Wednesday, April 15, 2020

What to do during Cov-Fe-Fe (Covid Forced-exile From-employment). Some of you are writing fiction. Even science fiction!

First a brief historical note about the "Asian Flu" of 1957, quoting: "Maurice Hilleman, a doctor later regarded as the godfather of vaccines, in 1957 read about a nasty flu outbreak in Hong Kong that mentioned glassy-eyed children at a clinic, tipping him off that these deaths meant the next big flu pandemic.” Hilleman requested samples of the virus be shipped to U.S. drugmakers right away so they could get a vaccine ready. Though 70,000 people in the United States ultimately died, “some predicted that the U.S. death toll would have reached 1 million without the vaccine that Hilleman called for... Health officials widely credited that vaccine with saving many lives.” 

What differed then? Well, Dwight Eisenhower was a different kind of president. And the Greatest Generation admired science and expertise. And the most popular American at the time was named Jonas Salk. Make America that kind of great again.

(Read about that event and other far worse plagues from history.)

== Are some of you taking on the Great Humanican Novel? == 

While my life has changed less than most… e.g. exercising with weights instead of at the gym… I have seen a surge in news media and podcasters wanting interviews. They claim it’s for wisdom or insights about the near and farther future… but I suspect many are just bored, or need filler.

Another uptick is from folks wanting to do spec scripts based on some of my stories.* And yes, there are many fine ‘possibles’ to be found in my three collections. Someone, someday, will do “Dr. Pak’s Preschool” right and creep-out millions!  

But most prevalent in the era of Covfefe are pleas from the house-quarantined, seeking advice about writing! Both nonfiction books and (especially) science fiction stories and novels. (Ignore the slander phrase "novel-coronavirus"! They are trying to deter you!)

Yes, this happens more mildly during NaNoWriMo November (National Novel Writing Month.) Only now with greater urgency! At-minimum, it’s a more creative use of time than binge-TV and maybe a lifetime opportunity to check that item off a bucket list. And so, to those of you with an ear for dialogue and a feel for character and sense-of-story… and willingness to work hard while seeking criticism… to all of you talented up-and-comers I say –

-- to Go Away! The field is full! Have you tried jigsaw puzzles?

Um, just kidding! We’re all readers, too! And someone out there might be just on the verge of creating the Great Humanican Novel -- a tale so deeply moving it will change us all for the better. For that reason… and others… I am among the few “best-selling authors” who always responds personally to every such appeal. (I do not promise always to do that! Stephen King used to, but physically can’t anymore, alas; Nice guy, BTW.)

 Oh, sure, I have some shortcuts, like “canned advice” that I paste into most responses, using QuickKeys, before adding some bits apropos to each person. So it occurred to me. Why don’t I share that now, with all of you? 

For one thing, it might keep some of you from emailing me! (Except to say thanks and to promise me a copy of the award-winning best-seller I helped to inspire? ;-) 

More importantly, maybe some practical tools and tricks will help a few of you achieve that glimmering goal, and thus enrich us all.

== David Brin’s Canned Advice Note ==

Dear _____

Naturally I’m pleased you are writing and I do want to offer my encouragement. Still, there is good news and bad news in this modern era. The good: there are so many new ways to get heard or read or published that any persistent person can get out there.  Talent and good ideas will see the light of day!  The bad news… it is so easy to get "published," bypassing traditional channels, that millions can convince themselves "I am a published author!" without passing through the old grinding mill, in which my generation honed our skills by dint of relentless pain. 

 . . . . . . . . (Insert apropos personal note in here! ____)

Alas, fiction writing is a complex art that involves a lot of tradecraft... as it would if you took up landscape painting or silver smithing. It is insufficient simply having ideas and being skilled at nonfiction-prose, nor does a lifetime of reading stories prepare you to write them.

Story telling is incantatory magic and there are aspects to the incantation process that are mostly invisible to the incantation recipient (reader). Skills at rapid-opening, point-of-view, showing-not-telling, action, evading passive-voice and so on are achieved by studied workshopping -- and as in most arts, the whole thing is predicated upon ineffable things like talent, e.g. an ear for dialogue that only a few people have. Indeed, point-of-view (POV) is so hard that half of would be writers never "get" it, no matter how many years they put in.

This is not meant to be discouraging! It is to suggest that extensive workshopping and skill-building are as important today as they were 30 years ago.  And to do that, you need to do one of the most difficult  but rewarding things a mature human can do – relish and seek criticism.

And enjoy whatever level you reach! Seriously. Tell a story. Even give it a way (as I am virtually giving away my sci fi comedy!)
No matter what, you'll be a creator of worlds. 
A kind of deity. 
An artist.

This answer is already too long. So what I can do is point you to an "advice article" that I've posted online, containing a distillation of wisdom and answers to questions I've been sent across 20 years.  (Note, most authors never answer at all.) 

I can also offer a general site containing advice bits from other top writers.

Then there is my advice video!  

Many people have found these items extremely helpful. I hope you will. But either way, do persevere.

Good luck!
David Brin

== Anything Specific? ==

All right that was a bit vague and general. There's lots more specific advice and pointers if you follow the links. And down below in comments. If enough of you ask, I may append some very specific examples of common beginner mistakes and how to avoid them.

Beyond that, however, the adventure is yours. Enjoy. And at-risk of violating my own rule against repetition… persevere!


* Re spec scripts: I do require a very strong, signed release! And real experience is required. And this applies only to short fiction, not novels or series. Sorry.


DP said...

From your last posting: "It is about a Junior High School grudge against the nerds who stopped letting themselves be bullied and instead went on to do better in every aspect of life."

Life is just high school with mortgages.

America had a HS reunion in 2016. You know the stereotypes. The former football captain/prom king who is now fat, bald and unemployed. Or the former head cheerleader/homecoming queen who is divorced with three kids and living in a trailer park.

Trump's supporters could not help noticing that like the former football captain and homecoming queen that their lives really suck. And to top it off, the black kid grew up to be president of the US!

And the kid that got snapped with the towel in gym class - he's now a millionaire owner of a high tech firm. And the mousy girl who never dated is now a famous writer or artist.

So what we have seen these past 4 years is Revenge of the Jocks.

And make no mistake about it, they still hate the Nerds who now have .

But now (if they are employed) they probably work for a nerd.

Keith Halperin said...

@ D2: Very true.

@ Everybody: 2016 Salary Information for Writers and Authors
Writers and authors earned a median annual salary of $61,240 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, writers and authors earned a 25th percentile salary of $43,130, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $83,500, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 131,200 people were employed in the U.S. as writers and authors.

David Brin said...

"But now (if they are employed) they probably work for a nerd."

Well, there's still more Old Money than New. And more flowing through parasitism - gambling, shake-downs, Wall Street, MBAs etc. - than through creative companies.

Keith, writing is like all other arts, essentially pyramidal, with each higher rung occupied by 10% as many. The shape used to be normal for ALL of society, and some want that again. But even if we safeguard the diamond-shape civilization of renewed opportunity each generation, the arts will always be steep, judgmental and often unfair, certainly cutthroat. And better the arts than military of politics or management.

Larry Hart said...

And this is a conservative columnist. :)


Last year, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a member of the House GOP leadership team, introduced a resolution opposing a carbon tax — which is the most cost effective and least disruptive way to deal with the problem of global warming.

He argued it would “mean that families and consumers will pay more for essentials,” “fall hardest on the poor, the elderly, and those on fixed incomes” and “increase the cost of every good manufactured in the United States.”

What did Scalise say about the Trump deal — which would have exactly the same consequences, but without the environmental benefits? He’s for it.

That’s the Republican plan: Billions to enrich foreign oil producers, but not one cent to combat climate change.

john fremont said...

@ Daniel Duffy

Presidential elections as high school reunions. There could be a short story in there somewhere. Or a song someone like the recently deceased John Prine could've written.

I recall Rush Limbaugh twenty years ago tut tutting Al Gore saying " Doesn't Al Gore remind you of the kid in grade school who raises his hand saying 'Ooo teacher, pick me , I know the answer'? Ladies and gentlemen, that's who Al Gore is , just showing off how smart he is" The contempt for expertise as Dr Brin talks about here has been getting stirred up for many years.

Tacitus said...

Not writing any fiction. But I dabble in non fiction. Researching 19th century breweries in the midwest. And from time to time I run across a few historical bread crumbs that need to be pursued. Currently working on a short bio that begins with:

"He was the grandson of a slave owning Siamese Twin..."

Top that, fiction scribblers!

T. Wolter

Keith Halperin said...

@ Dr. Brin: Thanks.

@ Everybody re: Exercise (no gym):
Nike is offering its workout and health content for free as millions of people seek ways to maintain their exercise and diet regimens during the COVID-19 crisis.
You can find workouts for all levels in their Nike Training Club workout library, which includes:
Body-part focused workouts targeting your abs, arms, shoulders, glutes, and legs
Strength, endurance, yoga, and mobility workouts
Workout times ranging from 15-45 minutes
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced Levels
Low, Moderate, and High Intensity
Bodyweight only, Light and Full equipment
Time-based and Rep-based options
Download the Nike Training Club app on your smartphone
(iPhone here |
Android here,0301-64659.html)
to get started.
Whether you’re working or exercising, don’t forget to get enough hydration!

David Brin said...

"He was the grandson of a slave owning Siamese Twin..."
That'd be THE famous original siamese twins.

A German Nurse said...

Speaking of nerds and writing: I am currently working on some tabletop rpg things. Worldbuilding, campaign preparation, my own homebrew systems etc. Too much night shifts and the death of public life impair my creativity and energy levels, though.

scidata said...

Reverence for life affords me my fundamental principle of morality.
- Albert Schweitzer

TCB said...

The original Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker, born 1811, died 1874. I didn't remember them owning slaves!

Odd fact: they lived in Mount Airy, North Carolina. "Today, direct descendants of Chang and Eng's 21 children number over 1,500.[83] Much of the extended family still lives in western North Carolina, where it is sometimes said that they "look real Bunkery". Mount Airy is the town that the fictional Mayberry is based on, so for all we know, Sheriff Andy and his son Opie are Bunker kin. Or maybe Barney Fife has a more Bunkery look... yep, Barney for sure.

Alfred Differ said...

Way back when I used to do world building and campaign prep, if I was in a dark mood, I just added Cthulhu style elements to the story. Everyone dies or goes insane. The end. Kept the players on their toes knowing I had party-death scenarios sprinkled about the place. 8)

Don't hold back.
Risk is delicious.

David Brin said...

Just finished watching THE GOOD PLACE. Excellent and thought provoking and very Non-Christian theology! There were MANY things I'd have added...even if only to shrug them off. Still it's fun.

TheMadLibrarian said...

Kudos to everybody working on writing RPGs. Our gaming group is lucky enough to count as a friend and sometime player a business owner who has a commercial Zoom account. Saturday nights he sets up a virtual room and between 8 and 12 people use it for RPGs. One of DH's people has set up cameras and headsets focused on the game map, so we can see and react to actions; the figures and terrain are moved/controlled by the GM. Everyone plays from home remotely, except for the GM and 1-2 other players in the same room who help move things on the board. This week, I'm in the barrel with a 1930s style Cliffhangers adventure; next week will be another GM running Mechlabor giant robots (Gundam), kaiju and BOLOs/OGREs. Still getting the kinks worked out, but it seems quite doable with a little work.

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Just finished watching THE GOOD PLACE.

Before social distancing, my daughter and her friends were really into that one. I saw parts of some episodes, and meant to watch more. Maybe now will be my chance.

Tacitus said...

On Youtube there are also five short Good Place videos called "The Selection" that have the committee meetings in Hell to select candidates. I consider Shaun the demon to be the best supporting actor since Reverend Jim in Taxi.

Enjoy them also.


matthew said...

I've been working on my table top RPG skills too, rewriting a beta test of a campaign for online play for my geek friends. Always a good way to be creative. Writing D&D this time since the Wizards of the Coast folks have made it so easy to sell (small) amounts of product using their licensed settings though the Dungeon Master's Guild. Finally the owners of D&D are understanding the benefits of encouraging amateurs to write content for their games! Folks that do well in the market then are often recruited for paid jobs through the system too. Kinda a farm league. I buy a lot of stuff there, especially now. It's a golden age.

Also writing and recording music in my home studio. Strictly amateur hour but fun.

All the while working my day job, sintering little complex metal pieces that can't be made easily by typical machining or forging (mostly medical devices and firearms for institutional use right now with some DoD stuff). I go into my work most days for a couple of hours to do my hands-on jive then come home to work on big datasets for the rest of the day.

I'm lucky to be doing what I am right now. Some risk since I do see my coworkers face to face but no outbreak (known) at our plant yet. Knock on wood. The medical stuff is really essential so it feels good to doing something constructive.

My neighborhood feels like something from the 50s right now. Lots of conversation over fences and while out walking the dogs. We're in a time of great sadness, but there is some magic happening too. Like Lou Reed sang, "Magic and Loss."

duncan cairncross said...

Lockdown Activities

Back in the 80's a friend built a kit car - a Marlin Roadster

That friend is now retired and living in a narrowboat
So I asked about the Marlin - it's been off the road for 10+ years and no plans to get it back on the road
So I said "Can I have it?"
"N"o was the reply - but I have a "spare"
The "Spare" - which was started in 1995 and never completed is in my shed and is today's project
Unfortunately it's tiny - too small to get enough batteries for a decent range - so it is getting an old ford dino burner to propel it

David Brin said...

Duncan... cool activity!

David Brin said...

Could be the best to date ---

Jon S. said...

While I do dabble in writing from time to time, I just haven't been able to string the words together lately. Can't think what stressful situation might be distracting me...

On the other tentacle, I kind of have to give it away for free, because what I write (so far at least) is based on some of my characters from the MMO Star Trek Online, and the ToS says that everything from the game technically belongs to Cryptic Studios. It all got "published" on the official STO forums, and then I went and stuck most of the stories (all the ones involving Capt. Grunt and crew, for instance, and one about then-Ensign Burwell, the poor time-lost Romulan War vet who wound up in 2409) into a Blogspot site. It ain't great, but it's what I do...

(They were all written in response to writing prompts issued on the forums. Currently stuck on a crossover concept - I've gotten Our Heroes stranded in the Commonwealth from Fallout 4, and I know how they get home in the end, but it's all the bits in between that are trouble.)

David Brin said...

Jon S. It all sounds delightful and creative and you should post the Blogspot address here.

David Brin said...

Guy I know lost both of his parents to this, in two days. Here's his deeply affecting account of the horrible experience, having to Facetime them during their last hours.

Deuxglass said...

Tim Wolter,

I must thank you for saying that I had the best Oracular Pronouncement. I did give me a nice jolt to my pleasure center. At the time the impeachment circus was full on and although everyone knew how it would end the drama was high enough to keep the media focused on that and not on the really important things. In my job before retiring “What If” scenarios are what we thought about and gamed on a daily basis and the global pandemic scenario is one of the classics so when it came up in real life I didn't have to think much to make decisions. I am glad that people here did understand what was happening early on.

I for one underestimated the rapid reaction of both state and federal governments. Quite suddenly when faced with a clear and present danger Democrats and Republicans got together to pass legislation in record time. Lock downs were followed by enough people to cut the transmission rate to low levels. Mistakes were made of course as happens in anything of this size but in general things went according to the plans set up decades ago and updated periodically. As expected research is coming up with many promising treatments. This is not a rerun of 1918. We have a lot more arrows in our quiver now and we all snuff out a second wave when it comes. I am optimistic. I think the economy will bounce back quicker than you think. I also put my money where my mouth is and I said it here.

Larry Hart said...

Gotta hand it to my governor:

In addition, there are also cases of governors subverting the administration through...covert ops? Is there a better name? For example, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-IL) is sick of supplies headed for his state being commandeered by the federal government. And so, he's begun arranging secret flights from China to Chicago, so that he can acquire needed supplies. That's right, the governor of the nation's fifth-largest state has been reduced to smuggling in order to do his job. Undoubtedly, other governors will be inspired by his example, if they haven't already organized covert ops of their own.

Jon S. said...

Well, if you insist on subjecting yourself to it...

Note that some of the stories make more sense if you've played the Federation side of Star Trek Online, at least through the Klingon War arc ("Outpost 47" does make reference to some things you learn during the opening arc for a Romulan character, but I don't think that damages the story significantly). Also, until fairly recently your character got a promotion and a new ship every ten levels until reaching lvl 50; the introduction of scaling Tier 6 ships, that have some of their high-level capabilities suppressed until you level up to them, has largely obviated that, but it's why Grunt got so many new ships. (Well, "new" ships.)

scidata said...

Here we go...

Larry Hart said...

In previous comments, Dr Brin referred back to this old Rapture posting:

Which in turn links to this contemporary post on Stonekettle Station:

Both are worth reading in entirety (including the old comments under Dr Brin's), but I particularly like that Jim Wright agrees with me on some of the benefits of being Left Behind, post-Rapture:

7) ) Equality for all: Monday morning we’ll be issuing all the gay marriage licenses you like. No bitching. No bullshit. Be happy and congratulations.

8) Improved Education: We can finally teach biology in school without interruption.


and finally,

10) Fewer Selfish Assholes. Less crowed highways. There’ll be a bunch of job openings. Less trolls on the Science forums. You can sleep in on the weekends without some Evangelical Rapture Monkey banging on your door at 8Am to sell you The Jesus.

Oh, and best of all?

With all the pious godly people all gone up to the Holy Ghost’s house and out of the way, we should have enough extra money and resources to finally feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and heal the sick without having to hear about socialism, communism, Nazis or how lazy people make Jesus cry.

David Brin said...

While that rant about the benefits of being left behind is ripe Stonekettle and amusing, fact is I'll bet the ratios of decent to nasty folks are pretty similar in both camps, if you put aside the utter nastiness of the Dominionist beliefs, themselves. And if you allow for very large numbers of the raptured. Which is NOT how the Dominionists view it, thinking their numbers of the pure & "elect" are very small and the rest of us were made to be background screamers of pain for their theater.

Acacia H. said...

What would be truly amusing is if the Rapture happened... and all of the scientists, social workers, engineers, LGBTQ+ people, artists, writers, pagans, and other "undesirables" all vanished, leaving just the Evangelicals and other hateful Christians and related groups among other religious groups behind. And you just know that they'd immediately go to war with each other and probably try to claim God "smote" the "infidels" and that "they've inherited the Earth."

I just truly hope that most of the animals also vanished because wildlife and livestock (and pets) don't deserve what the Evangelicals would do to them.


David Brin said...

Acacia all the fanatics would do is assume we weren't "raptured" but rather eliminated, purged, taken to our just desserts.

Acacia H. said...

I would hope that the Divinity in question would let them know "the others were Raptured because they were following the Divine's plan" but even if they refused to acknowledge that and claimed the Taken were in Hell or the like, so long as no animals or innocents were being tormented anymore, would it matter? I just figured it would be amusing. Heck, it would be even more amusing to see someone write such a story, if only to hear the screeching of the Evangelicals over the "corruption" of "their" Rapture myths.

Acacia H.

Alfred Differ said...


I also put my money where my mouth is and ...

I wanted to say something similar, but I just spent an hour looking back at what I posted here and it isn't true. I put my money where my thoughts went (my IRA's are back to their pre-crash values for now, my 401K isn't), but I didn't say much of anything about my thinking and how it affected where my investments went.

My first comment on Twitter was oblique on 13 Mar when my employer had us take our computers home. I commented on paper towel shortages. The rest of March on Twitter (not here) is all about impacts of corona virus, but nothing about trying to make money off what the markets were doing... which I was trying.

My IRA's were 75% cash in mid-Feb.
I had my sister's accounts at about 80% cash.
[On your advice? Anyone's? Not really. The market was behaving stupidly.]
On mine where I can trade options, late Feb and all of Mar were busy. Apr has been a little calmer. Slightly.
On her's I got back in after the first week of Apr and missed some of the bounce. Essentially even now.

Here, I'm most talkative on politics.
Seems I spent a lot of wasted time refuting locumranch too. More than I realized. Justified it as thinking about ideas. Ugh.

So, why this introspection made public?
I suspect many of us are saying and doing different things.
Looking back at the evidence creates insights into our own thinking. 8)
I'm encouraging others to try it on there own musings.

Alfred Differ said...

If anyone cares to see the self-commentary, I put it on my own blog.
No need for clutter here.

duncan cairncross said...

"The Rapture"
I can think of nothing worse or more boring than being swept up into an already existing paradise

I would much rather work on converting the Earth into our own paradise a bit at a time

Although that would be easier if all the religious loonies did get taken away

A German Nurse said...

Some other story ideas:
1. Humanity is manipulated by an incredibly advanced alien species, all religious myths somehow relate to their interaction with them. Perhaps it is part of a plan to develop us into an enlightened civilisation, or nothing more than a recreative game, we are nothing more than chess pieces, "good" and "evil" nothing more than the colour of said pieces.
2. The Battle between the forces of Heaven and Hell: Heavens forces are led by an ex-convict, Hells by a former radical preacher who leads a gilead-style fascist nation.
3.The Four Riders of apocalypse are AI. The Plague Rider is an intelligent supervirus, infecting and destroying the hardware of an increasingly dependent world. The Rider of War could be a Skynet-like AI, whereas Hunger could once have been a tool to increase the wealth of oligarchs. Haven't found a role for Death, though.
4. A Normal Joe is elected into the Office of the Adversary for six years, six days and six hours. It is his job to prevent man-made apocalypses.

yana said...

The real tragedy is loss of cultural memory. This sickness carries off the old more than the young, and it's crazy airborne. Before VacDay 2021, it's going to kill a couple million people, mostly older folks. One of history's more faithful cycles is the procession of generations. Natural and implacable, this force got attenuated as the advance of the Enlightenment made 20th c. science possible. Doubled life expectancy in 2 centuries, and though the latex will not snap back all the way to a life "brutish and short," it is about to get a jolt which it is unaccustomed to.

JFK's "passing of the torch" is about to be quaint. Of course a massive transfer of wealth down 1.5 generations, but more costly is the coming deficit of cultural history. Nobody knows how to choose the best draughthorse for a milk route anymore, but the few people who still know how to install a pipe organ might be gone soon.

Just an example, but it's not about the technical knowledge. That's all written down. What we are about to lose is the experience of millions of people who once had to ration radio usage. The Greatest Generation remembers food coupons, the Boomers knew life before screens. GenX had 3 tv stations and if someone had too many 9's and 0's in their number, people were less inclined to call them. And where are Hi-Ho crackers?

Listen, this thing is just going to keep chewing through our older people until VacDay 2021. If you know any oldsters, get in touch tele-ways and record their stories. If you got "it" and got over it, not contagious, then get a podcast mic and get over to a nursing home. If a pic is worth a thousand words, a living person is worth 1,000 stories.

The real cost of this pandemic is not measured in GDP or IMF de-growth projections. The true cost is two billion stories.

Larry Hart said...

@Dr Brin,

My post-Rapture Summer Daydreams include some admittedly-contradictory premises. I leave it to others to imagine that those who deserve to be taken up to heaven are not the ones the Evangelicals are expecting them to be. I ask, "What if they are the ones who leave the rest of us behind?", and try to picture what the world would be like at that point.

The four-to-nothing majority on the supreme court and the permanent Democratic Senate are just the start. :)

David Brin said...

yana's post is deeply moving. And written with passionate flair. And yes, recordings are vital. We got my Dad (Bernie's clone) to record his autobiography which is now permanently online. I may go online and record how to turn a T-shirt into an almost perfect burnoose.

Jon S. said...

"I may go online and record how to turn a T-shirt into an almost perfect burnoose."

Reminds me of a Tik-Tok clip I saw recently where a young woman from Brooklyn demonstrated how to fold a T-shirt into a combination hair net/pandemic mask. The result, with its uncanny resemblance to a niqab, caused one Islamic poster to reply, "Welcome, sister!"

David Brin said...

Trump hotels won't house doctors/nurses, despite DT's praise of that campaign.

And while screaming he's all-powerful, refusing to federally coordinate distribution of scarce medical supplies, forcing states and cities into bidding wars that directly benefit Trump cronies. WHILE sending homeland security agents to seize-and-hide supply shipments already paid-for by desperate hospitals, resulting directly in infection of doctors and nurses on the front line. While firing the inspectors who might ensure most of the 4 $trillion bailout won't go directly to GOP cronies (2/3 is already gone to Wall Street)...

..But worst of all, doing everything possible to delay by TWO months the rollout of nationwide testing that would let us get a handle on this thing. And so much more...

Tell us if even one of those crimes (and there is so much more) aren't felonies?
There is an old saying: "Don't ascribe to criminal intent that which can be explained by incompetence."
Years ago the Foxite-Putin-Party Confederates leaped on that aphorism as a final bulwark in any argument, even when cornered by tsunamis of facts.

We must answer with Goldfinger’s Rule:
“Once, Mr. Bond, may be happenstance.
"Twice could be coincidence.
“Three times is enemy action.”

To which let's add:

"20,000 times is deliberate and relentless treason."

Eleven years ago I cited Goldfinger's Rule:


David Brin said...