Ted (merovingian) wrote,
Ted
merovingian

Please read this journal entry only while riding on a motorcycle at 80mph or faster

I was sitting at my computer when a rabbit jumped through the window. She was dressed in a top hat, a very fine vest, and pantaloons, all in a grey tweed. She wore spectacles as well, and wing-tipped shoes.

I chose to disregard her, because I was really into my video game, until she drew a tiny silver pistol and put it to my head.

"Tell me a business plan," she said.

I stared blankly in a cold panic for a moment, until I was possessed by a venture-capitalist aspect of Oggun, which began to speak through my mouth.

"Free Books," my mouth said, "Open a storefront with a single-print book printer. Customers can come in and request any public domain book, and we'll print it up in a few minutes and give it to them. Since there's less need for inventory, and no premium on the book costs for licensing or distribution, we can charge significantly less than normal bookstores. For living authors, we can include an option to donate a dollar to the book's author. The place could also double as a no-frills vanity press; anyone who'd written a book could release it to the public domain at the store, and then any desired copies could be printed on the spot. Furthermore, colleges could use it to print readers. The most popular book in the U.S. is a public domain book, you know. It's effectly just in time, there's no distribution expenses except for raw materials, and all the advantages of browsing could be accomplished electronically with terminals at location. You'd get the student market, the information freedom market, the custom printer market, and the vanity market, and it's an idea that will scale and be able to compete in the future. If it's in a high-tech college, how could it lose?"

The rabbit stood up straight and replied, with a bit of smugness, "The first typewriters had the keys in alphabetical order, and the inventor found that people were typing too quickly, causing the keys to stick. So the next version had keys in the worst possible locations, to slow down typing. This became the standard for typewriters, and, later, for keyboards. The model that's designed to be as difficult to use as possible. And you know what? It will never change. One hundred and fifty years from now, keyboards will have the same layout."

Then she melted into water.
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