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INTRODUCTION TO LMP: LIBERTARIAN
by John Zube, July1999 edition, 26pp. In Word 97: Web1geo,in htm: web1intr
Published by: John Zube, 35 Oxley St., or P.O. Box 52, Berrima, NSW 2577, Australia, Tel. (02)48771 436.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Comments welcome, in Word 97, ASCII or photo-ready copies.
ON THE MICROFICHE ROAD TO LIBERTY.
IT IS SMALL AND NARROW BUT STRAIGHT AND SHINING BRIGHTLY.
ON SELF-PUBLISHING IN ALTERNATIVE
MEDIA, FREEDOM BOOKSHOPS, FREEDOM LIBRARIES, CONVENTIONAL PUBLISHING, MICROFILM
AND DIGITAL PUBLISHING OPTIONS.
YOU, TOO, COULD DO MUCH MORE TO MAKE FINALLY ALL LIBERTARIAN AND ANARCHIST WRITINGS FULLY, PERMANENTLY AND CHEAPLY ACCESSIBLE TO ALL, IN AT LEAST ONE OF THE AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVE MEDIA.
LIBERTARIAN MICROFICHE PUBLISHING, LMP, is just my other hat. It has been active since 1978, reproducing the mostly out of print back-issues of the at first merely duplicated and later offset PEACE PLANS series which began in 1964 and, by 1977, had reached only 21 paper issues. It was continued, from 1978 onwards, exclusively on microfiche. Since then PEACE PLANS has been expanded to 1545 issues, mostly with many more pages (over 300 average) than was previously possible, offering a total of close to 500,000 pages. Since all LMP fiche were initially produced in at least 100 duplicates, LMP has altogether produced about 50 million pages. All issues are in print, permanently, except the latest batch, which is ready for filming but still to be filmed and duplicated.
My fiching jobs have to line up at my agency and they are submitted by me only when I have the means on hand to pay for the ordered batch of microfiche originals and duplicates. Even though I live on a low income, I could continue this publishing indefinitely, if my health and age permitted this, independent of returns from sales of previously fiched issues. The costs and risks per microfiche are low enough for that. Whatever number of issues I finally reach, I do aim at 2,000 PEACE PLANS issues, all of them will remain in print through my children and grandchildren. My "profit" consists largely only in being able to enlarge my offer of freedom ideas, facts and opinions through the reproduction of libertarian texts. The freedom struggle has been going on for a long time and it was rarely financially profitable.
While ordering a single microfiche done and an initial batch of 100 duplicates (to have some copies immediately on hand, for my form of on-demand publishing), with each containing 1-3 small books or their equivalents, would not cost me more than $ 50 in the average, I do submit, as a rule, the paper masters for 10 – 15 LMP microfiche at a time, in a batch and thus, for such batches, the costs do mount up. I hold the speed of my title expansion to my limited means, and have to wait anyhow, until my agency gets around to finish my current jobs. By delaying new orders I can keep them in balance with my financial condition. In any case, preparing such a batch takes me a considerable time and effort, though much less per microfiche than I had to spend upon one of my PEACE PLANS in print on paper. I will not make the mistake of going into debt in order to produce still more titles and faster than I do so far. My time and energy are anyhow limited but I publish already more titles than some large publishing houses do per head of their staff. But do not expect my editing to be as careful or my output to be as popular and easy to sell.
My pilot scheme of LMP publishing should suffice to demonstrate how productive one person can be with this medium and the facilities of a good micrographic agency. Its expensive, automated and computerized equipment, permit it to charge low unit prices.
I do eagerly await more competing libertarian microfiche publishers and more libertarian and anarchist students and scholars using this medium as a supplementary reading medium and reference source.
I can afford increasing my stock of LMP microfiche, since it requires very little space and does not deteriorate.
The time for LMP microfiche, i.e., for their wide-enough acceptance, has not yet come but it may come, soon, depending upon the state of enlightenment on this medium. I can lead the horse to the water but I cannot make it drink, as the old proverb says.
MICROFILM IS STILL UNPOPULAR BUT SHOULD THIS BE DECISIVE FOR US? The message should be more important than the medium, at least for freedom lovers. Moreover, here, too, to some extent the medium contains an important freedom message by its very nature, like e.g. computer options do. Microfiche are part of our freedom of expression and information choices and affordable opportunities. Most of the popular, conventional and new high technology media are rather expensive, out of reach of many or available to activists only upon considerable financial sacrifices and involve risks and maintenance and replacement costs, also long learning and re-learning periods as well as flaws that can really bug you.
FREEDOM OPPORTUNITY: What freedom opportunity do microfiche offer? For instance: LMP production costs on one of its duplicates are sometimes down to 0.03 cents per page, depending upon size of page, print and reduction rate. As low production costs should be of interest to libertarian and anarchist writers, compilers, editors, publishers and readers of freedom writings.
The low production costs, as well as the easily manageable unitized form of information on one microfiche (98 – 1350 pages or 0.75 - 1.5 MBs in most cases, as compared with the huge requirement 650 MBs of texts on a single CD-ROM and even larger quantities of texts required for CVDs), as well as the longevity of this medium, are keys to many desirable publishing and reading options. The almost zero learning period required of the end-user, the few and easy rules for the publisher, the almost unchanging nature of the medium, its hardware and "software", its ease of use for the final consumer, its reliability, its space and postage savings compared with hardcopies on paper, do offer some significant advantages.
Moreover, in some ways, especially in speed of scanning (up to 800 pages per minute) as well as accuracy (close to 100%) and in speed of printing out duplicates, each containing 98 – 1350 pages, in a mere in 3-8 seconds, micrographics is still, in the front-line of high technology. Most computer benchmark testing seems to eliminate such comparisons. Should we run races only between slow but popular horses?
Indeed, this medium is not yet widely enough used, especially for freedom writings. But then which medium is? Let us agree at least on this and conclude that all media should be as far as possible used for libertarian and anarchist publishing and reading, especially in their particular strengths. None should be turned into a customary monopoly, especially when it has still failed, for centuries to decades, to make all freedom writings cheaply and easily accessible to anyone. Nor should we rely on media that do often crash and are out of reach of most poor people, i.e., the majority of the world population so far.
LMP's aim: 2,000 issues by 2,005. Not many libertarian and anarchist periodicals or series have lasted as long and offered as many pages. - I would gladly microfiche a list of them - if you were to provide it, preferably including sample copies for fiching. Hopefully, by 2005 a breakthrough will finally be achieved for this medium, and other affordable and efficient alternative media, at least among students and scholars of liberty.
LMP’s output on its own, even once it has reached this target (another 455 LMP microfiche to go), may not be enough to achieve the breakthrough. However, LMP is only one among over 400 general and specialized microfilm publishers, many of them much larger than LMP. I do estimate that between them they do already offer at least another 8,000 pro-freedom microfiche or roll film issues. Chadwyck Healey alone offers over 2,000 anarchist ones. Alas, apart from the still very incomplete listings offered by LMP of their pro-freedom outputs, these other microfilmed freedom writings are nowhere listed together as such.
If YOU CAN provide such a listing by perusing the existing guides to microfilms in print (found only in reference sections of large libraries) or from Internet sites, please, do. I would love to microfiche a complete list of all such offers. No one knows all pro-freedom titles and a complete bibliography of them has not yet been compiled as a guide to which ones are in print and to the multitude of those which are out of print and could and should be made accessible fast in affordable alternative media. Can freedom lovers afford to leave most of their texts unpublished, out or print and untranslated or priced out of reach of most people?
PEACE PLANS, the regular publication of LMP is not just another libertarian magazine or pamphlet series. It reproduces in its microfiche numerous libertarian and anarchists books, even some collected works, and some complete as well as many incomplete sets or samples of other magazines and newsletters, directories, indexes, bibliographies etc. The list of the titles it reproduced and offers very cheaply for sale is already so large that several people have misinterpreted it as a mere bibliography. They were conditioned to think that a publisher’s literature list must be rather short.
MICROFICHE are post-card sized: 15 x 10 cm, with an eye-legible title. LMP microfiche use mostly 24 x to 48 x reduction rates and contain 98 - 1350 pages each, with LMP’s microfiche averaging over 300pp each. One of the most frequent formats of LMP fiche is the 29x reduction, containing, in 126 frames, 504 small book pages. 5 microfiche fiche fit into ordinary letter mail. They do not have to be bound. Up to 10 fit into an acid-free fiche envelope (6 cents) and 2,000 fit into a shoe box or index card drawer. Few are able to read as many or more than 20,000 books in their lifetime.
MUCH CAN THUS BE OFFERED – VERY CHEAPLY: Sometimes several small books are offered on one LMP fiche, for their usual price, a mere $ 1 - CASH. You do no longer get many newly printed paper books or even magazines at such a low price. And none of them are as conveniently small, easily and cheaply storable and mailable.
READING MACHINE REQUIRED: Indeed, you need at least a small reading machine for them. But then many readers do already have to wear "reading machines" in form of spectacles on their noses. These do mostly cost more than a good used microfiche reading machine. Microfiche reading machines, usually shortened to "readers", come in all prices, sizes and shapes, with or without many convenient features. There is a suitable type for everybody able to read. Magnification can be varied, so can light intensity and screening size, at least with some of them.
UNPROVEN CLAIM OF LMP: No other single publisher offers as much freedom information as cheaply and as permanently in any medium. But if such or even larger freedom publishing offers should exist, please do inform LMP about them and, if you can, supply their literature lists as well. They would be gladly microfiched by LMP, which loves competition by all media. PRIZE: The first such "informer" is offered 50 LMP microfiche of his choice. This is a reward for someone proving me wrong!
LMP’s CLAIM: If my claim should be true then it should make headlines in the libertarian and anarchist press and lead to discussions there and soon to many imitators. If, however, they just can't be bothered to investigate it, then this is worse for them than for me. They would mostly remain confined to publishing only relatively few pages and continue to have financial difficulties. With few exceptions, like LIBERTY PRESS, which is well subsidized, most titles could then not be made permanently and cheaply available upon demand. I do really wish they would consider how much they could benefit from having all their back issues cheaply and permanently available, at least on microfiche. Furthermore, they would no longer be confined to a few pages per issue or book but enabled to publish, in this format, much more than they could so far afford to print on paper, e.g. the collected works of freedom advocates.
PRODUCTIVITY INCREASE: Through its conversion to microfiche PEACE PLANS was enabled to publish 189 times as many pages per annum as it did before, on paper. Imagine 189 libertarian publishers producing 189 times as much as they did until now on paper, although from now on exclusively or additionally only on microfiche. Are there really many libertarian and anarchist publishers who do not have any financial worries about their paper publishing and no anarchist and libertarian writers at all, who have difficulties in getting their works into print on paper?
FREEDOM BOOKSSHOPS: The scarcity of libertarian bookshops seems to indicate that there is not yet a large market for such writings. Why should one confine oneself to this publishing and distribution model? Why should one bear the high costs and risks of running a libertarian bookshop or paper publishing business when one could set up an extensive libertarian publishing effort from one’s home, with affordable alternative media? Such alternative publishing could soon outproduce all libertarian publishing of the past, if only 100 – 300 activists took it up. As few could achieve complete and permanent libertarian publishing.
FINANCE: There would no longer be any need to ask for large contributions from sponsors. Each libertarian activist could "finance" much libertarian publishing of this kind out of his own pocket. And sponsors informed on the alternative media options would demand a much higher output in these media. Imagine the microfiche output that would be possible for libertarian think tanks with annual budgets of hundred-thousands of even millions. Not only the bureaucracies of the State are wasteful in catering to popular prejudices. Each writer, collector, fan and editor could be his own publisher.
LMP: LIBERTARIAN MICROFICHE PUBLISHING: This is largely only a one-man enterprise, started and continued as a non-profit hobby enterprise with very limited means. I have nothing against monetary profits but I do not need such returns to continue this service. It was and still is meant only as a pilot scheme for independent libertarian publishing, one using microfiche as the main duplication medium for long texts or text compilations, magazines, newsletters etc. It has never as yet paid its way out of sales. Microfiche reading and publishing is still unpopular, even among those who could most benefit from it. The meager returns from it have so far covered only a fraction of the costs of expanding the series. Thus, as a "business", it is a long-term and very speculative investment of my spare funds. But due to the low costs involved, per microfiche and its titles, even when hiring the services of a quality commercial micrographic agency, with its automated and computerized equipment for original and duplicate filming, the expansion of the freedom literature offered for sale, upon demand, by LMP, can be subsidized from the low income of one poor individual like myself. To that extent this medium carries its own message - for those able to grasp it.
THE FOLLOWING 1999 LMP LIST FOR PEACE PLANS 1–1545, comes in normal, Courier New, 10 type, single-spaced, to nearly 2,000 A4 pages or 4,4 MB. I had to sub-divide it into manageable files. It is not yet printed out or fiched. The listing is in alphabetical order, by author or name of periodical, with some cross references and comments. For PEACE PLANS 1-1507 it can be found in PEACE PLANS 1508 & 1509. Relevant titles offered by others microfilm publishers are also listed, separately, to the extent that they have become known to me: in PP 1512. The contents of all issues is likewise listed, in separate microfiche, by PEACE PLANS numbers. I will gradually scan this listing so that I can offer it as well on floppy disk and online.
LANGUAGES OF TITLES: Titles are mainly in English, then in German, French, Spanish and Italian. A few titles were fiched in other languages, e.g. Chinese, Polish, Russian, Norwegian, Dutch, and Esperanto. Some titles are offered in several languages.
ANNUAL MICROFICHE OUTPUT OF LMP: The average annual output of LMP is 70 microfiche. Each contains the equivalent to 1-3 small books. Are there many anarchist and libertarian publishers who produce annually more titles and pages? In sales most are probably doing much better than LMP does but not in their own costs per title.
YOU MIGHT ASK: What good is an ever increasing but largely unsold collection of freedom titles? My interest lies mainly in making more and more freedom titles very cheaply AVAILABLE upon demand, on the road to complete and permanent libertarian publishing. If freedom "lovers" prefer to see most of their writings out of print rather than resort to affordable alternative media publishing and reading then they have only themselves to blame. LMP holds that they should and could mobilize all their resources of ideas, facts, arguments, references, contacts, with affordable alternative media. Only then could they become sufficiently enlightened themselves and thus efficient enough educators to enlighten many others. Consider how much more the best libertarians could have achieved or could achieve now – IF their references were complete and easily enough accessible, even portable? How much more could even ordinary libertarians achieve with such tools?
INDEXING, ABSTRACTS, BIBLIOGRAPHIES: Hundreds of the titles reproduced by LMP have their own indexes. No attempt has been made so far to pull all these indexes together, although that would be helpful. When a LMP title is indexed and has a bibliography then this is usually indicated in the LMP literature list. LMP would like to see not only all freedom writings listed and fully, permanently and cheaply reproduced upon demand, but also abstracts of and a common index to all freedom writings and review and reference compilations to all of them. A collaborative use of PCs, the Internet, scanning and indexing software could help compile such huge works and alternative media would make their publication financially possible.
SPECIAL SUBJECT LISTINGS: Up-to-date separate subject lists have not yet been provided by LMP, nor separate lists of books, magazines and newsletters, encyclopaedias, letter and leaflet collections etc. Nor have they been sorted out by languages. No attempt has been made to add an abstract or comment to every entry. Nor was a databank on LMP titles compiled by LMP. If anybody wants to undertake that chore he is welcome. I hold that the search function going through the digitized LMP list can dig up enough information fast enough for most purposes.
LMP LIST ON DISKS: So far all LMP lists are offered only on microfiche. When I have learned to zip them effectively then I should be be able to offer them cheaply on a few standard disks. So far, for the text of this website in Word 97 I need 10 floppies and in htm 4 disks. It seems that htm files do already their own zipping. Can they be further zipped? As many disks are not cheap and convenient enough to mail. Mailing them on microfiche would be easier and cheaper for me. You could always download the list and compile it into a large single file for easy searching. I have not yet got my system to work to reproduce my lists and other materials on a $ 2 CD-ROM but invite contributions towards such a reproduction.
HOW MANY LIBERTARIANS WOULD IT TAKE TO REPRODUCE ALL LIBERTARIAN WRITINGS ON MICROFICHE? LMP estimates that no more than ca. 100 -300 other libertarians, as active as I have been with this medium, could, between them, get all libertarian writings published, permanently and cheaply, on microfiche. If they are less active in the average then correspondingly more participants would be required for this project. The question is: How many freedom titles must already be offered in this format before as few or even multitudes will beat a path to its door? You tell me! - Remember Churchill's stirring words on the Battle of Britain? They could be applied here, too: Perhaps never before could so few do so much for so many and this at so little cost and risk and with so little labour, apart from compiling the photo-ready originals, and then using the services of an efficient, automated and computerized micrographic service bureau, with very low unit prices. –
Will you become one of these freedom fighters? Can the freedom movement afford not to inform and motivate as few to act in this way? Is it unable or unwilling to find as few of such activists and educators in its ranks? Are a basically 500 year old print on paper technology and electronic push button facilities, now already existing for decades, all the options that we ought to consider and use for libertarian texts? Should we not be open-minded towards all media that could promote libertarian causes?
COMPARE THE PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS OF ALL MEDIA, NOT JUST THE MASS MEDIA: Compare microfilm productivity with that of printing on paper, which has kept most freedom writings unpublished or out of print, even after 500 years of printing, and advances in printing, or too expensive, for many potential readers, while they are, for a while, in print. Afterwards many titles, especially those issued in low impressions, are only rarely available on the second-hand book market.
FREEDOM LIBRARIES, DONATIONS OF PAPER TITLES AND THE ALTERNATIVES: While high income people in developed countries can afford to accumulate considerable private freedom libraries, even their collections are usually still very incomplete. Moreover, even their well-meaning charity efforts cannot fill the backlog needs for freedom literature in underdeveloped and newly somewhat liberated countries. If, instead, they tried to supply this extra huge demand with e.g. microfiche, floppy disks and text only CD-ROMS, then, and perhaps then only might their donations be able to convey enough information fast enough to at least to some freedom centres in such countries. Furthermore, the prices that would have to be charged for such media are affordable for most poor people as well. However, charity starts at home. Let's get our own act together first, with affordable alternative media. All the private freedom libraries that I have seen, in somewhat free countries, however proud their collectors had reasons to be, under present publishing conditions, even those of large organizations and famous individuals, were still rather incomplete, and this after years to decades of collecting and willingness to pay high prices for some scarce tracts.
WITH MICROFICHE, FLOPPIES AND TEXT-ONLY CD-ROMs COMPLETE, CHEAP AND PERMANENT LIBERTARIAN PUBLISHING COULD BE ACHIEVED WITHIN A FEW YEARS: A 32 cents floppy could also contain a freedom book and a $ 3 (blank & pressing cost) text-only CD-ROM could contain 500 - 5,000 titles. My fiche duplicates cost me 28 cents each. Work out the costs per page for these and other media and consider the life spans of all. We should not only be interested in life extension for ourselves.
EXAMPLE OF MICROFICHE AND CD-ROM BOOK PUBLISHING COSTS: One’s outlay for publishing one to three small books on one microfiche, only upon demand, for the master fiche and the first 100 duplicates could be under $ 50 and the price for one used reading machine need not be higher. Another batch of 100 duplicates, ordered only when required, may cost you less than $ 30. Thus permanency in print can be assured for a very small outlay and publishing risk. One of the advantages, not only disadvantages, of a microfiche, compared with a CD-ROM, is that it does not take 650 MBs to fill it but only ca. 0.75 - 1.5 MBs. That seems to be one of the reasons why text-only libertarian CD-ROMs shine by their absence. An individual can manage to fill one or even many microfiche but would have to battle, on his own, possibly for many years, to fill a single and text-only CD-ROM. Moreover, he would have to get as many texts in digitized form. - Are libertarians able and willing to combine their digitized offers to fill one or a few libertarian CD-ROMs? I do hope so and in spite of my poverty I would be willing to sponsor the production costs of the first libertarian and text only CD-ROM, and of a few duplicates pressed from it - provided that the labours of love of others would provide most of the 650 MBs required to fill it, from their files or from the Internet. However, anyone who managed to combine as many digitized libertarian texts could easily cover the low costs involved, namely $ 2 for a blank and a bit over $ 1 each for commercially pressed duplicates, in small quantities. So where is the avalanche of libertarian literature on microfiche, floppy disks and on CD-ROMs, which should result from utilizing these options for libertarian writings?
ONE OF THE PUBLISHING MEDIA FOR THE POOR: MICROFICHE: Reject the notion that only rich people or organizations can publish much. That is still largely true for conventional paper publishing, for radio and TV programmes, but no longer for users of some of the affordable alternative media. Apart from copyrights restrictions, most freedom lovers could afford to publish most of their favourite titles and, naturally, their own writings, on microfiche, floppy disks and text-only CD-ROMs, especially the out of print and never before published titles. They could include all their correspondence, all their reviews and comments.
BOOKS ON THE INTERNET? How much would it cost you to keep a book on the Internet for 100 years, if you can't find an advertising sponsor for it? Is prolonged electronic screen reading popular? And aren't print-outs from it as expensive as photocopies are?
PUBLISHING ON DEMAND, ON PAPER AND ON MICROFICHE. THERE IS STILL NO COMPLETE FREEDOM LIBRARY OR COMPLETE BOOKSHOP SERVICE: Admittedly, by now even some print on paper methods permit some very low impression issues and publishing upon demand - but only from already digitized texts and only at conventional book prices, for newly printed books, which are too high for all too many, including me. Nor has this technique been used so far for many, far less for all freedom books. (If you can do so, please, do!) Consequently, in print on paper no one has as yet managed to compile a complete freedom library. The INSTITUTE FOR HUMANE STUDIES is aiming at this but may need decades to reach completeness. Last I heard of it, it added ca. 800 titles annually to its library. Would it include all anarchist titles as well? How many freedom titles do actually exist, including unpublished manuscripts? 50,000? 500,000? No one knows, because a complete freedom bibliography has not yet been compiled. For the time being, I estimate that there are ca. 150,000 libertarian-interest book titles. If you know better, please inform me. How can one be so careless about these treasures, not to want to mobilize all of them? Our lives, our liberty, our prosperity, and that of our children and grandchildren depend upon them. I fear the one-book people and the people who appreciate only a few books.
FREEDOM LIBRARY SERVICE, A COMPLETE ONE, SELLING CHEAP DUPLICATES IN ALTERNATIVE MEDIA, UPON DEMAND, RATHER THAN OFFERING ONLY LENDING SERVICES TO A FEW. Even one complete freedom library could not fully service the world, with its one or a few copies per title - unless if offered cheap duplicates of all of them, for sale, upon demand, permanently, in one or the other alternative medium. Most likely a single such library will not come about but rather a network of such libraries and publishing enterprises which would supplement each other and could, between them, make all freedom titles permanently and cheaply available and easily accessible through a common listing. That list should also be cheaply published in alternative media. I would not mind if they continued with their numerous separate lists, mostly expensively printed on paper, if only they would provide their entries in digitized form as well, for a common listing in an affordable medium.
FREEDOM BOOKSHOPS, TOO FEW AND TOO INCOMPLETE IN THEIR OFFERS: The very few freedom bookshops, that were so far established and managed to last, do only offer a small fraction of in-print and out of print freedom titles - temporarily and at prices corresponding to their high costs or rarity and in accordance with their particular preferences. LMP and other microfilm publishers do greatly supplement their offers - and so could any independent freedom publisher who took up affordable alternative media. Unfortunately, these offers in alternative media remain largely unknown to most who might be interested in them, apart from some audio- and video-tapes. But even their availability is not yet sufficiently publicized and utilized.
UNKNOWN OR OBSCURE WRITERS FOR LIBERTY AND COLLECTED WORKS EDITIONS: "How many really great authors have gone to their graves totally unknown, their work turned to dust along with them?" - Ben Bova, Cyberbooks, 146. How many freedom books and manuscripts are still unknown now, and inaccessible, most of the time, in most countries, and in most languages, to most freedom lovers? Not even the collected works of men like Mises, Hayek, Harper and Rothbard are cheaply and permanently accessible on microfiche, floppy disks, CD-ROMs and online. On microfiche all works of any author, famous or obscure, could be made cheaply available while he is still alive, even if only by himself, with himself pocketing any profits he might derive from them. Why should authors and readers have to support an expensive publishing industry which, like politicians, did not and cannot fulfil its promises? In cheap alternative formats authors could afford to publish their own works themselves, also those of their mentors, instead of having to asking for favours or investments from commercial and conventional publishers and all too often getting only rejection slips.
ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING: Electronic book publishing is now possible, in various formats, but how many freedom texts are already offered in this way? If you can get together a complete listing of all these titles, I would love to fiche it in my series. As far as I could find out, there are by now only ca. 10,000 general subject books made available online, mainly by the Gutenberg Project and Books on Line. As the literature publishing effort of dozens of millions of computer users this output is still woefully small, compared with the over 300 million books that were published on paper. How many of these 10,000 books are freedom books? Are libertarians as yet organized to provide libertarian books online, on floppy disks and text-only CD-ROMs, any more so than they are to provide them on microfiche? On microfilm as many as 10,000 freedom titles are probably already available – but they are not yet listed together. Will you help to provide such a list or remain among those who ignore these offers of freedom titles?
LIBRARIES, WILL THEY GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER, SOON, AND OFFER EVERYTHING ONLINE? ON MICROFICHE, FLOPPIES, CD-ROMs etc? Should we wait until government libraries do get around to digitize all their stocks? Will they give a high priority to freedom books? - Why expect that others will ever or within your lifetime make all your favourite books available to you and others online? Book publishing has not done this in 500 years and computerization has not achieved it in decades, either, in spite of its much greater degree of automation. Even most computer books are still offered in print on paper - apart from the freebees of CD-ROMs attached to computer magazines. When will you begin to offer such libertarian or anarchist freebees with your libertarian periodicals? Or offer them at their ridiculously low costs of production or at a small profit to yourself? A single CD-ROM duplicate, costing, as a blank and for pressing only $ 3 to produce, could, probably, already offer more libertarian or anarchist books than all of the Internet has been able to offer online, so far. True or false? The LIBRARY OF THE FUTURE, in its current edition, offers over 5,000 titles on a single CD-ROM, for ca. $ 80. Its previous edition, containing over 3500 titles, was recently on bargain sale for $ 20. If they were only full length books then, maybe, there would be "only" 500 of them on it. But standard CD-ROMs are expected to last only 10 years and new ones, that might last 100 years, are very expensive. However, according to THE AUSTRALIAN, June 22, 1999, page 9, the national library of France has digitised about 80,000 books, at a cost of about $ US 20 million, - that is $250 each! But how many of these selections by librarians are freedom titles? Currently they are digitizing all the books of 4 centuries on travel in France and Africa. That seems to indicate their interests.
LIBERTARIANS AND ALTERNATIVE MEDIA: When, at last, will many to most libertarian and anarchist organizations and activists begin to offer their treasures on microfiche, floppy disks and CD-ROMs? When will they try to push many to most of their full text digitized freedom books online, e.g. through Gutenberg Press, Books on Line or independently?
LMP AND INTERNET FREEDOM TEXT OFFERS: With my shoestring and "old-fashioned" microfiche publishing effort, I MAY already offer more libertarian pages than millions of Internet users have so far made available on the Internet. To expect, nevertheless, everything from the Internet and almost nothing from microfiche, floppy disk and CD-ROM self-publishing, seems thus rather unreasonable to me. By all means, do let me know how many libertarian and anarchist pages the Internet does offer so far. Better still, supply me with photo-ready printouts. Are there already millions of freedom pages and ten-thousands of freedom titles in this format? I haven’t found them yet. Have you?
INTERNET LIMITATIONS: ASX spokesman Mr. Robin Harris: "The Internet is a great mechanism for the delivery of information. However, at the moment, it doesn't really cope with documents of 200 or 300 pages. Instead of the full document, we could have some form of alert which is probably the way we'll end up doing it." - THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 14 Dec. 1998, 35. - Consider also the total costs involved for getting a book in this way and whether you really need most books immediately or as soon as they can be downloaded. Are you caught up with all your other reading of freedom literature? Do you need most additional titles immediately? Nevertheles, I do aim to finally put ca. 2,000 LMP pages onto a Website - if my service provider does not charge me extra for this. 2 attempts to upload this introduction to geocities failed.
PRINTED BOOKS SOLD VIA THE INTERNET. WHY NOT ALSO MICROFICHED ONES, BOOKS ON FLOPPY DISKS AND ON TEXT-ONLY CD-ROMs etc.? Printed books are now offered by a few large to small enterprises via websites. The same should be done for all microfilmed, disked and CD-ROM-ed books, especially for the freedom books. We do not have to convert everything into digital format first. I for one could not afford to do that for my ca. 1/2 million libertarian pages. Nor would such conversion always supply a lasting copy, one that could be easily read with all future hardware and software.
INTERNET: SHOULD WE PUT ALL OUR PUBLISHING "EGGS" INTO THAT BASKET? Should we expect that all our publishing and reading requirements could be satisfied only through the use of the Internet? Freedom ideas are too important to be made dependent upon a single technology only, moreover, upon one that even now, after several decades, is accessible to and mastered by only a fraction of the world population, a technology that is relatively expensive and unreliable still and that requires all too long learning and re-training periods and special skills. It is far from being as easy to use as are microfiche reading machines, typewriters or printed books are. Microfiche, like books printed on paper, are user-friendly. Otherwise I would have offered this website months ago.
Indeed, computers and the Internet offer many special advantages and these should be fully used by freedom lovers, more than they, me included, did so far. But total reliance on this technology is something to be avoided. The own crashes and information losses should teach that and the costs and fears associated with the millennium bug. At least we should save all computerized texts on more lasting media.
ARCHIVING LIBERTARIAN INTERNET CONTENTS: An enquiry is also overdue on how much of the information that was once on the Internet has already been lost because it was not loaded down and archived in agreed upon places and media. If individual PC users have saved it, they should organize themselves to combine these savings in lasting media, at least for all writings that deserve to be preserved. At one stage most microfiche were COM-fiche of spare parts lists etc., which were replaced every few weeks and then thrown away. Until freedom is fully realized and protected, we certainly should not treat any freedom text in this way, in any medium.
COMPUTER BUGS: How many different computer viruses are there by now? 30,000? The last figure I heard of in a lecture, a while ago, was 20,000. Will the virus defence programmes be able to keep up with these attacks? A simple omission of 2 digits in dates has led to the year 2,000 problem. The explosion of some nuclear weapons in the air might lead to much larger problems for computer users.
COST CONSIDERATIONS: Consider how much you have spent already on hardware and software and may have to spend again, within a few years. How many expensive books could you have bought instead? And how many freedom microfiche? I have not yet dared to add up all my expenses for computers and software. And most of them are broken down or outdated by now.
PRICES OF MICROFICHE BY COMMERCIAL PUBLISHERS: Admittedly, few microfiche by other publishers are offered as cheaply as they are by LMP. Most of these publishers try to recover all their outlays through very few sales. Seeing their relatively few sales, I can understand their pricing policy. Most of them have still to pay their salaries and to satisfy shareholders. I do not. Once a competitive market develops for freedom literature, in this medium, prices are bound to come down. If libertarians produced libertarian microfiche mainly for other libertarians, why should they charge them very much above their costs for them? Marking up a cost of 28 cents to $ 28 seems quite unreasonable to me. Encyclopaedia Britannica, on CD-ROM, was first priced at $ 2.000. After some protests about this pricing, including mine, they reduced the price to ca. $ 200. They could still profit and possibly profit much more by offering it at $ 20 in this format. Most computer magazines now offer 1-3 CD-ROMs as give-aways with each issue. So they must be very cheap in bulk. How many libertarian magazines have followed their leads? How many would have to, to achieve complete libertarian publishing in this format, at least while it lasts, i.e. for ca. 10 years? Why don’t they? Why do most of them not even offer their back-issues cheaply on microfiche or floppies? Let us start by compiling, regularly updating and offering a libertarian encyclopaedia, on microfiche, floppies and CD-ROM – as cheaply as we could.
ENLIGHTENMENT, PRINTING PRESSES AND READING FROM COMPUTER SCREENS: How much more enlightened has the world become, so far, through computer use, if at all? Have they rather served, like the printing presses and the mass media did, to spread popular errors and prejudices than truths? For a long time people believed in the effectiveness of printing presses to achieve enlightenment. Is our belief in online enlightenment as unwarranted? Should we use only the currently most fashionable and best publicized media? According to some research, screen reading seems to impair comprehension and retention. Moreover, there may be a radiation hazard involved, a question which is still controversial. I have always tried to reduce it by selecting only LCD screens for my systems and have filmed a fiche (PEACE PLANS 655) with reports on that hazard.
INTERNET, MINORITIES, ARCHIVING MATERIAL: The Internet has itself become a mass medium, catering mainly to mass interests. However, as opposed to other mass media, it has remained open to entries and searches from individuals and minorities. On the other hand, the most popular uses of the Internet have almost buried the valuable contributions e.g. on what freedom could achieve and how. Such contributions seem to be almost as rare on the Internet as they are e.g. in large public libraries, in TV and radio broadcasts and in popular newspapers. (Please, prove me wrong. I offer a reward of 100 LMP microfiche, his choice, to the first who supplies me with a complete listing of ALL current freedom websites on the Internet. I would love to fiche that list, too. It would also form a worthwhile website.) The printed dozens of guides to the Internet offer only few, if any such hints.
INTERNET NOT AN ARCHIVE BUT MORE LIKE A NEWSPAPER OR ANNUAL: The Internet is not a permanent archiving or publishing medium. It seems more related to a newspaper or an annual. Several entries that others made for me on my efforts, have simply disappeared from it without a trace.As a result of all the past and current mentioning of LMP there I received, I believe, only one enquiry so far. That experience is probably not unique. Thus freedom lovers should not rely on it alone but use its offers for other publishing and archiving efforts. Floppy disk and CD-ROMs could contribute much towards such an effort, as could ZIP drives and Super-disk drives, large HD drives and back-up tape drives. All seem to be, to me, still vastly under-utilized and insufficiently appreciated for this, although they are more obvious peripheral options for computer users than are COM-fiche print-outs and microfiche reading machines. The Internet fans contribute much information, desire, hope for, predict or prophecy much more but are still very far from having achieved push-button availability of all the information they desire or need. Is there, among the multiplying search engines a particular one that does already satisfy all freedom lovers? One that eliminate most of the to them irrelevant material?
It seems to me that the Internet still has to be used much more systematically for some libertarian projects like the ones listed above and below.
Just adding a few diverse web pages seems to me not much more helpful than adding just another few pages via a new libertarian printed magazine or newsletter or book.
The Internet has provided many libertarian and anarchist links but has not yet linked up all such knowledge and references. It is still very far from achieving that aim. Hyperlinkages ought to be provided to ALL other libertarian information offered on the Internet and outside of it, on other media. Limited personal cross-references and linkages are not enough. It should also offer sufficient hints to all freedom texts provided in other media.
For every computer book that has been published I would rather see another pro-freedom book permanently published in one or the other affordable medium. Dealing with the problems of computer technology has swallowed all too much brain power so far and, in industry, does not seem to have increased productivity greatly. For instance, all the talk and writings about and use of desk top publishing has not yet led to lower book and magazine prices. In my computer users' group most are concerned with the technical and methodological problems involved in using various programs, rather than using computers and programs productively for one or the other cause, apart from some hobby, entertainment or professional usage. Typically, among over 100 members I seem to be the only individualist, anarchist and libertarian.
Computer use and access and use of the Internet can be helpful in many ways - but they are not panaceas, either. Freedom is too important to be made entirely dependent upon them. The same applies, naturally, to printing on paper, to microfiche, audio- and video tapes, films, the theatre, songs and poems, paintings and sculptures, to schools, universities, radio, citizen band radio, mobile phones, telephones, conferences, discussions, seminars etc.
All media, means, methods, channels, processes, tools, should be used, in their strengths, for the freedom struggle. We can't afford to neglect any of them. Andre Spies, a few years ago, was planning to write a book on all the "tools" now available for the liberty struggle. I do not know what has become of this writing project. Most freedom lovers seem to be aware only of a few of the choices. And many new "tools" may have to be built or popularized still for this struggle. Expand your horizon to include your OTHER freedom publishing and reading options.
"The rest is silence"? If no one has ever published more freedom titles, more such pages, more cheaply and more permanently in any medium, than I have in my microfiching efforts, supported from a single and very limited income, over the last 22 years, or if I have at least come close to such a record (who holds it?), then one should assume that this should be a newsworthy item in the libertarian press and should be widely discussed. Then libertarian authors, publishers, editors and readers might come to consider it as a pilot scheme, one worth imitating and perhaps exceeding if one can and wants to, until between all such efforts and, at least with this easy and affordable medium, in a few years, complete, permanent and cheap publishing for all freedom writings is achieved. If this is not a worthwhile aim then will somebody please tell me why it is not? Are silence, neglect or denigration the proper responses to this freedom of expression and information opportunity?
Can we afford not to make full use of all affordable alternative media for freedom writings? Should libertarians and anarchists spend more time and money e.g. on manicuring their lawns and washing their cars than an making all freedom writings cheaply and permanently accessible in affordable alternative media like microfiche, floppy disks and text-only CD-ROMs?
I am working on a book length compilation of alphabetized notes on microfiche options for libertarians and intend to offer it on fiche, floppy disk and online. But in spite of my involvement with this particular medium, I would not want to see all publishing and reading of freedom texts confined to microfiche only. I am still a bookworm and computer user and I do welcome the libertarian use of all other alternative media. I merely do condemn total reliance on conventional media or on a single new medium. This is a kind of media snobbishness for which the freedom movement pays all too high a price.
How often do certain truths and have to be repeated, and in how many different versions, before they finally sink in? For how long and by how many has total freedom been advocated – largely in vain? Whoever would require only the slightest hint towards micrographic savings and potentials would already have become a microfiche publisher. I woke up to them only after 3 such hints. Two of these came close together, after an interval of ca. 30 years. First there was an article, in a German magazine in the late 40s, showing a cheap and small Swiss microfiche projector and predicting most books would soon be offered for ca. DM 0.50 on microfiche. Then I waited, and waited, for decades, for reading machines and microfiched books to appear in shop windows. Photography shops would have been naturals for such exhibits. But they confined themselves to their favourite reduction rates and, like infants, to pictures only. I waited quite in vain. Then, after a prolonged but frustrating print-on-paper publishing effort for PEACE PLANS, from 1964 to 1977, in which only 21 issues appeared and, moreover, an all too small response to my appeal to libertarians to gradually develop a special super-computer market and network for libertarian ideas (in PEACE PLANS 20/21, re-fiched in PP 20), I got 2 hints on the micrographic alternative: One contact, Cedric Bullard, had the costs of having his master' thesis reproduction costs on paper, $ 45 for its 450 pages, reduced to 14 cents for one microfiche duplicate. The other, Robert Sagehorn, wrote to me that some small microfiche reading devices were then available for as little as $ 5. These hints were finally enough for me: I immediately concluded: This medium is for me, investigated it further and, almost completely (apart from some photocopies and PC use for word processing and sorting) converted to it. With this conversion my annual page output in my PEACE PLANS series increased 189 times. I went from 20 issues in 13 years to ca. 70 issues annually and most of them contained many more pages than the old issues. Moreover, all stayed in print upon demand. My costs and labours per title went down greatly.
Others may need 30 hints or more. Should one try to "save the souls" of those who need 300 or 3000 hints? Perhaps, one should, if one has the time and energy to do so, seeing how easily one could fit as many hints onto one microfiche and how little they cost even in such numbers. Furthermore, each single convert could, on his own could become so productive with this medium that, given the chance, one ought to struggle for his micrographic "soul" as well. However, I prefer those who can take ONE hint and act on it, quite early in the game, instead of delaying an involvement with this medium for years upon years, as I did myself and too many others. Do e.g. SF fans need more than thousands such hints in their favourite writings?
PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF MICROFICHED FREEDOM LITERATURE: Please take note that microfiching libertarian texts has so far only solved the problem of cost and labour reduction of the production side of publishing. The distribution side has not yet been solved and will not be solved until there are many more readers as well as publishers of libertarian microfiche. The least requirement would be a common listing of all freedom titles already offered in this format. Alternatively, all microfilmed titles should be included in all Books in Print listings. Mail order services for freedom books should offer titles in alternative media as well or offer a common list, produced also in alternative media, for all freedom titles in all media. A complete freedom bibliography would also help by showing how many titles are already so offered and how many could and should be. Complete abstract, and review collections, as well as combined indexes would help further to solve the distribution problem for texts on alternative media. So would reviews of this option in the libertarian press and the offer of all back issues of libertarian periodicals in cheap alternative media. There are dozens of steps that are not yet sufficiently taken to solve the usage and distribution problem of still unknown, unappreciated or unpopular alternative media. I doubt that one can expect support from the mass media and the "media institutes" for them. But should libertarians and anarchists continue to show as little interest in this freedom option and opportunity?
The question is whether the potential readers and publishers can be motivated to take up this medium. In the attempt to do so I started my LIBERTARIAN MICROFICHE PUBLISHING pilot scheme, hoping to reach by myself a breakthrough point at which I, on my own, would already be able to offer so much libertarian material in this format that enough other libertarians would feel "compelled" to take this medium up so that between us we would reach complete, permanent and cheap publishing of all libertarian titles.
Alas, even after 22 years this aim has not yet been achieved. In the meantime, the Internet became popular and I finally try to use it to point out the micrographic options which most fans of the information revolution have so far neglected, in spite of the advantages they do offer. Obviously, the Internet has not yet sufficiently informed them on these freedom opportunities.
Will the Internet be able to launch microfiched literature and its use as well or more so than it has the use of paper books and some electronic books? That remains to be seen. I am somewhat doubtful on this, since all-over the Internet seems swamped by mass interests, like the mass media are. But on the other hand, individual surfers can seek there information according to their particular interests and they MIGHT not be completely committed to digitized information only, especially if they remain book-lovers still. Then they ought to be open minded towards other and much cheaper hard-copy options, which would save them much money and space - would even permit them to build up a portable reference library for themselves, combined with a pocket sized reader for short reference reading and a comfortable one for prolonged reading at home. Those insisting on paper print-outs would have to be willing to pay the costs involved, about equal to photocopiers and photocopies.
What does encourage me to persist is the awareness that A FEW LIBERTARIAN PIONEERS, USING ALTERNATIVE MEDIA, COULD DO SO MUCH WITH THEM: Finally enough libertarians, a small fraction of all members of all the diverse groups, could and should systematically mobilize themselves towards providing, for themselves and all others, all libertarian writings, permanently, cheaply, easily, in all major languages, mainly through alternative media like microfiche, floppy disks, text-only CD-ROMs and online offers. Between them, a few hundred to a few thousand participants (not all of them or as many would have to be as active with this medium as I have been) could and should work towards making all those texts available, at least on microfiche, which they themselves do consider to be the most important ones. Collaboration need only exist to assure that there are not too many duplicated efforts and to produce a combined literature list. Otherwise each participant could and should publish independently in his preferred alternative medium.
With this cooperative competition between them and also all the research tools required to make all this knowledge more readily accessible in every desired segment, likewise published cheaply in alternative media, the libertarian movement could become unbeatable, soon. Each libertarian could come to act as a light tower on every subject, at least after having referred to his portable references, constituting a personalized portable freedom library.
Are there enough others to share
this dream and work towards its realization?
POOR PUBLISHERS: Perhaps on microfiche some relatively poor publishers could afford to publish more freedom titles than most rich people could afford or are willing to publish on paper? And, between them they could, soon, permanently and cheaply publish all freedom titles. In many countries they could do so quite legally.
PEACE PLANS: It might be considered as a still very incomplete but growing libertarian encyclopaedia or portable freedom reference library, although its 1545 microfiche do not even fill a shoe box as yet. It is also open to title entries by you, including whole books that you favour, provided they are not under copyrights restrictions, available for your manuscripts, magazine collections, papers, correspondence, leaflets, newsletters, clippings, abstracts, reviews, comments etc. Excellent photocopies will always be acceptable, nay even preferred in most cases, since they would save me photocopying labours.
However, I cannot promise instant publication of all such submissions in my series. Even with the efficiencies and cost savings of micrographics, a single such publisher cannot make up for the omissions of hundreds to thousands of other freedom publishers. There are already and still hundreds of titles on hand to be fiched and more major writing, compiling and editing jobs on hand that I can handle, on my own, over the next few years.
You do not depend upon me and my series and publishing speeds. Microfiche are a self-help publishing medium that almost everyone, in developed countries, can afford and handle. If you want almost instant appearance in an alternative medium then you have to arrange for it yourself. PEACE PLANS would then gladly mention in its listings what you have to offer. However, if you were to sponsor all my costs for the items you submit and the transformation of it into another LMP microfiche would not require excessive labours by myself (e.g. through flawed copies), then I would treat them as priority jobs and get them fiched, usually, within a few months. For one so sponsored LMP fiche issue, on which we can both agree, I would be willing to "pay" the sponsor with up to 50 LMP microfiche of his choice. Thus, by getting one of your favourite titles, or even 2 or 3 small ones, reproduced on one of the LMP microfiche, your own library could grow by the contents of 50 LMP microfiche, i.e. the equivalent of 50-100 books. Not a bad deal, I think.
Take note that I would always prefer it if you took up independent microfiche publishing yourself, prepared for the fact that at present you would not achieve many sales in this way. You would work mainly for a better future for libertarian information. You could add whatever comments you would like to add to your favourite writings reproduced or sponsored by yourself. Everything that you consider to be important for the freedom struggle you could afford to put on such a permanent record. Moreover, you could afford to donate much information in this format – and you could use it as an exchange medium towards other such producers, collectors, archivists and upon-demand publishers.
PRODUCTIVITY OF MICROFICHE PUBLISHING, THE EXAMPLE OF LMP: Just a hint to the additional productivity that it is possible to achieve for an individual, with the help of a micrographic agency, when converting from self-publishing using duplicators and offset printing to microfiche. My PEACE PLANS SERIES came out from 1964 to 1977 in just 21 issues, with a total of 1693 pages. That makes only 121 pages average per annum for these 14 years. Since then, from 1978 to 1999,I have expanded the series to over 1545 issues, with an estimated page total of 500,000 pages. That brings the yearly average page output to ca. 22,000 pages, i.e., about 189 times as much as before. My time, labour and expenses spent upon this project have certainly not been expanded by as much. Certainly my income has not been increased but rather significantly reduced through my early retirement, 11 years ago. Moreover, all issues are now permanently in print - on microfiche duplicates, since re-ordering another batch of 100 duplicates, whenever I am running out of one, costs me just $ A 28. - Other libertarian and anarchist publishers could have similarly increased their annual output - or reduced their costs, if they had likewise converted to microfiche publishing. If they had done so, since 1977 . . . .
Naturally, there are drawbacks, too. Few people so far have microfiche reading machines or are willing to acquire and use them, not even the cheap second-hand ones. But at least every libertarian bookshop, regular meeting place and library should add a used microfiche reading machine and a stock of libertarian microfiche to its offers of literature.
On the other hand, there are further advantages in microfiche publishing, in storage space and cost and in mailing costs and labours. The learning period for conversion to and use of microfiche is also very much shorter than that for using computers and their programs. PCs can be used extensively to facilitate this kind of miniaturised hard-copy publishing. Binding costs are done away with and filing becomes much easier. Even compared with the still much cheaper per page CD-ROMs, there remains the advantage, that one does one have to accumulate 650 MBs of text at a time, which is difficult and very time consuming to almost impossible for an individual, but only ca. 0.75 to 1.5 MBs. Moreover, microfiche are expected to last much longer than CD-ROMs.
If you appreciate nothing else of this technology then you should consider at least this, that it is a very fast and efficient PERIPHERAL METHOD to print out and duplicate long texts in lasting hard copies. The advanced automatic cameras can shoot (scan) up to 800 pages per minute, with greater accuracy than the best computerized text scanners, and the computerized and automated fiche duplicators can reproduce a fiche that may contain 98 - 1350 pages, in 3-8 seconds. Compare such speeds with the fastest laser printers for computers.
Tabulated benchmark comparisons between all the alternative media should bring out these facts and show that at least in SOME respects micrographics is still in advance of computer technology, for small scale self-publishing purposes, in relatively small impressions.
Naturally, if you compare all such efforts with huge computerized and automated rotation presses for newspapers, producing hundred-thousands to millions of copies at a time, then even such micrographics advantages are not so impressive. But how often do freedom lovers have access to these presses and their distribution systems? Or to the advertisements that largely finance these products? Moreover, do most people keep newspapers or their clippings or subscribe to clipping services? If they want to review old editions they usually have to do so via roll films in large libraries. Moreover, in our times, even paper periodicals that had millions of readers have failed commercially. Microfiche publishers do not run into such costs and risks.
Large enterprises, that have to cope with huge numbers of records, are now using combined microfilm cameras and scanners which use the microfilms produced for archival storage and the digitized texts for current text referrals. However, at this stage, we are not trying to compete with such mass productions and usages.
The more freedom texts are offered on microfiche, and, possibly, on microfiche only, the more attractive should this medium become to freedom lovers. Imagine 189 libertarian publishers, each with his productivity in this medium increased 189 times! Special private freedom libraries might come to fit into a desk and would be portable. A shoe box sized card drawer could contain 2,000 microfiche and 5 such drawers could contain 10,000 microfiche, containing the equivalent of 20,000 books, i.e., as many as avid readers can manage to read in a lifetime. Is the additional information, that could be thus made cheaply accessible, not worth a change in publishing and reading habits, at least for scholarly inclined libertarians? Do they really prefer to leave for further decades, if not centuries, most freedom writings, including most of their own writings, unpublished or out of print, inaccessible and untranslated, or priced out of reach of many, rather than resorting to microfiche?
If people insist on their paper addiction or computer text addiction being satisfied, or that they are all beautifully bound in hard-cover editions, then they could still obtain, at their prices, their desired conversions. But a libertarian publisher would no longer have to finance the addiction of bookworms and bibliophiles and could, instead, publish many more of the texts that he considers to be important, even though not in a "broadcasting" or speculative and risky as well as expensive publishing method but only in on-demand publishing. Should any or many of his microfiched text offers remain, at least for the time being, total flops in sales, would it greatly matter, when he has, per title, risked only ca. $ 25 to $ 50? He has still the satisfaction of having made it available upon demand. His readers are to blame, not he, if they do not make use of his offers, in a world suffering from a lack of well supported freedom ideas.
Sooner or later sufficiently interested and enlightened readers will appear, world-wide, to buy at least the initial small batch that he has produced - once the medium is more widely accepted. From one microfiche master up to 50,000 microfiche duplicates can be produced – if and when required in the desired or needed small batches.
Consider also how much literature is already offered on microfiche, and often on microfiche only, by large libraries.
Quite possibly, when one includes the microfilmed newspapers and scholarly journals, there are already more pages permanently in print on microfilm than there are temporarily in print on paper. -
Please do examine these and other options for yourself. PEACE PLANS offers some information on microfiche publishing and reading on some of its microfiche.
PEACE PLANS AND A GENUINELY CULTURAL REVOLUTION: I am convinced that the PEACE PLANS series of LIBERTARIAN MICROFICHE PUBLISHING does already hold the best solutions to abolish wars, oppression, involuntary mass unemployment, inflation and involuntary poverty, largely through the realization and sufficient protection of individual rights and the undertaking of enough self-help steps. I am all too aware that mine is a voice in a wilderness, largely doubted or even ridiculed and mostly ignored when heard at all by some others. I do know that I could sufficiently prove my case to most others only once some institutions like the proposed Ideas Archive, the Encyclopaedia of the Best Refutations of Popular Errors, Myths and Prejudices and Flow Chart Discussions are already successfully launched, as part of a genuinely cultural revolution, embracing many such steps. All of these steps could be greatly promoted by optimal use of affordable and efficient alternative media. Together they could achieve the sufficient enlightenment of a significant minority, one large and informed enough to make further enlightenment unstoppable and fast enough, especially when it is combined with the demonstration of liberty options or experimental freedom or minority autonomy of panarchism, in the political, economic and social spheres, requiring full exterritorial autonomy for all voluntary communities that desire it for themselves. It would make possible to achieve for each the government or non-governmental society of his or her dreams – at the own expense and risk.
I hold that the key to your utopia, as well, is available to you – for a few bucks spent upon LMP microfiche to build up your personal freedom reference library.
However, I do not only want to see the LMP texts multiplied and used but also all other freedom texts in all other media, sure that in free competition, in a fully freed and developed market for freedom ideas, the best freedom ideas will win out and could win fast. You could greatly contribute to accelerate this enlightenment and liberation effort via independent use of alternative affordable media of your choice, like microfiche, floppy disks, CD-ROMs and websites. But, will you bother to do so? I can only hope so.
For an information kit from LMP send $ 5 cash or 10 International Reply coupons to the above address.
LMP microfiche – each PEACE PLANS or PP number, cost $ 1 each, CASH or 2 IRCs, or $ 2 in non-cash payments. Small cheques are not acceptable since they might cost more than they are worth, in conversion. Orders of at least 10 LMP microfiche are sent post-free by economy air. Overseas orders to be paid in US $. Payments to be addressed to John Zube, not LMP.
PIOT (Panarchy In Our Time), John Zube, 10 July 99.
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