Monday, March 10, 2014

Demented Chickens and the FDA (with a convoluted connection to publishing)

Would it count as assault if I punched Benjamin Franklin in the face for his legacy? Twice a year we put the majority of the people through jetlag. The arguments for DST, when it was actually proposed, included arguments that it would give the farmers more time to do their work (as if legislation magically makes the day longer) and the legislators bought it.

I didn't see the debates, but what kind of idiot buys that logic? Considering how our government has gone downhill since then, I wince when I think about what they might be swallowing now. Can't they just leave us alone?

Unfortunately, leaving us alone is no longer an option. People are too used to being told what to do at every turn--if all that legislation was taken away, it would be a free-for-all. It would eventually settle, but the time in between would be nothing short of horrific.

Think about it. When a person is told where to move, how to move, given penalties if they don't move in the right direction (think of rats in a maze) with rules so convoluted that only a team of lawyers can trace all the ins and outs, what happens when those limitations are taken away?

We're too used to government regulation for it to work.

I was thinking about this in terms of the publishing industry. For hundreds of years the traditional publishers have been the gatekeepers; determining what the market wanted, setting the prices, etc. They pretty much had a monopoly. Then comes the self-publishing industry and they stomped on it. Hard. No way they were going to allow that competition. But the self publishing industry of former years morphed into the e-book industry and they just keep sitting down harder as if that will stop the implosion we all see coming.

Additional regulations won't help at this point. The publishing equivalent of the FDA has failed miserably and people are running around like demented chickens screaming with their new freedom. It'll settle eventually, but I'm not sure that the publishing industry will be recognizable when it does.

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