aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, March 16, 2006
On Michael Bailey and the Queen Gene
Wayne Besen weighs in on the 60 Minutes segment. Here he comments on Michael Bailey, the psychology professor at Northwestern University described as a leading researcher in the field of sexual orientation:
Whether Bailey has hit the scientific jackpot or is a crackpot is open for debate. Many people bristle, for example, when he claims that gay people walk and talk differently.
True, your gaydar does not have to be finely tuned to figure out Richard Simmons or Clay Aiken is gay.
Oh, wait, is Clay gay?
Before Bailey makes such broad assumptions, however, he should put on football pads and collide with former NFL player Esera Tuaolo. This might rattle him out of his one-dimensional mindset and lead him to expand his research to include gay men and lesbians who are not borderline transgender.
Other critics rightfully question Bailey’s potentially dark motives. He once told the New York Times that if it became possible for parents to determine sexual orientation in the womb than, “Selecting for heterosexuality seems to be morally acceptable.
He concludes “the “60 Minutes” segment, as a whole, was very helpful to the argument for gay equality. It brusquely dismissed the inane pseudo-science of our opponents.”
Publishers are killing off the printed book
Growing angrier by the minute at the publishers, and Amazon’s capitulation, I realize that I read fewer and fewer books. And I’m feeling no less informed or enlightened because of it.
Book is what you do when you’re reading. Book is not a literary form, because obviously we have literary forms that we’ve called books that weren’t published in book form starting with the Bible… That book was a scroll. You know, it wasn’t in book form at all. And then we have books like Charles Dickens books which were in fact published in newspapers as serials.
So clearly it’s not a literary form and it’s not a physical object, it’s a practice. It’s the thing that you do when you are reading things that are book-like… Book is not a thing, it’s a verb, it’s not a noun. So I think that when you consider that more people read more words off of more screens every day, and fewer people read fewer words off of fewer pages every day, then we have to conclude that what people are doing with screens is book.
I will be reading books long after those publishers who close out screens are, themselves, out of business.
Cory gives his books away and makes money
The important thing for me isn’t whether or not I lose some sales. The important thing for me is whether I gain more sales than I’ve lost… The thing that’s important to me isn’t to get 100% of a very small pie, it’s to make sure that the piece of pie that I get is as large as possible.
And so I think that by giving books away I make a much larger pie. I gave away half a million copies of my first novel through my website and God knows how many more copies have been given away through other people’s websites. It’s just gone into its fifth printing!…
You can think about this as dramatically lowering my cost of customer acquisition while simultaneously lowering my per customer revenue. So I was able to acquire 500,000 customers for free, but most of them never bought the book, so the other ones are paying for the free ride…
I think that’s pretty typical of any kind of entertainment economics, that you have, you know, with music. How many people listen to a song on the radio without buying the CD?
Bill Gates, proprietary dinosaur
Evidently, Bill Gates is not:
Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates on Wednesday mocked a $100 laptop computer for developing countries being developed with the backing of rival Google Inc. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The $100 laptop project seeks to provide inexpensive computers to people in developing countries. The computers lack many features found on a typical personal computer, such as a hard disk and software.
Gates’ option? The poor should share a machine so Microsoft can make money:
Before his critique, Gates showed off a new “ultra-mobile computer” which runs Microsoft Windows on a seven-inch (17.78-centimeter) touch screen.
Those machines are expected to sell for between $599 and $999, Microsoft said at the product launch last week.
“If you are going to go have people share the computer, get a broadband connection and have somebody there who can help support the user, geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you’re not sitting there cranking the thing while you’re trying to type,” Gates said.
Gates described the computers as being for shared use, but the project goes under the name “One Laptop per Child.” A representative for the project did not immediately reply to an inquiry seeking comment.
I want a program that gets old computers loaded with Ubuntu and given to the poor here in America. And a universal service fund that subsidizes their access to broadband.
That idea will go over like a lead balloon, but I stand by it. And I will work in my own small way to get it started here.