Life in the slow lane

For a couple of mechanical reasons I had cause to travel a little slower this morning, nothing too major, I just wanted to be able to stop more steadily (a small bulge in my front tyre and a desire not to clip it with the front brake blocks mainly).

So I was taking things a little more leisurely, cutting a few mph off my cruising speed and letting the speed fall a little earlier approaching junctions and hazards. Life in the slow lane, if you will, and it’s a different place! Normally I bash along passing most people, grappling with the burn from the lights and generally mixing it with the cool fast kids at the front (beating more than I lose to, natch – there aren’t many non-RLJs who’ll stay ahead of me 🙂

The manners back there were awful. Now, I’m not perfect, but when I get to some lights, I won’t queue jump. I might go to the outside, but I won’t go around and then push in, or go up the inside (or go on to the pavement). On the plus side, at least people were stopping, but the manners at the lights just seemed so much worse to me today. I was cut up and undertaken way more than I would consider polite. Maybe some of it was that I will have been taking my normal (fairly aggressive) road position and wasn’t necessarily then punching my weight, but that didn’t excuse all of it.

Well, maybe it’s about seeing the world from a different viewpoint, walking a mile in another man’s shoes (which is always a good idea, because if you realise that he was right, he’s a mile away. And you have his shoes.) I’m sure that the minor infractions that other user groups complain about cyclists is because we can, but that’s a reason, not an excuse. Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should.

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Kindle Pricing

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New paperback, £6.49 – kindle edition, £10.40

What? I know the arguments about that the authors need to eat and not wanting to breed another generation of torrent-wielding pirates, but honestly, why such a ridiculous mark-up.

There is no scarcity value in eBooks. Why should a physical copy, posted to my house cost over a third LESS than a version whose couple of hundred Kb wouldn’t even raise a blip on the most frugal of data plans?

The book publishers need to sort themselves out. I love the Kindle, the flexibility, the convenience, the reduced need for shelves or guilt over once-read novels taking up house-space.

If there’s an attempt at justification, I’ll happily listen. I’m not saying that I think eBooks should be pennies in the pound, I want to pay a reasonable amount to reward the author for their effort and ensure repetition. I just can’t see a valid reason for a premium – especially such a hefty one – over the paperback price.