Machiavelli on the Haters

In his Discorsi, which are rapidly threatening to unseat the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius as my favorite practical guide to life, the Florentine analyst explains the futility of attempting to appease, accommodate, reason with, or otherwise win over those whose enmity is ultimately rooted in envy. It’s from Chapter 30, That a Citizen in His Own Republic Who Wishes to Employ His Authority for Some Good Work Must First Extinguish Envy:

This text takes note of what a good and wise man should do, of how much good it can bring about, and how great a benefit such actions can bestow upon his native city when, through his goodness and exceptional ability, he has extinguished envy, which is on many occasions the cause of men’s inability to do good deeds, since it does not permit them to enjoy the authority necessary in important matters. This envy is extinguished in two ways: either through some serious and difficult incident, where someone, seeing himself lost, defers every ambition and willingly races to obey the man he believes may, with his exceptional ability, deliver him; this happened to Camillus, who, having given so many indications of being a most excellent man, having been dictator three times, and having always conducted that office for the benefit of the public rather than for his own, had acted in such a way that men did not fear his greatness; and since he was so great and so renowned, they did not deem it shameful to be inferior to him (and for that reason, Livy wisely declares in these words: ‘nor did they believe, etc.’). * Such envy is extinguished in another way when, either through violence or the natural course of events, those men die who have been your competitors in attaining a certain reputation and a certain level of greatness; such men will never be able to acquiesce or remain patient, seeing you are more highly esteemed than they. Furthermore, when they are men accustomed to living in a corrupt city, where education has produced no good in them whatsoever, in order to fulfil their wishes and to satisfy their perversity of mind, they will be happy to see the ruin of their native city.

To conquer such envy, there is no other remedy than the death of those who feel it, and when fortune is so favourable to a man of exceptional ability that he dies in a normal fashion, he becomes illustrious without scandal from the moment that, without any obstacle or harm, he can demonstrate his exceptional skill. But when he does not have such good fortune, he must think about every means of removing the envious from his path, and before he does anything else, he needs to adopt methods that will overcome this difficulty. Anyone who reads the Bible intelligently will see that, in order to advance his laws and his institutions, Moses was forced to kill countless men, who were moved to oppose his plans by nothing more than envy. * Brother Girolamo Savonarola recognized this necessity very clearly; Piero Soderini, the standard-bearer of Florence, also recognized it. The former (that is, the priest) could not overcome envy, because he lacked sufficient authority to do so, and because he was not well understood by those who followed him and who might have possessed such authority. Nevertheless, he did what he could, and his sermons are full of accusations and invectives against the wise men of the world: for this is what he called such envious men as well as those who opposed his institutions. The latter believed he could extinguish that envy in the passing of time through kindness, his own good fortune, and favours to some; he saw himself to be rather young and with the great new popularity his mode of conduct brought him, he believed he could overcome those many who opposed him out of envy without any unusual acts, violence, or disorder, and he did not know that time does not wait, kindness is insufficient, fortune varies, and malice receives no gift that placates her. In this way both of these two men came to ruin, and their downfall was caused by not knowing how or not being able to overcome this envy.

Discourses, Machiavelli

If it sounds a little bit too much like the average suburban mother’s analysis – they’re just being mean to you because they are jealous of you – keep in mind that Machiavelli literally recommends having them executed. While that isn’t generally an option for people who are not Roman consuls, Renaissance princes, or dark lords, what that means in a practical quotidian sense is that one should pay absolutely no attention to anything that the trolls, haters, and critics want, and one should not ever bother to engage with them in any way.

It’s really rather remarkable how many of the great minds of the past clearly observed the gamma mindset in action, they simply never happened to label it.

I view this section as additional support for my decision to not revive the comments here on the blog, as well as for the autoblocking of every social media account that attempts to correct, criticize, or contradict my posts on the posts themselves. While I neither object to nor mind correction, criticism, or being contradicted, those who wish to do so can do so on their own time, in their own space. As it happens, very little is lost this way, as the noise-to-signal ratio is so great that the extinction of the envious from the discourse is well worth the cost of losing the occasional substantive critique.


Equality: The End Result

The Equalitarian Road to Hell:

  1. I don’t see religion or nation.
  2. I don’t see race or color.
  3. I don’t see sex or gender.
  4. I don’t see age.

Pedophilia is the end game of Equality. It always was.

And every single conservative who proudly embraced “judeochristianity” and every single liberal who preened about how he only judged people by the content of their character bears their share of the blame for walking down this road. Jesus Christ came to divide, not to unite, and there is absolutely no equality of any kind, not in Heaven and not in this world.

If you are preaching unity, equality, tolerance, and inclusiveness, you are serving evil.


The Ugliness of Burning Man

The absence of beauty at Burning Man (PDF) sends up major red flags, in the trained artist’s eye of Miles Mathis:

What’s wrong with a bunch of people getting together and sharing their garage-craft creations and watching light shows? On the surface, nothing. If this event took place in a culture that still had a top end of art, I don’t think it would bother me at all. I am not interested in car shows, but car shows don’t distress me. I am not interested in monster trucks, but they don’t distress me as an artist. There are a lot of things that I don’t participate in or even that I don’t really understand that don’t distress me. I think of them as things that other people do, and no harm done. But events like Burning Man give me a bad vibe. They always have. I remind you of my paper on the Taos GlamTrash Fashion Show of many years ago, where I first tried to explain this. That event affected me just like Burning Man, because I think they come from the same place. My fiancée at the time didn’t understand my response to that, even after reading that paper, so I guess that is one reason I feel compelled to return to it. I think our disagreement on that was one reason we never got married. She never could understand why that event or those people bothered me so much. She thought I was just a stick-in-the-mud, raining on everyone’s parade.

My belief remains firm that if she really understood where the whole concept came from, she would agree with me. My hope is that maybe by viewing Steve Outtrim’s videos, she and others like her could finally comprehend the enormity of this whole project. She could not take my word for it, since we were too close. It is hard to take someone standing right next to you as an authority on anything. Strangely, that seems to require some distance. So the fact that this wealthy insider, who knows these people personally, would come to the same conclusion as me, might mean something.

The basic problem, as I see it, is that we are living in a time utterly devoid of real art. By that I mean art of beauty, subtlety and elevation. Sure, it still exists in museums, but almost nobody alive is now creating it. If they are, nobody cares. What is more, it didn’t just die out naturally. It has been killed with malice aforethought by the very people Steve Outtrim is outing: by the billionaires and trillionaires and their hirelings in the military, government, big tech, media, and academia. The death of real art and the rise of Modernism was not an organic fall and rise. It was planned and staged for various reasons which I have enumerated in hundreds of papers over three decades. These include the use of art in money laundering and the capture of the field for the talentless children of these rich families, who wanted to be artists but were not capable of it.

So someone like me can’t help but see Burning Man in that context. It is not just a meeting of grungeartisans and light show mavens. No, it is sold as a premier art event, drawing far more people and press than any art show in New York. In this sense, it is the low end of art posing as the high end.

Since the high end is extinct, almost no one notices. In the screaming artistic void that is the 21st century, the military tries to paper over the vacuum by filling it with fireworks and monstrous metal contraptions. Beneath that it promotes a bevy of marginally talented people—some of them admittedly energetic—far beyond their deserts. All to ensure that high art remains in the grave.

Burning Man and Modern Art, 3 September 2021

I find it intriguing how so many non-Christians, from Miles Mathis and Stefan Molyneux to Steve Keen and Camille Paglia, all react so similarly to the various aspects of Promethean pharisatanry despite their various and very different areas of expertise and knowledge. Whether they happen to be primarily in tune with the Good, the Beautiful, or the True, they are all offended on a deeply visceral level by the intentional violations of what they perceive to be correct and worthwhile.

Their understanding of the entire situation is intrinsically limited by their materialistic perspectives, but their perceptions are valid, their instincts are correct, and their revulsion is both real and entirely justified. This may help us understand how Christians not only admired the noble and virtuous pagans of the past, but went out of their way to protect and preserve their work. It is evidence of how God speaks to people in the darkness, and how He offers them many different pathways to lead them out of it and into the Light of the Truth that is Jesus Christ.

And, of course, it’s also fascinating to observe, over time, how integral core Christian theology and the Bible are required in order to make sense of the entire picture at hand. The more I read of anything from Renaissance history to Roman stoicism to modern esotericism, the more it becomes clear that the rampant evil that presently rules the world and is at war with everything Good, Beautiful, and True is the same ancient and seductive one that first convinced the exiles of Egypt to worship the idol of the golden calf, the same entity that Jesus Christ called the prince of this world, and whose blandishments he rejected in the desert.


Means vs Ends

A programmer rightly condemns the code-first approach to programming:

There are two kinds of programmers, generally speaking. There are programmers who care more about code, and there are programmers who care more about product. The former – I’ll call them “code-first” programmers – are obsessed with how code is architected, what tools, libraries and languages are used, how much test coverage there is – stuff like that. Code-first programmers are psyched when they check in the perfect abstraction, when they get to use the latest language-feature, when they delete dead code. That is, they love the code they write – the code is the thing.

The product-first programmer cares about that stuff too, kind of, but only as a means to an end. For product-first programmers, the code is the scaffolding, the support, the steel beams in the building, but not the end product. The end product is, well, the product, not the code, and what matters to them is how well that product actually solves the underlying problem. Does the building stay upright? Do the elevators work? Is the A/C functioning? Do people like being there? Product-first programmers love building and launching and seeing users use what they’ve built. The product is the thing.

Anyone who has worked at a place like Google has met plenty of code-first programmers. They are the teammates who are always refactoring code and nit-picking spelling in your function comments. They are in the micro-kitchen complaining about “spaghetti code,” “technical debt,” and the lack of rigor in other teams’ code review processes. They are probably not fixing bugs or launching features. You can probably tell I’m not a huge fan of the code-first approach.

When I interview programmers I’m always amazed at how many of them seem to think the code-first approach is what I’m looking for. Trying to impress me, they ask: “What’s your unit test coverage like?” Pretty close to zero; this is a startup. “Do you guys use hot new technology X.” Not yet, no, how would that help us build the right thing faster? “Is there a lot of technical debt?” We will have to rewrite everything at some point, but it doesn’t matter right now because we haven’t even figured out the right thing to build.

They have an understandable but fundamental misconception of what programming is all about. Programming is about building products that solve problems for users not about writing beautiful code for its own sake.

It can be remarkable how difficult it is to convince people, in a wide variety of activities and occupations, that it is the ends, and not the means, that are the actual objective. Whether it is businessmen planning new ventures, people getting involved in politics, or sports teams taking the field, the confusion of means with ends and process with results almost inevitably results in eventual failure.

Process is important, but only with the context of achieving the desired results. It is not important in and of itself.


The Intrinsic Evil of Equality

Bruce Charlton highlights an explanation of why equality is not merely impossible, but intrinsically evil:

For some time now; William Wildblood has been probing-away at the concept of equality, and exposing the evil of its roots and application.

He has recently reached what seems to me a very deep understanding of exactly why equality has proved so adept to the purposes of evil, so comprehensively hostile not just to all transcendental Values or Goods (i.e. virtue, beauty and truth), but more fundamentally to God and divine creation.

Equality is the great dogma on which liberal Western democracies are built. It might have seemed like a step forward at a time when the gap between rich and poor, powerful and weak was as great as it was, and the movement towards less inequality surely did bring certain benefits in the short term.

But the flaw that lies at its heart is now being revealed. If equality, and equality alone, is taken as the foundation of a culture then that culture will collapse into the lowest common denominator and it will eventually collapse altogether.

Equality is totally contrary to human nature and to enforce it is to force human beings to live against both their natural and their spiritual instincts. It becomes a tool to push the higher down to the level of the lower.

This does not mean that the higher should dominate the lower (except spiritually) but liberty and equality are not natural bedfellows despite what the ideals of the Enlightenment may pretend, and it is liberty that is the great spiritual quality as far as human beings are concerned.

Equality is often said to be rooted in Christianity. If it were how strange it is that it is never mentioned in the Bible and was only discovered to be a Christian virtue 1800 years after the time of Christ. Oneness in Christ is a Christian virtue but that is not equality which is a materialistic distortion of it.

Equality is actually a property of unformed matter, matter untouched by the creative breath of spirit, which is why you see it most at lower levels of evolution. The more life evolves, the more unequal it becomes because the freer it becomes and yet within that inequality there is also a spiritual oneness.

To realise the truth of this apparent contradiction is one of the major goals of the spiritual path. It and it alone explains the mystery of love.

I have highlighted the key phrases. For them we can see what lies behind the drive for equality – a spitefully destructive hatred of creation itself; the desire to reduce creation to chaos.

One thing I’ve noticed is that nothing good ever comes out of what the proponents of equality propose. Even their greatest successes, such as the passage of the Civil Rights Act or the institution of gay fake marriage, inevitably result in evil consequences. Notice how the supposed benefits are always abstract while the costs are material.


Rule By Ontology

William S. Lind considers the nominalism and magical thinking of the Washington elite in the wake of the imperial debacle in Afghanistan.

How could the whole Washington defense and foreign policy establishment get it so wrong? One answer is that, if you want to become and remain a member of the establishment, you must never make waves. Since almost all the people in question want to be something, not do something, they follow that rule regardless of where it leads. A defeat in war is but a small matter when compared to a risk to their careers.

Another answer is that members of the establishment are almost all nominalists. That is to say, if they give something a name, it takes on real existence in their minds. The Afghan National Army offers a perfect example. Because we called it an army, gave it lots of American money, equipment and training, and knew its order of battle, it was an army. But it wasn’t. Apart from a few commando units, it was a ragtag collection of men who needed jobs and had little or no interest in fighting. Those men seldom saw their pay, because it was stolen before it reached them. Rations and ammunition often suffered the same fate. That army collapsed overnight because it never really existed outside the minds of establishment nominalists.

That same nominalism applied to the entire Afghan government. Washington nominalists thought it was real; Afghans knew it was not. A Marine battalion commander just back from Afghanistan put it best. He said, “Talking to a 14th century Afghan villager about the government in Kabul is like talking to your cat about the dark side of the moon. You don’t know what it’s like and he doesn’t care.”

We see nominalism running all through American policy-making. Washington nominalists think Iraq is a state. It isn’t, because real power is in the hands of ethnic and religious militias. The state is merely a facade, but since it has a parliament, elections, cabinet ministers, etc. it is real to nominalists. Not surprisingly, our policy there has been a series of disasters ever since the initial disaster of invading the place.

The Washington elite’s nominalism is not restricted to foreign policy. It looks at the U.S. military the same way. If you call something an army, it must be able to fight, even though you have filled its ranks with women, made promotion depend on Political Correctness rather than military ability and given it bureaucrats for generals. When it loses a war, as it just did in Afghanistan, it must be a matter of bad luck. The fact that it ceased to be a real army decades ago is not recognized.

The Washington establishment’s civilians have been soaking in nominalism ever since they began their “education” at various elite institutions. Woe to any who pointed out that the U.N. has proven worthless in one crisis after another, that our “democratic” allies are all really oligarchies or that “human rights” vary enormously in their definition from one culture and people to another. To call an entity a state or an army or a democracy means it magically becomes one. And the magical thinking that dominates the establishment’s picture of the world leads to repeated debacles from which it learns nothing.

Ontology is bad enough when it passes for philosophy, it’s downright ludicrous as political ideology and government policy. But it’s worth questioning from whence it comes, as it ultimately derives from the “as above, so below” occultism of the pharisatanics who presently dominate the imperial capital. This belief in word spells not only describing, but defining and dictating reality is not magical thinking, it is the sort of magickal thinking utilized by those who worship the god of this world.

UPDATE: If you still had any doubts about the nature of the god that is worshipped by the judeochristians, consider the following tweet.

Just a friendly reminder that banning abortion violates Jewish women’s ability to practice our religion.

Sarah Marian Seltzer, 31 August, 2021



When Gammas Rage

It’s so predictable, and more than a little amusing, to see how Gammas inevitably react when you inform them that you have no interest in listening to their Very Important Opinions or their Very Honest Questions, and will not subject yourself to their Very Valuable Instruction and Very Substantive Criticism.

Notice how they immediately go on the attack, and in doing so, underline the need for their exclusion. Meanwhile, they fail to observe that literally hundreds of people approve the policy.

  • I don’t even know who you are but you sure sound like a faggot to me.
  • “I won’t tolerate any of those hurty words!!! I can’t deal with the emotional fallout that comes from any criticism of my opinions!”
  • Jesus…. I feel like I just caught AIDS from your weak ass gab flex.
  • Writers from Teen Vogue have thicker skin than you do faggot.
  • This makes you sound weak.
  • I’ll just mute you instead so I don’t have to see this kind of drivel. Gamma (cough-cough)
  • Since you failed to provide context for your post, your attempted message is ambiguous at best.
  • 🤣😝😆🤣😂🤣😂 That was hysterical, so on this platform of yours if I’m getting this right is you and only you have a opinion and only you can get all in their feelings? 😝🤯😆
  • sure thing. that is the sole purpose of a social media platform. to be all alone.

They are all blocked and muted now, of course. It works every time.


Confucius Condemns Neoliberalism

A philosophical experts on Aquinas considers the applicability of The Analects to today’s catastrophically atomized society.

What is essential to a well-functioning society? In a famous passage from The Great Learning traditionally attributed to Confucius (551-479 B.C.), the philosopher says:

The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the kingdom, first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.

Things being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their states were rightly governed. Their states being rightly governed, the whole kingdom was made tranquil and happy.

From the Son of Heaven down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides. It cannot be, when the root is neglected, that what should spring from it will be well ordered.

These words from the great man of the East would be warmly endorsed in the West by ancient thinkers like Plato and Aristotle and medieval thinkers like Thomas Aquinas. But they run counter to the modern West’s liberalism, including the libertarian brand of liberalism that too often passes for “conservatism.” The liberal attitude is that the moral character of individuals does not matter for social order so long as the right rules and institutions are in place. Part of Confucius’s point, and that of any conservatism worthy of the name, is that rules and institutions are ineffectual without individuals willing to subordinate their desires to them. And individuals who do not seek the good (so as to “rectify their hearts”) and the true (thus pursuing the “investigation of things”) can neither curb bad desires nor cultivate good ones. The brute force of legal coercion cannot substitute for this missing moral fiber. As we read in chapter 2 of The Analects:

The Master said: “Lead them by political maneuvers, restrain them with punishments: the people will become cunning and shameless. Lead them by virtue, restrain them with ritual: they will develop a sense of shame and a sense of participation.”

And again:

Someone said to Confucius: “Master, why don’t you join the government?” The Master said: “In the Documents it is said: ‘Only cultivate filial piety and be kind to your brothers, and you will be contributing to the body politic.’ This is also a form of political action; one need not necessarily join the government.”

And in chapter 12:

The Master said: “I could adjudicate lawsuits as well as anyone. But I would prefer to make lawsuits unnecessary.”

In such passages, Confucius reminds us that the personal is the political, not in the totalitarian sense that absorbs the personal up into the political and tries to mold attitudes and actions via state coercion, but on the contrary in the humane sense that devolves the political down to the personal level, in the recognition that social order depends more fundamentally on prevailing morals and mores than on legislation.

Wisdom comes in many forms. And it is remarkable how often wisdom from wildly disparate sources ultimately direct us toward the same conclusion.

Comments Gone, Gammas Hardest Hit

An unusually wise and insightful commenter who calls himself “Savantissimo” is complaining about the absence of post-Google comments here at AC’s place:

Looks like Vox Day isn’t going to have comments at his new site, and is going to leave deleted all the hundreds of thousands of comments that people, many of them unusually wise and insightful, collectively spent many years writing.

He really does think that it’s all about him, or should be.

First, I have made it perfectly clear since 2003 that I don’t care about the comments. I permitted them as a courtesy, nothing more.

Second, it is a distinct pleasure to no longer have to spend any time moderating the hundreds of spam and troll and wise and insightful comments. I had no idea how much time I was wasting on it until I suddenly didn’t have to think about it anymore.

Third, why was it my responsibility to preserve the comments of those unusually wise and insightful individuals? I arranged to back up my posts, so why weren’t they wise enough, or insightful enough, to preserve their own comments? It’s precisely because I didn’t regard their comments as mine, or think their comments were all about me, that I did not consider myself to be responsible for them.

Fourth, we’ve already been through this. Literally no one cared that all the Co-Comment comments were lost. Comments are intrinsically ephemeral, and while they are not entirely devoid of value, they are seldom worth the effort that is required to police them. And furthermore, despite what certain wise, insightful, and totally disinterested parties insist, literally no one reads any site for the comments. As has been repeatedly confirmed on this blog, and numerous other sites, getting rid of the comments doesn’t reduce the site traffic at all.

And fifth, we have SocialGalactic. Chats and superchats are coming to UATV. There is no shortage of opportunities for engagement within the community.

By the way, the comments aren’t actually gone. So, if you are seeking unusual wisdom or insight in them, you can still do so.

Discuss on SG.

Bindery Campaign update 5

Days Left: 23

Status: 50.3 percent of goal.

The Iliad: 170/500

The Odyssey: 165/500  

First, thanks very much to everyone who has already backed this campaign and is making the next big step possible. Second, as requested, we will add two more ways to support the campaign next week, at more affordable $50 and $150 levels. Third, I will remind you that I am neither customer nor technical support and all attempts to pursue either through this blog or on the Darkstream will be deleted and ignored.

I understand that many organizations operate under the principle that “the customer is always right”. We absolutely do not. To the contrary, we operate under the principle that could be described as “the customer is probably retarded”. This is not to say we do not appreciate, respect, or hold in the highest regard everyone who supports our projects and makes them possible, but the negative baseline is necessary if we are to successfully anticipate even a small fraction of the customer-related problems that inevitably arise over time. Remember, MPAI.

For example, there is literally nothing we can do about a customer spamming our emails besides telling people – usually to no avail – to check their Social folders and whitelist our URLs. There is nothing we can do about a customer not giving us a shipping address, or moving without telling us that his address has changed. We cannot accept payment from an expired credit card. We cannot force anyone to read the emails that we send them. We are legally barred from contacting customers who intentionally remove themselves from our mailing list. (Believe it or not, one or two people do this almost every time we send out a mass email. Almost invariably, they later complain that we’re not keeping them informed.) These are the quotidian realities we face.

Moreover, until the bindery becomes operational, our ability to ensure that everyone gets their books in a reasonable timeframe is limited because we do not ship them to anyone. We literally never see them at all, and while our two primary partners have the best of intentions, both of them tend to fall short of the level of service that we consider to be acceptable. That is one of the primary reasons we are creating the bindery! In order to provide the level of service we wish to provide you, we have to control the entire process. And right now, we don’t, and unfortunately, neither of our partners are anywhere close to the Amazon level of operational performance and efficiency.

Now this doesn’t mean we aren’t 100-percent committed to ensuring that every single supporter and book buyer gets his books eventually, one way or another. For example, to address those who haven’t received the Junior Classics 1-3 hardcovers, the reason we aren’t losing any sleep about sorting out your problem right away is because you know we are going to be sending you books 4-6 this summer, and given our limited influence over the very large printing and distribution company that ships them, it is more effective to sort out each shipping problem with them once rather than addressing it multiple times. Trust us, we’ve been working with them for years, we know what works and what flat-out doesn’t.

As for what is taking so long to produce the Junior Classics, in addition to the editorial and layout processes, we are going through literally thousands of images, selecting hundreds of them, then carefully checking to make sure that they all work together aesthetically as well as with the related stories they illustrate. This takes time. This takes a LOT of time. Sure, we could have just taken the Easton approach, scanned the 1918 editions, and shipped all 10 volumes together six months ago, but that’s not what we do. 

I have the lovely two-volume Easton Press edition of The Tale of Genji. It is the exact same interior as my little octavo edition of the Waley translation I used in my Japanese literature course in college, scanned and blown up to royal octavo. And by “exact same”, I mean every typo and ink blot is perfectly replicated.

And I don’t believe that’s what our readers want. While we will use existing layouts for certain books in which the layouts cannot reasonably be improved – such as the Landmark history series, just to name one example for no particular reason at all – our standard modus operandi is to create new and unique layouts for each book in the Library.

I understand that some people would prefer that we provide gold-plated customer service. Since that’s not what we do at present, it would probably be better for such individuals to not do direct business with us, wait until the regular products are available through the mainstream channels, and pay the full retail price for them then. But it might be useful to reflect upon why so many of our customers are not meremly happy, but delighted with our products despite our horrific, bordering-on-nonexistent customer service.

We don’t spam, we don’t market (yet), we don’t even have an active dedicated Internet site at this point in time. All we do is make the highest-quality books that you can buy while systematically addressing one operational problem at a time. I very much hope that we can eventually reach the point where our customer service is as good as our interior layouts, but that is going to take at least two years, because it cannot be the priority at present. It will improve, just like the UATV technology is improving, but the process is intrinsically a gradual one that can be maddening at times.

Think about it. Are you really going to be happy with a gold-plated concierge service that calls you twice a day to inform you that your books are still not ready and you will not receive them today, tomorrow, or next week?