God's Debris by Scott Adams.
May 8, 2001 4:37 PM   Subscribe

God's Debris by Scott Adams. "I'm distributing "God's Debris" exclusively as an ebook, without going through a publisher... If the ebook sells well it will set a precedent that screws up the entire book industry. If you ever wanted to screw up an entire industry - and who wouldn't - this is your chance."
posted by Neale (23 comments total)
Wow, that introduction sounds really deep. I think I might actually want to fork over the 5 bucks just to see what it's all about.
posted by fresh-n-minty at 5:02 PM on May 8, 2001

"TitleVision"?? Has anyone used this? I'd buy it now if I could get it in text or PDF. But installing a 5 meg mystery program on my computer doesn't sound like fun.

I thought PDF was designed for things like this.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:09 PM on May 8, 2001

TitleVision is some kind of reader like PDF, but for crap like this. And it doesn't work with my PocketPC which sucks. And it is goofy and weird.

Why not PDF? or Adobe eBook (Glassbook)? or Microsoft Reader? All have security features, so why not?
posted by benjh at 5:20 PM on May 8, 2001

Do pdf's have any kind fo built-in copy protection scheme?

Personally, I'm waiting for someone to take a screen capture or print the file out, then OCR it and make it into a pretty pdf or text file and knock the wind out of Mr. Adams' sales. Chances are it will be by one of his biggest fans.

Of course, I fear Great Thought Experiment which claim to be Great Thought Experiments. If he really wanted to change things, why didn't he slap Dilbert's face on it (or that of some new cartoon character to which he could own full rights). Welcome to EgoLand.
posted by thebigpoop at 5:22 PM on May 8, 2001

No Mac support either. I wonder if Adams is aware of that, as I think he's a Mac user himself.
posted by toddshot at 5:23 PM on May 8, 2001

I noticed a couple of things from looking at the introduction.

First, Adams says he's not doing a humor book, yet he uses the same writing style as his Dilbert work. In this context he seems rather snotty.

Second, the book seems to be some sort of mind puzzle. It looks like a philosophical novella in which the characters represent opinions Adams doesn't actually believe. So what the point? What am I supposed to learn or discover from the work?
posted by Erendadus at 5:24 PM on May 8, 2001

What am I supposed to learn or discover from the work?

Why should an author have to tell a reader what the reader's goal should be? I mean, what are you "supposed" to learn or discover from, say, the Bible? Not, of course, that i expect Adams work to be as influential (or to sell as well) as that tome.

On another topic, the lack of Mac support is... extremely sad. There was no reason at all to wrap it up in some proprietary format nobody's ever heard of when there are cross-platform solutions available.
posted by kindall at 5:40 PM on May 8, 2001

If Adams truly wanted to screw with the world, he'd be a big man and release a simple text/word doc/html/pdf version of the book. I hate the use of these proprietary reader programs loaded with security because they come from a place of mistrust, and that's no way to start a relationship with a potential customer.

It's a five dollar book. Who's going to "napster it" when they can just download it from a single place for such a low amount? Trust that your readership is smart enough to figure this out. Heck, why not just release the book and ask for $5 if they liked it after reading it?

If you're going to do a project like this, you can't half-ass it, go all the way, be honest, trust your fans, give away your work and ask them to pay if they liked it.
posted by mathowie at 5:43 PM on May 8, 2001

"I'm distributing "God's Debris" exclusively as an ebook, without going through a publisher". In other words "My publisher wouldn't touch this with a bargepole".

Anyone who's read the last chapter of "The Dilbert Future" should know by now that "Serious" and "Scott Adams" means "run away, as fast as possible."
posted by pascal at 5:46 PM on May 8, 2001

I would actually be interested if I could print it out. i just don't dig reading 99 pages on my computer.
posted by Qambient at 6:02 PM on May 8, 2001

There are lots of people out there who would rather "napster it" than pay. Even if the book cost one cent, this would be true. And this is not necessarily because people don't want to pay money for it, it's because many do not want to bother to fill out forms and send their credit card info online (if they even have a credit card), and install a proprietary viewer when they can just do a quick google search and get the text file.

The only way this can be changed is if things like this were released it in a standard format with a quick, easy payment method.
posted by antispork at 6:18 PM on May 8, 2001

Just to be amusingly skeptical, where's the evidence that this is really the work of the Scott Adams of Dilbert fame?
posted by grimmelm at 7:07 PM on May 8, 2001

gimmelm: the link from dilbert.com?
posted by Neale at 7:17 PM on May 8, 2001

pascal: yeah, I read that last chapter as well. WTF did that come from?
posted by owillis at 7:34 PM on May 8, 2001

You can lock a .pdf from copying and printing, though I don't know how good Adobe's built-in security is.
posted by sixdifferentways at 8:14 PM on May 8, 2001

Adobe has a PDF-based eBook format which is not your garden variety PDF. You need a separate reader to view it.
posted by kindall at 8:44 PM on May 8, 2001

The last chapter of The Dilbert Future was weird, but it was also very interesting in its way.
posted by kindall at 9:04 PM on May 8, 2001

I take the Dilbert Principle seriously, at least in reference to the Dot-Com boom.

The Peter Principle states that workers are promoted to their natural level of incompetence.

The Dilbert Principle states that people are hired at their level of incompetence immediately without bothering to work their way up the ranks.

How else do you explain the rise and fall of _____.com?
posted by Erendadus at 9:38 PM on May 8, 2001

Rash market-entry decisions seem like more logical points of failure than every member of every dot-com workforce being incompetent. :-)
posted by youhas at 11:40 PM on May 8, 2001

youhas: I'm talking about rank-and-file employees, though I'm seen many of them couldn't even turn on their PCs. I'm talking about the inexperienced CEOs and their GenXer flunkies who got to to play VP.
posted by Erendadus at 11:42 PM on May 8, 2001

Anyone know if there's any sample text out there (apart from the intro)? It's like when the wrap books in plastic in bookshops (I hate that)...
posted by andrew cooke at 3:52 AM on May 9, 2001

I like Dilbert. That gibberish at the end of The Dilbert Future made me cringe, though.

"I am imminently qualified to deliver a Grand Unified Theory of Everything, based on my experience with a psychic who could see my rash, a test result that was a self-fulfilling prophecy, and a gross misunderstanding of the laws of physics."

What next - physicists expressing their artistic sides by adding doodles of dyslexic, balding, middle-aged Caucasian vegetarian cartoonists to the ends of their research papers?

And God - check out the arselicking comments on the download page. They sound like an Oprah audience.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:44 PM on May 10, 2001

D'oh - I meant eminently, not imminently.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:37 PM on May 10, 2001

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