Subject: Similar to the Oral Tradition Lunacy: Keeping the Movement Small, Poorly Versed, and Ill-Educated
> it may only become available through the lfb website. I'm all for LFB and ISIL reaping their just rewards for publishing this book, but availability only through their website is too restricting. [Jerry B]
It sounds like the same mistake that was made in keeping lectures and courses available only on tape (or now CD or mp3) in the first place (all the Peikoff courses, much of the stuff on the ARI/Aynrand Bookstore): In that case, you sell them for several hundred dollars for every single individual lecture series instead of twenty-thirty as a book or transcript. You restrict the number of people who are exposed to the ideas.
Even if 'oral tradition' were the best way to learn complex ideas, relatively few people can afford those prices ten times as high, certainly not repeatedly -- especially among the young, who are the target audience open to ideas for any movement or set of new ideas.
1. Revenues: Short range 'make a killing' thinking is that you make ten times as much per unit. But if you only sell 1/10 as much you don't make more money. And if you had made them into printed form decades ago, you would spread knowledge of Objectivism, make it durable, make it quoted. And generate "repeat customers" - for other courses/lecture series, so that increases your total sales. Plus, as the author: you publicize your own work and accomplishments, you have more credits and credibility, you make it easier to get a book contract in the future, if your stuff is good, or get a better publisher or one who will market the hell out of your book(s)or other work.
2. Power and Impact: Having things in printed form gives the ideas you worked so hard to formulate a permanence, an impact, and allows more people to consider them and learn from them. The Oist movement would be much larger if its leading intellectuals and think tanks had ever heard of a man named Gutenberg. Christianity spread and had much greater reach because of the enormous impact of the Gutenberg Bible. For the first time, people could hold the ideas in their hands and study them or read them slowly.
--Hand it to someone.
--Copy a short part.
--Reread, view it afresh.
--Don't have to rely on memory for exactness of formulation or supporting argument or evidence.
Imagine hundreds of years from now, after the leftist/christian/muslim censorship of pro-freedom and pro-reason - and, crucially, Objectivist - ideas --- which were never fully written out and/or not fully developed or applied and therefor couldn't compete with their very articulate, well-published opponents --- people whispering around campfires about Peikoff's lecture series on Education, Great Plays, Understanding Objectivism, and many other topics. Will be short whisperings soon concluded because old granddad had Alzheimer's and could only remember a couple paragraphs and precious few CD's were sold and those have been beat up or lost. It seems what Peikoff was advocating, at least as it was handed down, was the existence of unicorns and education through repeated beatings.
Edited by Philip Coates, 25 September 2009 - 04:30 PM.