A couple of EPautos stalwarts have really come through (thanks, Escher!) but as you can see from the pie chart, we’re not quite yet at the halfway mark (half black, half red) and there are only about 10 days left in the month. You regulars know I really dislike rattling the cup this way, but it’s the only way, unfortunately, to get the grease that keeps the machinery from locking up.
We have made solid progress toward shifting the burden to advertising. The ultimate goal is to have the site supported almost entirely or even entirely that way. But – trust me – it’s no easy thing. Especially when you’re picky about who you want to do business with. The advertisers on EPautos are businesses I personally recommend; I personally use their products (e.g., Amsoil, V1). Not because they’re advertisers, either. I’ve used their products long before EPautos existed. And would do so regardless of whether they advertised here. I don’t want porn or Viagra ads – and expect most of you don’t, either.
Also, direct reader support is valuable because it leaves more space on the site for what you come here for. The rants, the news, the comments.
Probably, the best outcome is a (roughly) 50-50 mix, reader support and ads.
Anyhow, I’d like to ask those of you who’ve been reading EPautos but haven’t yet supported the site to please consider doing so. We have a lot of people coming here every month. Unfortunately, only a relative handful toss in. Their support is hugely appreciated. But I’d be grateful for your support, too.
UPDATE: I’ll be a guest on Fox News with Kate Dalley this coming week sometime; details will follow!
Our donate button is here.
If you prefer to avoid PayPal, our mailing address is:
721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079
PS: EPautos stickers are free to those who sign up for a $5 or more monthly recurring donation to support EPautos, or for a one-time donation of $10 or more. (Please be sure to tell us you want a sticker – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)
We are automating the business of publishing, and if you’re anyone other than a publisher, the results are largely positive. For readers, the cost of reading has dropped while selection has increased dramatically.
Employment in newspaper, magazine and book publishing has definitely suffered, though the impact on the broader employment market for writers and editors has remained largely unchanged.
What we have automated, in other words, is the publishing process – not writing or editing, which, so far at least, remain very much a human endeavor
The Automation of the Publishing Industry. A 21 minute read.
We live in a time when automation is creeping from one industry to another. Each time it does, its signature is a little different. In publishing, the impact is complex. If you come from the publishing world, the effects have been quite painful.
For most of us though, automation has largely been a good thing. Our access to written material has exploded. We now have far more information and knowledge at our fingertips than at any time in history.
The fact that writers and editors have experienced no widespread downturn in employment suggests that the footprints before us in the snow are that of a different creature than what I had assumed. I had envisioned a voracious beast, devouring everything in its path. But instead, what I’ve seen is something much more selective in its appetite for our work. It is a creature capable of bringing about much creativity, but for those of us who once specialized in the manual processes of selecting and filtering as well as preparing and distributing written material, this creature has brought economic destruction.
Right now, the vast majority of the knowledge held in our search engines and social media streams originated from human minds. What I wonder about are all those Little League baseball stories being automatically generated by Narrative Science software. That kind of software will get better and better with time, and through the proliferation of digital sensors enabled by the Internet of Things, that software will have access to massive pools of raw data from which it will generate many new reports and other publications without any help from humans.
The question that therefore arises is what happens when the publisher and the writer are no longer human. Surely, there will continue to be fields where humans will retain their role not merely as consumers but as generators of knowledge. Just how prevalent that will be is hard to say right now, and in this question lies a huge question about the future importance of humanity in the continued discovery of new knowledge.
Cherish is the word that I use to describe everyone on this website. You don’t know how many times. I’ve wished that I had told you. You don’t know how many times. I’ve wished that I could hold you. You don’t know how many times. I’ve wished that I could
mold you into someone who could. Cherish me as much as I cherish you.
And I do. Cherish you. Cherish is the word.
Everyone Knows It’s Wendy from here in the Southwest Bix Nood. Breaking Bad & The Association.
This is my product. Breaking Bad supercut.
Heisenberg song. Negro y Azul. Los Cuates de Sinaloa
If I could be a nigger for a day. Johnny Rebel
Les Paul & Mary Ford: Alabamy Bound /Darktown Strutters Ball.
When you initially see something on the news, you only see the ending. how did Walter Scott end up running from the police and being gunned down for doing so.
Walter Scott had four children with two different women. He had a decent job and he paid child support. He was getting by. But in 2003 there was a clerical error on the part of the state. Checks he sent to a state agency for his ex-wife were mistakenly directed to the mother of his first children. As a result of this error which was not his fault, he was sent to jail.
He lost his job, but not his child support obligations. Now he was in a cycle of falling behind, going to jail, and then again losing whatever employment he had found.
On April 4th, 2015, there was a warrant out for his arrest because he’d fallen behind again. And so, when he was pulled over for a broken taillight, Walter tried to run. The police officer gave chase, shot and killed him – and that police officer has been charged with murder.
So there is the rest of the story. As Paul Harvey used to say. Walter wasn’t a drug dealer or a strong arm robbere. He just owed the state money. He was a man who became trapped in an inhuman Family Court Gulag.
What happened to him wasn’t only about police brutality. It’s also an indictment of the way the American Police state treats fathers. Had he not run away, or not been killed, he’d be in jail right now only you wouldn’t even know his name.
In an interview with his brother, there was this chilling line:
Walter asked the judge, “How am I supposed to live?”
And the judge smugly replied, “That’s your problem. You figure it out.”
This even happens to millionaires and rich guys who end up in dire straits.
Check out Joe Rogan’s interiview of Dave Foley’s Divorce and the Nightmare of Child Support. Dave was once an actor in “Kids in the Hall.” When his show was canceled, his child support payments continued. At the one hour mark he says that the judge told him:
“Your ability to pay is not related to your obligation to pay”
Whether you’re a very rich guy, or a very poor guy, both of you can end up like a bug in the same endless kafkaesque trap. You should be thinking about freedom now and making preparations, because it can happen to you too at some point.
Google Mobilegeddon will affect search rankings for 40% of websites. T
Google’s last big algorithm update, code-named Panda, impacted 11% of all search results and was a big shake-up. This one will probably be even more dramatic.
Hopefully all is well. This googul tester says congrats, this site is mobile-friendly.
Of course this may also be the big opportunity for googul to back door demote all the sites that googul says aren’t “truthful” whatever that actually means.
Mid June 2013 is when the googul-SHTF for EPautos big time
2013 googul algorithm change history
Will the contribution meter fill up for the month of April? I hope so. Securing the contributions needed for this blog to continue is an illustration of the market at work.
Of all the possible writers and topics that could be make an economic go of it. This is the one the market has chosen. There are infinite other possible blogs. Bevin writing about Architecture and Lao Zi. BrentP making videos about engineering in the Land of Lincoln. Eightsouthman writing about Grits and driving a truck. Those are other possibilities that also could make a go of it in the marketplace.
Will those other blogs do well? Will Eric’s blog about motorcycles, automobiles, and libertarian politics continue to succeed in the market? There is no guru, think tank, or political cabal that has this answer. Only the market knows. The market is a unique kind of Strange Magic.
There are technical theoretical reasons why markets might fail. These theories may temper uncritical views of the market, but it is crucial to understand that markets do work. They work incredibly well in fact. Indeed, markets work so thoroughly and quietly that their success too often goes unnoticed.
Consider that the number of different ways to arrange, even in a single dimension, a mere twenty items is far greater than the number of seconds in ten billion years. Now consider that the world contains trillions of different resources: my labor, iron ore, Hong Kong harbor, the stage at the Met, countless stands of pine trees, fertile Russian plains, orbiting satellites, automobile factories—the list is endless. The number of different ways to use, combine, and recombine these resources is unimaginably colossal.
And almost all of these ways are useless.
It would be a mistake, for example, to combine Arnold Schwarzenegger with medical equipment and have him perform brain surgery. Likewise, it would be a genuine shame to use the fruit of Chateau Petrus’s vines to make grape juice.
Only a tiny fraction of all the possible ways to allocate resources is useful. How can we discover these ways?
Random chance clearly will not work. Nor will central planning—which is really just a camouflaged method of relying on random chance. It is impossible for a central planning body even to survey the full set of possible resource arrangements, much less to rank these according to how well each will serve human purposes.
That citizens of modern market societies eat and bathe regularly; wear clean clothes; drive automobiles; fly to Rome, Italy, or Branson, Missouri, for holidays; and chat routinely on cell phones is powerful evidence that our economy is amazingly well arranged. An effective means must be at work to ensure that some of the relatively very few patterns of resource use that are beneficial are actually used (rather than any of the 99.9999999+ percent of resource-use patterns that would be either useless or calamitous).
The decentralized price system is that means. Critical to its functioning is the institution of private property with its associated duties and rights, including the duty to avoid physically harming and taking other people’s property, and the right to exchange property and its fruits at terms agreed on voluntarily.
Each person seeks to use every parcel of his property in ways that yield him maximum benefit, either by consuming it most effectively according to his own subjective judgment or by employing it most profitably in production. The market system of prices are vital to the making of such important decisions.
Information And Prices
The ongoing challenge is convincing a certain percentage of the audience to support the work. EPautos has a pretty decent audience – 80,000-100,000 people per month read the rants/posts; several hundred “core” people are registered as Contributors. If even half of those tossed in $5-$10 a month regularly, everything would be cool.
If my primary motivation was financial, I’d never have launched EPautos – and given up my mainstream media gigs. To give you some sense of that, I used to earn $150-$300 for a single article published by cars.com or thecarconnection.com. I typically did 3-4 of those a week for them. AOL Autos paid me $2,500 monthly to write “cars of the stars” and other such dreck.
Now, I’m just trying to maintain my ability to write freely about the things that seem (to me) to be worth writing about, without editorial interference (or censure).
It’s very rewarding in a psychological sense, but the financial stress is very real. It’s been a big factor in the collapse of my marriage, among other things.