Recent blog posts in the category Uncategorized / General:

No Humans Allowed

Once again: Whatever it is we're designing our world for, it isn't the human being.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/21 08:00

Why bad technology dominates our lives, according to Don Norman

We have unwittingly accepted the paradigm that technology comes first, with people relegated to doing the actions that the machines cannot do. This requires people to act like machines, ever ready to take over when things go wrong.

... Whenever I wander around a city, I often stop to examine some unique thing I’ve noticed. Why? Curiosity: It’s a natural human trait. My curiosity frequently leads me to insights that have helped me in my career. So why is this wonderful, creative trait of curiosity given the negative term “distraction”?

This brings back to mind a line I return to often, one I believe came by way of Theodore Roszak: whatever it is we're designing our world for, it isn't the human being.

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Tags: society  technology 

Welcome to the Fold: Give It Away Now (July 17, 2018 Edition)

My sorta-kinda thriller/mystery novel Welcome To The Fold is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie!

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/17 17:00

This is my once-every-so-often post about giveaways, freebies, promotions, and other must-haves from Your Friends At Genji Press, which appears for no particular good reason on Tuesday.

My sorta-kinda thriller/mystery novel Welcome To The Fold is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie.

Many other books from other authors are also available in this lot, so go check 'em out as well. There's a good chance an itch you didn't know you had may well be scratched.

If you snag a copy, a review on Goodreads or is greatly appreciated.

Also bear in mind my TYPO BOUNTY! If you find mechanical mistakes in the text (spelling, grammar, etc.), collate as many as you can find, drop me a line and I'll fix it up, and throw you a goodie for your trouble. Limit one goodie per person per book.

Tags: Genji Press  Welcome to the Fold  giveaways 

The Uncertainty Principle

What did Bertrand Russell mean when he said, "Do not feel absolutely certain of anything"?

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/16 08:00

Bertrand Russell once listed a series of guidelines for intellectual integrity. I'd like to discuss them all at length, but I'll start with the top of the list: Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

This is a view shared by Sir Karl Popper, the godfather of falsifiability. His stance was that any position we take should always be regarded as tentative. But he also made it clear that the further we go, the more work would be required to overturn an existing position. It was far easier to unseat the Ptolemaic or geocentric view of the universe than to unseat the Einsteinian view of the universe, in big part because each unseating builds on the successes and learns from the failures of the prior one. Unseating Einstein would take more effort than I am capable of visualizing, but I'm one man and I'm not even a physicist. The door has to remain open. But not just so that any old thing can walk through.

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Tags: Bertrand Russell  Karl Popper  philosophy  science  skepticism 

Watts Up

On how social-reading network Wattpad is becoming a hub for discovering the next big thing.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/15 08:00

Social-reading network Wattpad is becoming a hub for discovering the next big thing:

How Wattpad Is Rewriting the Rules of Hollywood

“This is a whole bunch of information the industry never had before,” Levitz tells Vulture. “We can go to the audience in a story and see not only if they like or dislike the lead male character. We can read the comments that actually say, ‘Yeah, this is where half the audience decides they like him and half the audience decides they hate him.’ We can look at whole chapters that don’t have any comments and drop the right pieces out. We can draw up two casting videos of two potential female leads. And through our social feeds, go, ‘What do you think?’ And we’re gonna get tens, hundreds, maybe thousands of comments that are gonna point us in one direction or another.”

First off, full disclosure: I'm flirting with the idea of using Wattpad for a future story or two, just to see what the experience is like.

That said: What strikes me most about getting feedback like this is how it's more useful for the marketers than it is for the authors or the audience. 

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Tags: creativity  creators  publishing  writers  writing 

Court And Spark

It's the fate of most any creator to never know what their work means to other people, but only to themselves.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/11 17:00

I think it's the fate of most any creator to never know what their work means to other people, but only to themselves.

I'm not the biggest fan of my own work. I find countless problems with it — it's too contrived here, it's too needlessly complex there, it's too removed from human behavior, etc. I have to stop myself from polishing it to death, and then I still find things wrong with it long after the fact. Whatever it is I'm aiming at, it always seems to be left of where I end up hitting. It always feels like there's too much of the story between me and whatever it is I'm trying to express. And so on.

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Tags: creativity  writers  writing 

Psycho Fandom, Qu'est-ce que c'est?

Steve has some notes on pathological fandom that are worth a read. A few things stood out.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/10 17:00

Steve has some notes on pathological fandom that are worth a read. A few things stood out:

Even if your interest provides a number of benefits, even if it connects you to people, those connections may not be healthy or involve too much pathology. In some cases you may be better of without the community.

It’s not just “does my interest connect me to people” it’s “does it connect me with healthy people and communities?”

I think the bigger problem is that most people have no idea what constitutes a pathological community connection, or a pathological community for that matter.

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Tags: fandom  psychology 

Warning! Progress!

Future Genji Press plans, laid bare! (Oh, and free stuff!)

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/08 08:00

What with Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned finally (FINALLY, FINALLY) reaching completion and getting ready for publication in the coming month or two, it's high time I dropped some hints about what other changes are in store for Chez Genji.

  1. AONO itself. That part you saw coming. But when it drops, I'll be offering some opportunities to pick up a copy of the book either at a steep discount or totally free.
  2. Once a month, going forward, I'll be offering limited-time discounts on a book selected from the catalog by way of a highly sophisticated stochastic algorithm known as "Pot Luck". The time window on these is likely to be very short — a day or two at most! — so move fast.
  3. I'm also going to be partnering with a number of outfits like InstaFreebie to provide giveaways as a way to further drum up interest and readership. I haven't done much, if any, work in this vein, and so it's high time I tried it out and see where it leads. Look for the tag giveaways to highlight such things.

Finally, I have two, possibly three, works on the front burner contending for being written next. I'd like to keep the timeframe on their production reasonably short. The last few books took far too long, and there were several reasons for that: Vajra was just a monster of a book; Welcome To The Fold was being written around the same time I was relocating cross-country; and AONO also ended up being long-ish (although not Vajra long) and written atop some things going on in my life that I'd rather not go on about in public. The next ones are intended to be shorter, more in the 120-150K word range, and written on a schedule to match.

Ideally, I'd like to go to a one-book-a-year schedule, which was the design I set for myself when I founded Genji Press some twelve years ago (jeezy creezy, has it really been that long?!). I don't know if I can actually live up to that kind of self-imposed rigor, but I can sure try.

Tags: Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned  Genji Press  future projects  giveaways 

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