good idea. The number of books that end up being more filler than story is ridiculous. I beg you, take more time to tighten up your story. The less time and money I have to invest in your story the more likely I am to take a chance on it. Once you have one book as a success then you can write a sequel with all of those other ideas.

RE: Toyota's perfection

Since I mentioned Toyota previously I have been informed that yes, Toyota is still perfect. In fact, it is actually Detroit's fault. They are using their political connections to persecute Toyota. I am glad I have been set straight on this. I would hate to demean a truely perfect entity like Toyota. I will never again insinuate that they are a normal corporation staffed by fallible people.

Retail needs to be open weekends.

Why is it independent hardware stores are never open on Sundays? That is when stuff breaks! I get they want to be with their families but hire someone to work that day. You are missing out on most of my business being closed. I feel like I'm missing something since it isn't just limited to hardware stores. There's a nice butcher shop near us but we rarely go there because we do most of our shopping on Sundays. Saturday is usually too busy to even think about stuff like that. I suppose it could just be me.

You are More than your DNA

I see stuff like this occasionally and it bugs me. Do we pay so little attention that history that we haven't figured out that this kind of stuff is garbage? I don't care why you did it. If you did it, that's what matters. Anything else is irrelevant. We now face the prospect of thought police competing with DNA police on how best to screw us over for not being some bureaucrat's ideal citizen. Is personal responsibility so terrifying?

Fixing Detroit

I just wanted to point out that fixing Detroit is easy. The problem is the city is half empty. The solution is to bring the population in line with the size of the city. Normally, cities do one of two things to try and fix this. Appeal to young people who will spend a lot of money at the bars. This ignores the fact that any who have kids will move out for the same reasons they moved into the city. The other is to try and push the residents out and make the city only a commercial center. This reduces the need for people to live there. This ends up giving business an incentive to move to the suburbs. After all, that's where the people are. The real solution is to bring the size of the city in line with the current population.

There are two ways you can do that. One is to limit the size/height of buildings. This has worked in several cities but I think it is too late for Detroit to do that. The only real way to reduce of the size of the city to something the population to support is to consolidate the people in a smaller area. There was talk of doing this in New Orleans. The plan was to take low level areas that had been mostly emptied of residents and convert them to land preserves of various types. This would concentrate the population into a smaller and more affordable area.

Detroit probably won't have a natural disaster to make this easy. However, it does have a man-made one. The housing bubble has made land and housing in Detroit practically worthless. You do not a sell a house in many places, you just abandon it. The city/state could pick a large square block of the city and start acquiring all of the land. The cheap part is getting the land. Seizing property for unpaid taxes, buying near worthless lots, and programs to help move people to other areas of the city would work to empty it. The expensive part would be removing the housing stock, pulling up the roads, and cleaning up pollution. However, long term the land would be valuable. In the short and medium term you benefit from a smaller area to support and fewer empty lots.

If half the houses on your block are empty or full of squatters than its going to be hard to motivate you to improve your home. However, if you can concentrate the people in a smaller area you give neighborhoods a chance to form and improve the area. Police have a smaller area to patrol and can provide better service. Road crews have less road to maintain. Fire departments have less empty buildings to worry about and can focus on helping homeowners who area closer to the department.

The large cleaned up blocks of the city can than be redeveloped in the future when the city needs it. Hopefully, it would be used to give people housing they want versus the current Detroit house which is all to often small and only tolerated.

Too many accounts

Originally posted to

I have way too many email address, im accounts, social network accounts, websites, etc. I don't even use them really. My spreadsheet of accounts hit over 60 items before I gave up and began relying on "forgot password" to retrieve them if I need them.

I have four email accounts. This is after some significant pruning over the last few months. I receive almost no email from human beings. It is almost all spam, mailing lists, and "forgot password" messages.

I also have accounts on five different social networking sites. I get curious about the interface, etc and create an account. I rarely use them but they're there so I have urge to logon periodically and see if anything has changed.

First, there was Orkut. It is apparently Google's social networking site. I'm told its popular in Brazil but otherwise unremarkable. I do remember the first few months it was just so slow it was unusable.

Second, there was Bebo. I'm not sure who originally signed up but they emailed all their friends who signed up and emailed all of their friends. Near as I can tell no one knew what it was and never touched it again. I'm told its big in Europe.

Third, there was imeem. I have some friends who work there. I'm not sure how much socialization is done but they have deals with all of the major record labels so you can stream music from their site for free. It is probably worth looking at just for that reason alone.

Fourth, there is Myspace. I created this one because a friend of mine from college had a page on it and I figured it would give me a chance to reconnect with him. I got lazy, never emailed him, and now he's moved to Pennsylvania. I really should email him but than again I haven't spoken with either of the guys who were in my wedding in a long time either.

Fifth, there is Facebook. This one is the most interesting because it seems to have a bunch of active users. Although, that could just be the people I know rather than an overall thing. I do like the fact that it seems to keep things a little more private by default. Which in the modern world means pretending you have privacy when they're selling it out the back door to the highest bidder.

The IM thing isn't any better. I use Adium for instant messaging because it can connect to a number of different services at once. This is nice that you can be logged into them all without having a bunch of apps running. It is bad when you consider that I chat with someone approximately once a month. I'd list them for posterity but unlike the Social Networking sites they're tied to email addresses and I get enough spam. :-)

Not sure what the point of this article is but it killed some time and isn't that what the internet is for?