Today I bring to your attention two excellent pieces of work. The first is by friend and colleague John Levine, whose books you may have read. He is in fact today writing about the eBooks industry. I have something of a personal interest in the topic, not so much because I’ve written books (I write RFCs), but because my wife wrote an excellent book, in which the publisher encouraged her to create an eBook. It was ripped off and circulating on P2P networks within days of its ePublication. How annoying. Anyway, John goes to some lengths to talk about the economics of the situation. He’s a great and incisive writer, and a pointer to his writings can now be found on my little blog roll to the right of this post on Ofcourseimright.com.
Separately, Bruce Schneier has been writing about Worst Case Thinking, and what it means to him. While I don’t agree with everything Bruce writes in that article (particularly about his nuclear example), I do agree that societies generally do an extremely poor job of risk management. To me that is because those challenging incumbent politicians always aim for the emotional side of the brain, to get people angry that Something Bad happened, and so incumbents avoid risk at all costs. To me that’s not good government. Don’t get me wrong. Some risks are not worth taking, but let’s be smart about it.