Wednesday, June 18, 2014

One Writer's Story

Someone, whom I would truly like to have as a friend, is very upset today and ready to throw in the towel where writing is concerned today as his work was completely stolen by a radio host and read over the air with no credit, payment or anything. It must be the internet. It must be Facebook. Sorry my friends, it is neither.

I started writing pretty much from the moment I learned to read so I have a bit of experience going here. My first 'professional' offer came from a nationwide metaphysical magazine. There was not payment because back in the 70's everyone operating in this “New Age” field was on a shoestring that frequently broke. It was a themed issue and I was asked to write an article on hypnosis because I was a licensed hypnotherapist working in the medical field. I would give a little credit to the magazine theme.

When you outright steal a person's work, you really shouldn't send them a copy of it. Imagine my surprise when I found direct quotes from my article interspersed throughout the magazine as though they were written by the editor. As to my article, two rather poor paragraphs were taken out of context and printed on a tear away insert for which I was actually given credit. Since they were taken out of context, they made little sense and they actually came from a section on Biofeedback rather than hypnosis causing them to make even less sense. This was 25 years ago and there was no internet and no computers.

When I mentioned it to other people the answer was...why would the publisher and editor of a nationwide magazine steal YOUR work???

I learned that day to get payment up front and the next editor that needed a freebie got the heave ho.

Then there was the six months I spent hand typing and compiling a Tarot course. I also copyrighted it and the copyright was on the bottom of each page. Back then you had to pay money to copyright something and fill out forms. If I must say so myself, it was a masterpiece of a beginning course on Tarot. I intended to turn it into a book. I charged $50.00 for the course and it was worth it or you could pay $10.00 a class for 6 classes. My very first class, I had a retired Doctor take the course. As soon as we finished the course, he took my course, cut the copyright off the bottom, went to Office Depot and copied it. Then he began teaching it at the yoga center a couple of miles away for $5.00 making certain I would not attract any students to my course. One of my students was also a student at the yoga center and he was angry. He stormed to office with my course in hand and confronted the owner of the yoga center. It was obvious the copyright had been cut from the bottom of the pages because back then, if the paper you copied wasn't 8.5 x 11; the missing piece copied as a gray/black area.

So what was the great spiritual answer? Why would a retired, independently wealthy Doctor steal a course from a poor witch across town? He didn't need the money. He was just teaching for fun. I must have stolen his work. My student attempted to prevail with the black line across the page as proof. Finally, he came to me, disheartened, and wanted to know what to do. I suggested he attend the next class, stand up and ask the Doctor to give him a Tarot reading right then. It should be no problem if the course was in fact his. He was thrown out of the yoga center, but the point was not lost on the rest of the class. Once again, the yoga center was hoping to make money off the doctor and I was poor collateral damage, just like the editor knew I didn't have the money to sue her.

Then again, what goes around, comes around. Someone then stole the course from the Doctor and began teaching it for free at another store taking all his students. I decided never to teach Tarot again.

My friend had her entire book copied on a copier (they didn't even bother to retype it) by a company and handed out to thousands of phone psychics to read over the phone. It was, like my course, a key word Tarot book, so you could actually do a layout and just flip through the book and get a full reading. She, however, was a retired executive with lot's of money and the ability to fly to Switzerland and sue them because that is where copyright infringement cases were tried back then. She won, but they simply went out business and she got nothing.

Other friends have had their products copied or the over runs from manufacturing their products, sold on the open market. One friend found her product selling in stores for the wholesale price because when she had it manufactured in China to get the cost down, the manufacturer just made lots of extras and then sold them to stores for the same price he sold them to her. Thus everyone was selling them at the wholesale price she was trying to get. It happens to everyone who sends a product overseas for manufacture. You must make your money on the first offering because the second one finds someone undercutting your price.

So, you think is just you? Think again. You know Cannon, the big manufacturer of towels. Every once in a while something goes wrong and stuff fails quality control. It goes in the dumpster and to the dump. Well, that is what they thought was happening. It turned out their towels were being sold by the garbage men, shipped to Florida and sold in the linen outlets. They were none the wiser for over a year until I called to complain about some towels I bought that just kept bleeding on me every time I showered. If the outlet had been smart, they would have taken them back, but they left an angry customer to call the manufacturer or maybe they didn't know Canon puts a serial number on the tags. They are no longer in business.

Bottom line: I don't care what it is, it will be stolen simply because the number of hacks outnumber the number of talents. All you can hope for is a little credit because you sure aren't getting any money and if you pin your financial hope on a product, the odds are you won't be eating next month. That is reality. Even if you have the money to fight them, you are probably going to get nothing. Learn to live with it and join the club or get out of the business.

Yes, it still makes me angry and that doesn't do me a bit of good. It doesn't hurt them in least. In my old age, I have learned anger doesn't work for me. So, I don't even bother with copyrights or trademarks or patents. I figure sooner or later karma will get them.

Which leads me to the last group of thieves. They stole a product from a nice guy and even managed to win a prize and get on national TV with it. Then, they actually had to make one and demonstrate it. All the time they were doing the TV bit and were the big stars, he never said a single word because he knew the product they stole from him didn't, couldn't work. They couldn't build one from his mockup. They had to admit on national TV they had stolen the product and it didn't work. Karma is a bitch and sometimes she has puppies. And sometimes the nice guy gets the last laugh.

So dear hacks, steal away. If you actually manage to improve my product, I will steal it back. Fair is fair. And to those who steal people's artwork or writing, you might have to prove your expertise and that can become a really big problem if you have none. Not only that, but the more well known a person becomes, the more people begin to recognize their work. Every writer has a style and voice. Every painter has a brushstroke. Every photographer an angle. In the end, people will see you for exactly what you are: a thief and a hack and a really poor copy.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Beware the Big Con Game

Typically when you breed animals for show or for function, you are aware the majority of animals you produce are of no real value to your program. Only a small percentage will have the qualities you are seeking and those must be isolated and bred together to produce the ideal you are seeking. In order for this to work you have to do two things. You have to produce a huge number of animals in order to get enough to create a breeding population for the quality you seek and be aware that even within that population you will not produce 100% of the type you seek, only a small percentage because the qualities you seek tend to be recessive and not dominant or the entire population of animals would already conform to the quality you seek. The second thing you need is a way to dispose of the unwanted animals with what you consider to be inferior traits as early as you can possibly identify the one with the wanted characteristics. You also have to have a method to isolate out of that huge quantity of unwanted animals the ones that may produce offspring with the qualities you want or half breeds. If you do not infuse the pure type animals with an occasional genetic payload of the half breeds, the type you want will degenerate into a something incapable of survival or use.
Keep those facts of animal breeding in mind, in the forefront of your mind. It is a breeding program and a business plan. If you are breeding for egg laying chickens, the first thing you do is kill all the male chickens as they are unnecessary for egg laying. That is a breeding and business plan.
Now, let us look at the Abrahamic Religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and their legacy. At the same time, let's look at the once a week school shootings.
First of all, why shoot children? There isn't much sport or even thrill in killing something that can neither fight you, hide from you or seriously harm you. To put it bluntly, they can always make more.
The reason is simple. Until age 19-21, you have no value. Your rights are restricted. You are at the mercy of those older than you. You have not proven you can do anything. In the 50's they actually thought that prior to 6 months, babies couldn't even recognize their mothers so it was perfectly alright for the right to leave the baby with a nanny and return 6 months later to pick it up when it was less of an animal. Then you only needed minimal contact until it was 6 or 7 years old. Yes, that was in the psychological and medical text books. Now, we know a baby bonds with the mother within hours after birth, though in many hospitals, mostly religiously based, it is still normal procedure to separate mother and baby until both a cleaned, sanitized and rested for the introduction that may or may not create a bond at that point.
The child killers are really only manifesting the religious values they have been taught. Children are worthless until they become adults at an arbitrary age and we sort them into function. Which get sent to college because they are deemed intelligent, which are useful for breeding only, which are laborers and which do we kill in wars. The trick is to develop better and better sorting systems that the majority of people cannot see because of the misery they live in and that system tends to be economic.
This is done very systematically by making them think that first off, they can get out of their current state and secondly that there is always someone worse off than them that they can look down upon. Remember the eat your meal, there are starving children in Asia? That fell apart when better communication systems showed the children in Asia weren't starving. To keep people breeding, the promise has been that life will be better for your children which also says, life is not getting better for you if you are smart enough figure out the other half of the sentence.
Unfortunately, the smart ones figured that out and stopped or restricted their breeding. This put a wrench in the business plan. Thus, it was necessary to come up with the superior man manifesto where anyone with a few of the desired characteristics was given certain advantages from birth and encouraged to breed. And, the middle class was born.
It worked too well and the middle class was overtaking the ruling class quickly and starting to...oh my god....give things to the undesirable lower classes and even thinking those people might have a right to life. The solution is easy. Cut the upper middle class off from the rest of the population by convincing them that the rest of the population is going to take the little carrot you let them have because after all, they are superior.
Just look at the religious structure. Originally only the priest class could read so only they knew what the Holy Book said and hence, they could interpret or even rewrite the book as it benefited them. I mean, it is way better to be a well fed and sheltered priest than a starving peasant even if you know that your “God” steals the resources from the peasants to feed you because the peasants are nothing but animals. Then the priests gave power to a few select peasants making them the rulers by directive from God because the fewer people who know what the real business plan is, the better for you to work behind the scenes and not be found out. That created the concept of middle management.
Oddly or really rather sensibly, prior to the Toady Abraham who created the base religion for the big 3 of today, most primitive religions operated on the simple principle that it was best not to attract the attention of the GOD. Attracting attention meant the GOD was going to use you for something and the payoff never equaled the sacrifice unless you got a quick death and they knew that was the least possible outcome. These primitive people seemed to be fully aware that the GOD was a psychopathic egotistical manipulative creature that delighted in torturing them for fun and games. Abraham thought he was smarter and more manipulative and would secure the place for all his children in the future.
Do you recognize that last sentence from the original business plan??? You should because one thing primitive man knew was that he wasn't beating the GOD. GOD had the superior weapons, technology and perhaps intelligence and he wasn't going to win, so he hid well.
However, one thing GOD knew was that eventually it would breed a human capable of seeing through the business plan because the success of using the humans to do the work they didn't want to do was getting one almost as smart as them but stupid enough to accept the structure they set up and work for little or nothing. Do recognize today's business structures?
I do believe they have succeeded in that by convincing people that your reward is in after death. That has to be the best con I have ever seen. Stop and think about it. Would you buy a house, work all your life making payments on it and never even be able to see it much let alone live in it, so you could get the deed after you die? That is the promise of Christianity and Islam. The only glimpse you even have of this world you are paying for is a street paved in gold in a world in which there is no money because everyone has everything they need. You really might want to think about that.
So what do these religions give you? They create a structure in which only you are getting the mythical reward after death, of course. They create payment for those who manage to convince others to believe in this but those others are not quite as good as you because you found it first. You do realize that this is an illegal pyramid scheme in business. You also are given the right to kill anyone who doesn't agree because they are subhuman (even though they sure look just like you) and taking resources from you but you have the right to take all their resources.
Put in the perspective of a business plan, it makes perfect sense. Put in the perspective of a loving GOD , none of it makes any sense. Put in the perspective that we are all humans sharing a planet and just trying to live and be happy, it REALLY makes no sense at all.
Answer the following questions, honestly, if you still aren't convinced you have been had.
  1. What makes a CEO worth a hundred thousand times more than the worker who actually makes the product the CEO sells to him and his family?
  2. Why does one person's worth depend on their appearance?
  3. Since we are all within a small percentage genetically identical to the next guy, why is a blond female worth more than a brunette in most cultures?
  4. Why would a male be worth more than a female when in reality they are a defective female with one less piece of DNA?
  5. Why would you accept payment you have never seen in a world you have never seen that depends on dying to get?
  6. Do the same rules that were created for survival a 1000 years ago apply today or for that matter, the rules for raising a baby in the 50's verses today's knowledge?
Then why are you buying into the same doctrine of a 1000 years ago???? Isn't it time to stop waiting for some GOD to direct you and take matters into your own hands to create a real paradise on this planet in this time for yourself rather a promise of maybe something better for your child?

The song is very, very wrong. You are not going to live forever because someone remembers your name. You are still, very, very dead, feeling nothing and getting nothing. This moment, not a maybe future, is all you have and you had better make the most of it.