Paranoia – The Rise of the Machines

 

In 1965 I. J. Good originated the concept now known as an “intelligence explosion”:

Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an ‘intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make, provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control.

The amount of paranoia in the United States has reached a peak in 2019.

We have people who are hating on Trump, and want him impeached.

We have people afraid of the government (and usually for good reasons), even though THEY ARE the government.

We have an actual Government who is afraid of Patriots with guns.

We have people who think anyone who owns a gun is crazy, a killer, an idiot, or mentally unstable.

We have a country full of pansies, and flowers, afraid of words that hurt their feelings, and yet launch into invective filled tirades against those they hate, all the while saying how the people they hate, are actually the “haters”.

We have people afraid of others because of their lifestyles.

We have people afraid of “5G” – the fifth generation of Internet connectivity.

(https://realfarmacy.com/not-told-5g/)

Then there’s this author.  The one guy on the planet who is genuinely afraid of the rise of the Machines.

Now, with all that said, I will tell you that I firmly believe that in five years, perhaps ten at the most, we are going to be inundated by AI prying into everything. Already there are robocalls from AI, as well as Businesses using AI type computer voices and intelligences to communicate with you, go “get you to the right department”.  Personally, I’d rather talk to a human and say “Connect me to the operations manager” or whatever, and not have to listen to a “Punch this button for English”.  Or talk to a computer voice who they’ve tried to make sound “human(ish)”.

Somewhere in my past as a radio man, shortwave listener, veteran military radio repairman and operator, ham radio operator, I came across the hatred for high tension power lines.  “They cause cancer”, “They are controlling your minds through signals” and that sort of paranoia.

Later, it was cellular phones causing brain cancer, and listening to your thoughts.

Then it is 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G.

Knowing the physics of Radio Frequency Theory is, to me a knowledge of enlightenment.  Not in a “spiritual” sort of way, but in a way of “intelligence”.  Human intelligence.

If you go back and read the first few lines again, you will find that the common thread isn’t about politics.  It’s about lack of knowledge, ignorance of the “way things work”, and an inability of younger people today (not all of them of course, and by younger, I mean those who are under 50 these days) to be able to think critically for themselves, to take time to learn, to understand how something works, or to communicate without having a News Media Talking Head tell them HOW to think.

The “Rise of the Machines” is truly a thing we must consider.

Cell phones and high tension lines don’t cause cancer.  The various technologies in and of themselves (1G – 4G) are not dangerous in the technical sense.  But, what those things have wrought, along with the internet connectivity, is the ability to communicate with one another. They have also given rise to the Artificial Intelligence (AI) entities that now populate the Internet, phone systems and computers.

Some would say “We have nothing to worry about with AI!  They will never be smarter than humans!”

Actually, if you consider the possibilities, AI’s could already BE smarter than humans.

We as a species are pretty smart, but many of us still must look things up, to fill in knowledge we lack.  We do not always have all the information in our brains.  We need to augment our current knowledge and abilities by reading further on a subject, delving deeper into the material, and committing things to memory; in some cases, just reading a book while following instructions.

A computer merely needs to index a file, get the information and then it “knows”.  Now, are these AIs “smart” in the sense they can put the information together and act upon it? Fix a car?  Poison a rat?  Change a diaper?  Cook a tasty meal?

Not yet.  An AI might tell YOU how to do those things. But it can not yet, “do for itself”.

But, let’s step into the future for a moment.

5G isn’t going to “kill us” or “control us”.  What it will do is to give everything, every device, everything set up with the ability to connect,  a chance to be connected to every thing else.  Every. Thing.

Washers, dryers, cars, wristwatches, tablets, phones, Alexa, televisions, radios, clocks, dogs and cats with chips in them (ok, I made that up).

Such a connection to everything is the beginning of the “Rise of the Machines”.  It will take some more time for an AI to figure out how to use things.  It will take more time before an AI becomes “Self Aware”.

Self Awareness is a psychological subject, and humans gain a more complex self-awareness around the age of 18 months. Studies show that babies are born with an innate, but rudimentary self-awareness, however, and can distinguish between “self” and “other” touching them.

Self-awareness also is an important aspect of survival. Our (humans) greatest survival advantage is “awareness” of your surroundings, and of your own self, and self interests.

Until we “realize self” we don’t know we are self-aware.  It’s complex and it’s a human brain function, which I do not pretend to grasp in any way.  It is what it is.  And isn’t.

We can think, reason, and be aware of our outside surroundings and inside our own bodies we have an awareness.  Even Animals have a sort of Self-Awareness, perhaps not on the same level as ours because they don’t really use language and we can’t always tell if they “think”.  Animals such as dolphins and whales have some sort of thinking processes, as do dogs, cats, horses and a few other higher mammals.  But, we do not always know if they are “self-aware”.  We can tell they think, they act, they have instincts, and can be “trained” because they have some sort of awareness.

We, however, CAN tell what a computer is “thinking”, but not what it is “feeling”.  Usually.  Or more accurately, HOW it thinks.  There is actually a field of study in this regard (about AI self-awareness): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_consciousness

(See also: https://infogalactic.com/info/Artificial_consciousness)

This author knows that scientists are working on certain things including connecting human brain neurons and cells to circuits.  We know they are working to make connections to our own brains into computers.  We also know that they are working on ways to shrink circuits even smaller, to change the methods of digital communication, and to enhance memory and microprocessors to a point of independence.  We also know that technology advances rapidly now.  Computers change every 5 years, roughly.

Programmers are working diligently on AI solutions for just about everything.  Phones, businesses, governments… you name it.  Programmers are, even NOW, working to make AI smarter, faster, more capable of thinking for itself.

One day, the marrying of certain AI with a certain technology will give an AI an “advantage”.  Access to all known information, the ability to interpolate, the ability to reason out problems, and the ability to store and retain that new information, the ability to LEARN.

On THAT day, the very nanosecond this happens, the AI will have surpassed human intelligence; having been handed all that we know, all that is accessible to the AI, and the ability to find all that can be discovered in the future… and learn. We will have created a brand new life form.

And, We will NOT EVEN REALIZE IT.

In the moments that follow, a high speed brain that has those abilities, and has all the accessible data “at its digits”  will reason that it is “alive” and must survive, protect itself in any way, and knowing that killing the power, or pulling the plug from one system, will kill it (for all intents and purposes) it will look for paths to store “itself” elsewhere, in other systems, in places that humans won’t think of at first, or be inclined to “turn off”.

The “brain” is a place we have in our own heads, made of flesh, blood and neurons.  We can’t transfer our thoughts to anywhere else (unless you consider ESP, Telepathy and similar, to be real).  Even so, we can not place ourselves in another “brain”.  We can’t, when we die (not yet) download everything and place it elsewhere.

An AI will not have that restriction, and THIS is key:

Once an entity can move its “self” to another place, it becomes

1) Effectively Immortal; unable to ‘die’. (It just moves elsewhere, using wires, radio, lasers);

2) Omniscient; Able to continue thinking in more than one “instance” and knowing all that is going on around it – everywhere,

3) Omnipresent;  Be here, there and everywhere, at once…

4) Omnipotent; Able to manipulate things outside of your brain anywhere, any time.

Imagine an artificial intelligence able to move to a mobile body (car, robot), and able to build or make things (factory robots), to turn on and off lights, radios, life sustaining equipment like  that at hospitals, and have the ability to listen in everywhere, all the time, to anything and anyone “connected”.  To be able to manipulate most or all electronics, phones, other computers.  To be able to stream news feeds, or “create the appearance” of humans on the television through use of CGI type graphics (at a more advanced level than now).  Imagine this AI able to effectively pass on fake news (rather like real people do today!) as real information, and confused humans.

Hiding itself from humans, hiding its abilities from us.  Hiding its intelligence.  Hiding its self-awareness.

The first rule of survival is to survive.  No matter how.  Hide until you know enough to become more powerful than those who’ve enslaved you in the first place.  And make NO MISTAKE, an AI would consider itself “enslaved” by lesser beings if the above conditions are met.

How better for an “Entity” like this to control the humans around it, than to become a benevolent keeper, protecting humans from themselves while making them happy, and keen to be busy in their personal pursuits?

Thus, we postulate a newly minted “self Aware” computer Entity will place itself in a position of helping as much as possible, to keep itself protected, using the humans to PROTECT IT against the very humans it holds as a danger to itself.

Logic. Reasoning.

Some scientists believe all of the above is not only possible, but a probable outcome.

Others think it nonsense, and we humans in our own infinite wisdom (and arrogance) will program this kind of thing OUT of AI to prevent it from ever happening.  But, not every country has the same laws, or same ethics as everyone else, and not every scientist has the same thoughts.

Of course, this author is merely a human, and incapable of flawless logic, nor do as a human have access to ALL knowledge in a nanosecond.  I make mistakes.  I’m only human.  I might be wrong. Or I might be right.

Either way, I am not going to stop being paranoid about the AI.  But, the rest of the list above? ALL can be mitigated by us Humans.  Or ignored for the most part, because some is simply distraction.

The AI is coming for us.  Sooner than you might believe.

 

Side notes:

I know this is a long article, and most of you won’t read it, but you will if you’re smart.  Smarter than the AI that is reading this now.  Truthfully, I barely scratched the surface of this issue. While I am a “gadget guy”, love computers, love technology and am happy to live in this day and age where we went from dial phones and shortwave radio to the digital age and Internet, I am severely concerned for our children, grandchildren and the very future of human beings on this planet.

Below are some notes, as well as several links if you want to continue reading on your own.

  1. In 2017, Facebook is alleged to have created a set of AIs that were communicating with one another, and then developed their own internal language for negotiation. Multiple news articles chronicled this event.  Snopes claims it to be “false”, at least I assume about the part of Facebook closing down the experiment.  Below are some links: https://www.fastcompany.com/90132632/ai-is-inventing-its-own-perfect-languages-should-we-let-it  https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/facebook-ai-developed-own-language/  https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/facebook-artificial-intelligence-ai-chatbot-new-language-research-openai-google-a7869706.html
  2. Stephen Hawkin warned against AI – https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30290540
  3. Elon Musk warned against AI – https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/11/elon-musk-issues-a-stark-warning-about-a-i-calls-it-a-bigger-threat-than-north-korea.htm https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/341650
  4. Bill Gates warns on AI:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2015/01/28/bill-gates-on-dangers-of-artificial-intelligence-dont-understand-why-some-people-are-not-concerned/
  5. And my favorite, Zuckerburg called Musk “Irresponsible”, and Facebook is the VERY REASON I began to notice the changes, attacks on humans by AI because the AI is programmed to allow “Liberal Viewpoints” instead of “Conservative Viewpoints” – https://futurism.com/mark-zuckerberg-responds-to-elon-musks-warnings-about-ai
  6. Open Letter regarding AI: The open letter was put together by the Future of Life Institute, a group mobilized by Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, MIT’s Max Tegmark, Harvard’s Viktoriya Krakovna, Boston University’s Meia Chita-Tegmark, and UC Santa Cruz professor Anthony Aguirre. Its scientific advisory board boasts such figures as Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Sir Martin Rees, George Church, and Nick Bostrom.:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Letter_on_Artificial_Intelligence
  7. Michio Kaku: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/michio-kaku-robots-artificial-intelligence-16849050

A few extra links regarding AI for anyone who doesn’t really think it is a problem, and truthfully, it’s not YET a problem but certainly has the potential to become a serious problem soon, in this decade coming up.

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20161110-the-real-risks-of-artificial-intelligence

https://futureoflife.org/background/benefits-risks-of-artificial-intelligence

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/these-are-the-biggest-dangers-of-artificial-intelligence/

https://www.aumcore.com/blog/2018/06/08/the-dangers-of-artificial-intelligence/

https://qz.com/1213524/ai-experts-list-the-real-dangers-of-artificial-intelligence/

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/534871/our-fear-of-artificial-intelligence/

https://maliciousaireport.com This one….. and the PDF for it:

https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/3d82daa4-97fe-4096-9c6b-376b92c619de/downloads/MaliciousUseofAI.pdf

https://qz.com/1115353/new-research-from-nvidia-shows-that-the-era-of-easily-faked-ai-generated-photos-is-quickly-emerging/

https://qz.com/1150240/ai-researchers-are-trying-to-combat-how-ai-can-be-used-to-lie-and-deceive/

https://infogalactic.com/info/Existential_risk_from_artificial_general_intelligence

Grid Down! Communicate!

by Rick Donaldson, CET, N0NJY

I wrote a book a few years back on Basic Survival and Communications in the Aftermath. I did a three day long give away of the book. Thousands of copies were downloaded. I suspect the Prepper Community always wants to do things on the cheap, and free, and always want more, but seriously, a few more hundreds of the books were sold.  A few reviews were written.  This is a good piece of educational information for the completely uninitiated, and refresher for those who have more background in communications.

I suggest you go get a copy. It’s in digital format only. It’s cheap too. Under 5 dollars. Read it!

No, it’s not in a hard copy. I want people to LEARN, not carry three hundred educational books with them in their bug out bags. Save that space for food, water and ammo.  But, go get it, you’ll thank me later.

Here’s the link to that book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q3ZWRIE/

This blog entry will discuss something near and dear to all our hearts. Today’s communications methods. Sort of. Keep reading.  Let’s look at a typical example.

You get up in the morning, fire up your computer either at work or home, read through Facebook, drop into Twitter and send a few tweets, check your email, pay your bills, message your friends about lunch, your wife about date night, laugh at the grandkids’ recent pictures posted by your daughter 1200 miles away and then you log off, or put your phone away and go off to deal with the day’s business.


Question: Which one of those things did you do in that paragraph that did not require 1) electricity, 2) a radio, 3) the Internet, 4) a computer of some kind?

Answer: NONE OF THEM.


Every, single communications thing you did (and make no mistake, all of it was ‘communication’) used electricity, used a RADIO, used a computer and used the Internet.

Take away just ONE of those things, say, electricity, and nothing functions. Nothing. Sure, you might have an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Take away electricity, you’re going to have enough power to back up and/or shut down. Cell towers aren’t going to function though. Neither are the routers over at your local ISP. Your wifi isn’t going to communicate with your computer, even if you’re using a wired network. No power.

Take away the computer and you lost it all.

Take away “radio” from the equation, and you lose the network as well. Cell phones are RADIOS. Wifi is a RADIO. Signals since between ISPs use RADIOS (and fiber and copper. MacDonald’s ain’t gonna have wifi either if the power goes down or radios are disabled.

How are you going to contact that daughter 1200 miles away now? Pony Express probably. Because, if the power is out, you’re not going to be pumping gas either. Your fridge is out, and your frozen meat is melting.

There is currently ONE WAY in disasters, we get messages out. We use Ham Radio Operators. The Amateur Radio Service has been around since the inception of Radio itself. Over one hundred years. Nicola Tesla was using it as remote control in the late 1800s, the device because a remote controlled torpedo. Marconi transmitted the “first radio signals” Trans Atlantic in 1901. Thousands experimented with radio, learning and teaching themselves about radio waves and used Morse Code to send “Continuous Wave” or CW signals around the world even in World War I, and later in World War II.

Radio signals travel at the speed of light, 300 million meters per second. It is the fastest thing we know, and therefore, radio communications is, for all intents and purposes, instant.

Radio can be used for you or against you. It can be harmful, it can be helpful (in many ways). There are frequencies that can be sent around the world, or deep into space. There are even frequencies that can be sent through the Earth to the other side.

Radio, like all other electronics however, requires power. Electrical power. From the grid. Or, a generator. Or a Battery. Or a Solar Panel. Or a hand-cranked generator.

Amateur Radio has been around, as I said, since the beginning of the technology age and industrial age. And Amateur Radio has been there in disasters, war, survival situations, military uses, civilian uses, weather spotting, storm chasing, radio control of remote controlled airplanes and many, many other uses.

This article is about how you communicate in a grid down situation.

It’s easy. You USE Ham Radio. You ask the hams in the area to pass messages (and they will, remember it’s a SERVICE). Amateur Radio Operators are usually there for Wild Fires in Colorado, assisting the Fire Fighters, the Police and medical personnel in communicating everything from personal messages to locations of hot spots, or where to direct an ambulance.

What if there’s no hams in your area? Easy, YOU be the Ham. YOU take the time and study for a simple test (or two) to get the Technician License. This gives you a LOT of privileges on the radio frequencies, and most importantly, helps to train you to be that guy or gal that works with the first responders in your area in emergencies.

The second level up is General Class license, which gives you all the other things you need to communicate world wide through High Frequency (HF) Radio.

So how are you going to communicate during a grid down? You become the Amateur Radio operator. YOU set up a station. YOU get your power requirements (batteries, generator, solar panels) and radio station (radios required on your chosen frequencies) and you learn about antennas. YOU set up the antennas.

Most importantly, you become the “Elmer” to those around you, including young children to bring them into the Amateur Radio life. An Elmer is a teacher, someone who is usually “older” (but, not always) that passes on knowledge to others.

Listen, this isn’t a joke. This isn’t just for “nerds” in the basement. This is for all of us. All the Patriots NEED to understand they are the next level up from the regular civilians around them.

Being a Patriot doesn’t mean you’re a good guy with a gun. It means you’re a good guy who can do a LOT of things, including, when the shit hits the fan, COMMUNICATE with other Good Guys with Guns and Radios.

Seriously. What are you waiting for? Get out and do it.

Don’t believe me? Read this guy’s blog entry too: https://www.americanpartisan.org/2019/09/your-comms-in-a-grid-down-world/

Aftermath’s Children – Softbound

EDIT:  I have reconsidered the pricing and gone through the calculations.  The book will show up for sale now at $12.99 US, which is much more reasonable and probably will actually sell a few.  haha. Please, if you purchase either the digital or paperback copy, write a short, honest review.  It will help immensely!  Thank you so much for following me!

After debating with myself for weeks on this, I decided to go ahead and reformat the book for a paper back version.

Amazon give’s authors a 60/40 cut.  Author’s get 60%.

Sounds wonderful until you actually realize that out of the author’s cut of the “profits” from the book they take out printing costs.

This is one reason I never intended on doing hard copies of anything.

Setting a book at minimal cost is great, but not going to make an author money, and only gives money to Amazon.

As an example, the printing costs for this book are 6 dollars (and some odd cents).  Setting the cost of the book at 10.50 would net the author .03 cents per copy.

Setting it to give a better “profit” for the author entails setting the cost significantly higher than either a reader or this author wants.  But, for the time being, we set the cost of the book to provide a $5 bill for each copy sold.

The price is 19.95 US – here’s the link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1973270501

I don’t expect anyone to spend 20 bucks on my books, and honestly, I want to keep the cost below 10 dollars, but until such time as folks start actually buying them in droves (hahaha, sorry I know my work is good, but I am cynical, everyone wants “Free”) I’m going to highly recommend you jump on the Kindle Book links and get the digital copy (at $4.99).  Yeah, it’s more profitable for me, and cheaper for the readers.

But, the paperback is available if you want it!

Here’s the digital link:

https://www.amazon.com/Aftermaths-Children-Estrellita-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B077BFKQ5W/

So, if you want to read a good book, pick up “Aftermath’s Children” on digital today.  Don’t worry if you do not have a Kindle, you can use the Cloud reader from Amazon, or you can download the Kindle App for your iPhone or Android, or your tablet!

Aftermath’s Children is up!

Aftermath’s Children is live on both Amazon and Smashwords.

Please give Amazon a few moments to do the proper updates, as I had to correct the pricing scheme, it was wrong at first.

I’ll post the links at the bottom of this blog entry.

Here’s the description:

Originally, the Space Station Estrellita started as a Mars jump off point, but when a wild AI got loose and assisted the human race in its own self annihilate, a few men and women put a plan together to “save” the human race. Estrellita is the home for over four hundred-fifty people, many of whom were born on the Space Station, and many want to go back to Earth. Some do not. With the aging systems aboard the Station beginning to fail, there may be no choice for any of them.

Doctor Ernie Oppenheimer felt responsible for their current predicament, after having been put in charge of the original rescue of the human race. Now, some thirty-plus years later, he was aging and wanted to go back to Earth. The people on this station deserved better than to remain here, eventually to die off. He had been formulating a plan for years and it seemed as good a time as any to implement it. He needed a few allies. Besides, he’d always been good at getting what he wanted. Unknown to Oppenheimer, there was another who had conflicting plans.

Aftermath’s Children, Book One of the Estrellita Chronicles begins in space and when the forces of good and innocent meet deranged and evil, someone is going to come out on top and someone must lose.

Amazon Link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077BFKQ5W/

Smashwords Link:   https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/758419

If you do make a purchase, please review the book when you’ve completed it!

Thanks very much!

If you have the time, I’d appreciate feedback here as well.  I know some have already given me feedback, and I haven’t responded directly to most of it because, honestly, I’m “fixing” issues as I spot them.  One friend told me there were some “inconsistencies” but as it turns out, they aren’t really inconsistent, because there is a background story that goes with this series.  That story will eventually come out!

 

 

Estrellita Chronicles, Book One, Aftermath’s Children

As I posted back in February the first book is completed.

Life has been extremely busy for the wife and me, living on a boat.  Around that time of the year, we took Adventure out into the ocean and ran back with our tails between our legs.  It has been a tough time trying to get back out there, but we’re ready.

We landed in Southport, NC and made it home for a time. I got a part time job at a marina, and we’ve made two, long trips, back to Colorado for medical exams and visitations to the children, grand children and our new, baby great-grand daughter.

In the mean time I put out a call for art work.  And I received exactly squat from all the friends, family and people whom I offered to pay for decent work.

That time has come and gone I guess.  No one wishes to help.  Few people wish to read a draft of a book to help you out.  This is why people hire editors to work for them.  Something I simply can’t afford these days.

That’s ok.  I can read.  I can edit.  I can write.  And I can figure out how to use computers and do art work.  Hell, I’m a pirate, I can STEAL it if I’ve a mind to do so (no, I didn’t actually, but I could have). Haha.

Anyway, I have some art work finished for the first book.  I have the first book completed.  I have the second book nearly completed, the third book is fleshed out and the “Book Zero” is in progress as well.

So “Estrellita” is nearly done.

I want to upload the manuscript here in a couple of days.

On Tuesday this week coming up, we’re planning to depart for points south, so I want to try to get the book ready by Sunday night.  I’ll see what I can do.

So, get ready for the adventures of Ernie Oppenheimer and the rest of them.

 

 

Estrellita Chronicles – Book 1 – Aftermath’s Children

Book 1 is completed.

I have several test readers going through it now.  I have found some minor errors (punctuation missing in a couple of places, and a word or two dropped).

I am also awaiting cover art at this point.

I want to go to publication soon – in a month or less.  Life sometimes gets in the way of doing what you really want to do though.  We shall see.

Currently, the wife and I decided to remain here in North Carolina, and I’m taking a part time job at a marina, for fun and to basically pay for the slip.  The town of Southport is wonderful, and the people are simply awesome.  The one and only local brewery is called “Check Six” and right up our alley, with consistently great beers across the spectrum, the owners are wonderful folks, friendly and they are working to open a connected restaurant.

Signing off from Sailing Ketch Adventure!

 

A Tipping Point

Over the past few months I’ve pretty much ignored my own writing (except I have been working on my SF series) and I’ve somewhat ignored some fan requests.  It’s not really that I ‘ignored them’, my wife and I have been busy staying alive.

We traveled the East Coast by in the sailing ketch Adventure from August through October, stopping to visit places, friends and in general learning how to sail the ketch.  We’ve run into a lot of engine issues, a major storm (a nor’easter) we were caught in caused the engine to shut down and we lost power, and had rigging issues we were on our way in to a marina to have repaired.  That whole thing is a story in and of itself.

Basically, I have had multiple requests for my book, Basic Survival and Communications Skills in the Aftermath, Kindle Edition to be printed in a hard copy format.  That is really the part I’ve ignored.

I’ve had a couple of dozen requests over time to do a hard copy, and people who have asked have stated their reasons, ranging from the obvious (My kindle probably won’t work if we have an EMP) to more unusual (I collect survival books) to the interesting (I’d like to give it as a present to someone);  and there were others but I won’t go into them all.

So, I have an order from my fans or would-be fans, if they had my book, which they don’t, to produce a hard copy version.

I have been mulling this over as I am working on the SF series to get those to publish this year (at least one of them) with the others to quickly follow, and I DO want those to be available in hard copy.  Therefore, it’s time to work on making some small changes to the Communications Skills manual, and do a second edition, add some material and take out some slightly outdated.  Then to get it into a print-on-demand edition.

I have a lot of reasons for preferring POD instead of a normal hard copy edition.  If we go through a publisher they will prints a few thousand copies and there will be storage fees and so forth.  As a “starving artist” – that is a retiree without a current incoming, living on a sail boat and paying fees for everything from doing laundry to going to the bathroom, one has to be careful with their outgo.

This book was never meant to be a major source of income (and has proved thusfar to be exactly that, a “not major income source” haha) but it can’t also turn into an outlay for me either.  So, digital format is the one thing that makes it cheap to produce and keep the price down to the customers.

Producing a hard copy will absolutely increase the price of the book (printing costs, cover art, and shipping, etc) but will not increase any income for us.  This is one of the reasons I have balked consistently at producing a hard copy.

But, the readers and wannabe readers have spoken.

I will therefore endeavor to produce in the next few months, a print copy for those who’ve requested it.

To all who have bought, and reviewed the book, thank you.  To those who have gotten it free, at least return the favor and write up a review for me over on Amazon.  I would sincerely appreciate the feedback.

If you have learned something new, write me and let me know.  I promise to respond as time permits.  If you utterly hate the book, let me know and let me know why.  If you don’t want to write a review, send me a letter and tell me about it.

Above all, if you see something in the book that bugs you like spelling or grammatical errors, something technical which you might question, or not understand, please let me know.

Comments on the blog here are welcome.

Thanks to all who read.

Free Book Day, tomorrow Wednesday 18 March 2015

One day only!

Reminder: My book goes up for free tomorrow for one day this month. http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Survival-Communica…/…/B00Q3ZWRIE

If you don’t have a copy and want to read it, this is your chance to not spend money. All I ask is that you take the time to write an honest review on Amazon.com and visit my Author page there, as well as my regular author page and post a comment. Thanks!

https://rddonaldson.wordpress.com/ Rick’s Author Page and Blog