Monday, July 13, 2015

A Call to Investigate Amazon from the Authors' Guild

I post this for anyone interested in the field of publishing. . .

The recent decision in United States v. Apple raises the spectre once again of Amazon’s excessive power in the publishing landscape. The federal appellate court in the case agreed with the lower court that Apple had indeed violated antitrust law by cooperating with publishers to establish agency pricing for e-books (which allows publishers to set their own prices and pay the retailer a commission). The irony of this decision is that Apple’s actions actually helped to open the e-book market and to reduce Amazon’s monopoly from a 90% market share in 2009 to around 67% today.

Without commenting on the outcome of the Apple case, or the facts that led the majority to its conclusion, we’d like to point out the long-term dangers of interpreting antitrust law solely to favor low book prices over a thriving, competitive and robust literary marketplace. The majority’s opinion takes a narrow view of antitrust law, assuming that low book prices to consumers trump all, even if the low prices are artificial loss leaders intended to lure buyers into a single company’s shopping platform. The much larger issue in our view is the dominance that Amazon—through its artificially depressed book prices—wields over the book ecosystem, and the potential repercussions on the free flow of information and free expression.

Despite the decision against Apple, Amazon’s tactics seemed troubling to the court. All three opinions, the majority, concurrence and a dissent, referred to the fact Amazon controlled 90% of the e-book market in 2009, and two of the three judges expressed clear concerns regarding Amazon’s anticompetitive behavior.

Judge Dennis Jacobs, in dissent, characterized Amazon’s behavior as so extreme that Apple had little alternative other than to enter the market on the terms that it did in order to create needed competition. Judge Raymond Lohier, concurring in the majority, found some “appeal to Apple’s argument that the e-book market, in light of Amazon’s virtually uncontested dominance, needed more competition.” Judge Lohier, however, felt that “more corporate bullying is not an appropriate antidote to corporate bullying.”

What, then, is the appropriate antidote?

We once again request the Department of Justice to investigate Amazon for its anti-competitive behavior, a far more dangerous variant that Apple’s.

Here is a letter to the Department of Justice, written by Douglas Preston and Barry Lynn in cooperation with the Authors Guild. Preston is a Council Member of the Authors Guild, which from the beginning has been a partner in this initiative. Last summer he spearheaded a grassroots protest against Amazon’s punishment of authors during its dispute with the publisher Hachette. Under the rubric “Authors United,” he gathered over 900 authors’ signatures and took out a two-page advertisement in The New York Times, in a public challenge to Amazon’s actions.

This letter addresses the larger issue of Amazon’s control of the book market and requests an investigation of the company by the Department Of Justice. The Authors Guild supports Preston’s actions and endorses his request, as do the American Booksellers Association and the Association of Authors’ Representatives.

Roxana Robinson


The Authors Guild

Business in the Intuition Age

Penney Peirce says, “We’re leaving the Information Age and entering the Intuition Age. A new time is upon us, bringing profound change that pressures us to learn the rules of a greatly expanded new world—one where consciousness skills will become the most valued resource.” Today, the secret to business growth lies in accessing higher dimensions of awareness and developing techniques that originate from that new level of perception. 

The Intuition Age is bringing new ways to do traditional business tasks—like managing, innovation, sales, strategic planning and goal-setting, and production—that reduce struggle and optimize results. For example, by understanding how subtle factors—like alignment, attitude, energy level, internal pictures and “postures,” the inner blueprint, hidden agendas, and mindfulness—affect outer results, we can narrow the time between concept and fulfillment of goals, and reduce error caused by too much ego, unspoken assumptions, or the autopilot-mind. 

Tangible successes in business will increasingly depend on the mastery of intangible systems and the maintenance of a positive internal “state” in ourselves, the workers. Personal stress is at an all-time high and we’re nearly maxxed out on methods that rely on will power. To get the edge now, we need to be aware of more—with less strain, and continually restore freshness to our work life. To do that, we must be authentic, in the moment, and much more attentive and fluid than ever before. Renewal today will occur when we stretch into a new perspective. The first step to greater organizational health is recentering on the personal. The next is learning to perceive intuitively. 

In the 21st century, knowledge workers will develop an “inspiration capacity” and subtle consciousness skills that include: the ability to access visions, understand and work with energy, focus and direct thoughts intentionally, master emotional expression and empathic abilities, communicate without words, and work with the power of the present moment and the unified field that physics describes.

In the near future, we’ll know how to use intuition to scan the future of any process, be committed to encouraging the chemistry of an aligned group mind, understand how to manipulate the energy blueprint of an idea to work out problems before they occur physically, and be able to expand into the visionary state to refine and adapt plans. 

Copyright by Penney Peirce

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Riding the Wave to Our Destiny

It’s now that we must pay close attention to who we want to be, and do whatever it takes to maintain our highest consciousness and physical energy. Otherwise we run the risk of succumbing to the victim identity, which is pouring up out of the collective subconscious as never before.

If your life is building in intensity, if you are facing the things that scare you most, please don’t freeze in the worry-mind, or in the duality reality! This is the time to actively look for the oneness and the underlying sanity in all things. This is the time to believe in your own destiny, which is the manifestation of Who You Really Are. Choose what’s choosing you! Enter the experience that’s seeking you and trust its compassion. Live it out in an engaged way, and keep walking, keep inviting in your destiny, even if you can’t imagine how amazing it’s going to be. Don’t worry about not being up to it. You ARE it. When it finds you and you flow into it, you’ll be saying, "You mean I get to do THIS?"

How DO we achieve our destiny? On the one hand, I might have a bumper sticker that says DESTINY HAPPENS (not unlike "S - - - Happens") because I believe that we eventually get where we’re going simply by pursuing our natural interests, letting life flow as it wants, and being in harmony with that flow. On the other hand, I also believe that focusing on goals and enthusiastically working toward them is an equally important way to do things in the world. But there are times when my mind becomes inflated and I get ahead of myself, thinking I know the way a path of action is going to work out, and thinking it HAS to follow my prescribed itinerary. When things seem to go astray, it’s easy to assume I’ve made a terrible mistake, and that life is rejecting me.

Our destiny is programmed into our bodies, however, and our bodies are inseparable from the unified field of energy and consciousness we live in here on earth. When you feel outwardly from the center of yourself, you’ll experience the oneness of you and the "outside" world. You’ll know it’s not on the other side of some imaginary boundary, but is actually your extended body, your extended self. The world, and all its people, objects, and events, is your greater mind, your greater identity. One loving intention flows through the whole — to help each part evolve and become the truest self. 

I assume that when that truest self can integrate entirely into the body and mind, we immediately achieve our destiny. We share from our giftedness then, create much more than we previously thought possible, and feel utterly rewarded in all things. It is impossible to lose your destiny, because it’s encoded in every molecule of the physical plane. And yet, life often takes us on what seem like sudden detours, events that derail us from our will-driven tracks. Even these are invaluable teachings about trusting destiny, and its sometimes convoluted unfolding through unusual twists and tests.

Copyright by Penney Peirce