09 March, 2010

Regarding Google and Ursula K. Le Guin

On behalf of all aspiring writers, I would like to thank Ursula K. Le Guin for standing up for authors' rights.

Young writers should be considered, here. What Google proposes is nothing less than robbing people of the ability to make a living from writing, thus taking a dream I've held since I was a little boy and crushing it before its reality can begin.

In my twenties, I presently can sell everything I write--just not to pro markets. I keep practising, striving, yearning, selling fiction for peanuts. Luckily, I'm as fast as a young Silverberg, so I make enough money to survive on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tap water, and the occassional piece of fruit. Why do this to myself? Because I NEED to be a writer. I would rather die than be anything else.

If Google robs me of this dream, I don't know how I'll live. I'll find another way, I suppose, but it will be quiet, pathetic life, and one I'll always deem a failure.

I'm not successful enough to fight with you. Not yet. Not as I'd like to. Indeed, I'm mouthing off in a forum full of personal heroes. I will merely sit at my desk, writing everyday, as Isak Dinesen said, without hope and without despair. But while my fingers are busy I'll keep my toes crossed for you, because if Google succeeds in their strikingly evil ambition of robbing humankind of literature, then no matter what happens with my dream of writing, I'll still need a crummy part time job.

See you at a future worldcon, or perhaps next time one of you visits McDonald's, depending on how this goes, because I have no other lucrative skills, nor do I want any. I said I'm fast, but I'm nowhere near as good as an old Silverberg, yet. Let's see what happens. In the meantime, I'm here to tell Ursula K. Le Guin that she's a hero. On behalf of all aspiring writers, I salute you.

Yours eventually,

Wm. Luke Everest


A thought:

Our predecessors fought hard for the right to vote politically, essentially to fetter the wild urges of power, to make those in power answer to the people. Now we live in a world where, as of 1970, twelve corporations held more economic power, and thus more global influence, than the world's most powerful nation. This trend has only gotten worse. We need the vote on economic issues.

Older people often wonder why more young people don't vote. It is because a political vote lacks the significance one human voice deserves.

Google's business model seems to be the eventual ownership of the internet. So much for the free exchange of information. So much for the ideology that unfettered capitalism is freedom. By this ideology, feudalism is political freedom. The purpose of modern governments is to TAKE freedom from the powerful and make them answer to the people. This is no longer possible, because there are no infrastructures in place to allow people to vote on the actions of corporations, even when those corporations have more global influence than any political body. Google proposes to rob humankind of literature, thus slowing the progress of all humankind. If only I could trust my government to crush such an obviously destructive scheme. But no...