Consumer inertia

I’m not the brightest spark.

I decided to bypass Amazon and buy a Terror House ebook direct from their store. I had to get instructions from Matt on how to get it onto my Kindle.

At first he thought I was joking but then, when I insisted that I was serious, he gave me the steps with palpable embarrassment.

Turns out it’s easy: download the file, send it to your Kindle email address (they all have one), perhaps fiddle with one last thing if required, and there it is.

I always bought ebooks via Amazon because that’s all I knew. Go to the Kindle store, search, press the ‘buy’ button.

In fact, I didn’t even know that you could read non-Amazon books on Kindle. I’d wondered about it but never actually tried it. You can read anything on those. If a mate sends you a manuscript as a Word doc, you can forward it to the Kindle to read there – much easier on the eyes. You can copy and paste long articles from the onlines, too.

Of course, Amazon could still reach into your device while the WiFi’s connected and delete anything they find objectionable but I’m not too worried about that at the moment and can’t physically obtain or store paper books right now anyway. I know others are building paper libraries and that’s a good idea.

Probably all this has not taught my reader anything he didn’t already know, but the anecdote may illustrate something interesting: consumer inertia.

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There won’t be a collapse

I like survivalists.  I’m a bit of one myself.  Of course, a total failure of electricity, water, gas, internet, telephony, television or security over here is just business as usual, so one does not have to be a Gulf War I vet with a twitch in the eye to make some basic preparations.

I feel a slight stirring in my loins when I look at my two huge Read More

You’re Not Contributing Nearly As Much As You Think

The original inspiration behind American democracy was the creed, “No taxation without representation.”  Some still think it’s a workable idea: those who pay tax should vote and those who do not should be deprived of the privilege.

But just because you’re paying tax doesn’t mean you’re a net contributor.

Most people think they are net contributors because they pay income tax and don’t receive any welfare.  Such people might need to pull out a calculator and check their numbers Read More