Support
The Digital Era Creates Gardens without Gardeners
3

Science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin thinks Amazon represents everything that's wrong with capitalism:

If you want to sell cheap and fast, as Amazon does, you have to sell big. Books written to be best sellers can be written fast, sold cheap, dumped fast: the perfect commodity for growth capitalism.

The readability of many best sellers is much like the edibility of junk food. Agribusiness and the food packagers sell us sweetened fat to live on, so we come to think that's what food is. Amazon uses the BS Machine to sell us sweetened fat to live on, so we begin to think that's what literature is.

She blames the online retailer for perpetuating a system that encourages authors to produce "sweetened fat" instead of the literature that nourishes the soul. She attacks the marketing of best seller lists ("BS lists"), and it would not be a mistake to infer that she believes these lists are comprised of an entirely different sort of "BS." She writes:

Best Seller lists are generated by obscure processes, which I consider (perhaps wrongly) to consist largely of smoke, mirrors, hokum, and the profit motive. How truly the lists of Best Sellers reflect popularity is questionable.

If the literary world is a garden, then Amazon would be a gardener whose liberal use of fertilizer, Le Guin contends, has encouraged the growth of weeds. But her anger is misplaced. There is no gardener -- and the garden is more beautiful than ever.

Spontaneous Order in the Book World

Amazon is a consequence, not the cause, of the digital revolution. More books are being published every year

The Arena: Mandatory Vaccinations? Read and Decide

Are mandatory vaccines compatible with liberty? Read the arguments and decide.

0

What Do We Celebrate on the Fourth of July?

There's value in having a parade just to appreciate the right to have a parade.

8

Home Education Inspires a Love of Learning

The verdict is in: the one ingredient that makes the most difference in how well ...read more

6

How to Outsource Your Compassion to the Government

Millions of people have trouble earning a living. Isn't it perverse to burden th ...read more

9

Explore the Freeman