Penetralia: Vestigial Humans and Self-Publishing

Here are my deep thoughts of late:

I may possibly be a humanist. All my heroes are humanists. I put it to you that a true humanist would never murder another human, even if the targeted human was a threat to the continuation of the human race. A true humanist would develop alternate systems that obsolete the (hehe) vestigial human. You’re doing just fine with that coccyx, aren’t you? Your vermiform appendix? Do you have Darwin’s tubercle? I do. You don’t see me cutting it off. I’m not on the schedule for tailbone removal either. Sure, your appendix may burst and kill you, or your wisdom teeth may be growing into your skull … so remove them.

And so, I think that equality isn’t necessarily the answer. I guess that doesn’t place me in the far-left. I’m no Rand worshiper either. The human race is an organism that will have vestigial structures that, while still part of the whole, add no additional functionality to the whole. The answer is not to excise those structures unless it is absolutely necessary. Those vestigial structures, over decades or centuries, will eventually shrink and disappear.

The organism that is the entire human species is dynamically evolving. It doesn’t produce offspring (yet), but has the ability to change over time without the unfortunate requisite of death. We need over-achievers, visionaries, entrepreneurs, and we should provide them with the energy they need for the work that they do for the good of the human race. We need lazy, cynical, argumentative, insane, violent, and stupid people as well – just not operating as the “Brain” of the human species. The appendix still receives the basic goods and services it needs to remain a part of the human body without decaying and dying. My Darwin’s tubercle isn’t ostracized and killed by the rest of my ear, it sits there and gets the energy it needs to remain part of my ear, whether it does something meaningful or not.

Second deep thought today:

I have a wealth of short fiction, mostly science fiction, mostly stuff I’ve posted here at one point in time.

Should I rework all of it into an anthology and self-publish?

I’ve already decided that my serious attempts at science fiction will go through traditional channels of publication. All my heroes did it, and it remains a viable avenue to getting published – on paper or online (assuming you are good enough).

I shy away from self-publishing and e-publishing for a very good reason. Just because one or two people have the talent AND self-publish, doesn’t mean that the tens of thousands of others that do are any good at all. We’re easily fooled as humans, so people that haven’t read Les Miserables or The Idiot or The Grapes of Wrath, may think that those people not only know how to write, but are writing good works, when they absolutely ARE NOT.

I don’t oppose rampant self-publishing because I think I am a good writer and think I might be associated with people that can’t write, I oppose it because I am a good reader and think that well-written pieces are the only thing that can create more good readers to further raise the standards expected from good writers.

That being said, I’m still toying with reworking some of my pieces and self-publishing the collection.

Any thoughts?

3 thoughts on “Penetralia: Vestigial Humans and Self-Publishing

  1. How much money is it to self publish? My initial reaction was, “Go for it” because what do you have to lose? That’s how I think of it.
    But then I think, you don’t seem to have a really good reason to self-publish, which is unlike you. Is it to have the feeling of your own book in your own hands and know that it’s your work? Is it because you feel like this is a good way to get your stories organized because then they’ll always just be on a blog, never out there? What are your true reasons to want to see your work self published? That may help, as opposed to writing about why you’ve always resisted self publishing.

    • If you want to end up with a marketable professional product, it’s in the thousands. E-publishing is different – practically as expensive as you make it, but less opportunity to market effectively.

      I don’t know. It was just a thought. My confidence wanes with each day I don’t hear from the mag. Toying with self-publishing is my way of giving up on the traditional path. I just finished the sequel to the piece that been shortlisted … I’m not happy with it, and that’s bleeding over into everything else. : /

  2. Ugh, I’m sorry that you haven’t heard from the magazine yet. Do you know how many times my sister has called me at night complaining and saddened and freaking out and whining and morose (you get the point) that publishers have not gotten back to her? I’ve noticed from her that it really does bleed into everyday life.

    I would wait until summer to see if you want to self-publish. Just because by then you will have either heard from the mag or not, and then you have gone through all the appropriate emotions of rejection or elation and you can probably make a better, more grounded decision. Either way, self-publishing is always there if you decide to go that route.

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