Hi and Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson Author Blog Post and Podcast. I’m your host, Jean coming to you from Canada’s Smallest Province Prince Edward Island! Today’s podcast and blog post deals with random thoughts and what goes on in the mind of this author. Welcome to the crazy mixed up world we all live in from a writer’s perspective. I sometimes think I may turn into the Prince Edward Island’s English version of La Sagouine. If you want to find out more, including who this cultural icon, La Sagouine, is then stay tuned!
It seems that the more the world changes, and the more that the internet is accepted as a method of communication and information, the less people understand that it cannot be a “free for all” of information and that we should be responsible for knowing whether we need to obtain a particular ID or give private information to companies. For instance, there has been change made to one particular company and now they insist that you provide them with either SIN, Driver’s License or Passport. Sure, it is valid information. Sure it is unique to the individual. Here is the main issue with this. You see, this is information that hackers would love to get their hands onto. There is a whole black market wanting to have identities. The particular place, I won’t mention names, we had been hacked just last month. Now, this in itself reduces trust in the whole thing. They were nice about it, fixed the issue. We didn’t sell the item, nor have we ever and we never got payment for this non-existent article. I didn’t even know what the item was. We caught it fairly quickly. Still the company took a hit for it I’m sure. I’m sorry for that, but we didn’t ask for our account to be misused. What I’d like to know is how this giving over of personal ID will fix the issue. The hard and fast answer is it won’t. We can still be hacked and still have the same thing, though I suppose it will stop the money from going through to an account since it goes somewhere else first, though I’m sure the dishonest will find a way to get it to work for them. We don’t know whose account they sent money to, because we didn’t get it…so apparently it could still happen depending on the hacker. We’ve dealt with the particular company for years. We opened our only payment account using them. So, honestly, we’re not the problem, but they lost us for selling. Time will tell if they lose us entirely. Depends if we have to open a special other account to pay for things.
One of the things that makes this focus on numbers of little use is, under a certain dollar amount of earnings, the Government doesn’t even consider you as having the ability to have an existential crisis…because as far as they are concerned, you don’t exist. Let’s just say at this point, I can’t have an existential crisis. If we could make enough to exist to our Government, then we would likely be better off to apply for a Tax ID from the Government if it has to go online. So, why the panic about SIN on self-publishing e-book sites? Especially with regard to self-publishing e-book authors because of the volume that one would have to sell and indie authors aren’t always the big money makers. However, if you don’t make enough to pay GST, they find this rather a waste of Government resources to give a number…but I keep trying to find a valid way of getting something I can use. We need some kind of ID that is proof of our existence without endangering said existence and credit rating. This would be less dangerous to our credit rating as our SIN wouldn’t be directly exposed. So, the more companies attempt to make things ‘safer’ for themselves the more they make it unsafe for people who want to work with or through them. The fact of the matter is that small e-book publishing is not a money making enterprise at this time. It’s a labour of love, and a belief in the new medium. You hope someday it will become worthwhile. In the meantime, you try to get your e-books out. Hope for the best and hope not to be hacked nor to have your work stolen or compromised in some way. If I made enough to be of interest to the Government, then I would have to do the tax forms. I don’t belong to the USA and don’t care whether or not they take out the 30% for their Government. It certainly doesn’t make a difference to my sales or lack thereof. I’d rather they take the 30% than be hacked. That should be the end of argument, but often is not. Sometimes it appears there is a dearth of common sense in the whole only numbers count world that exists online. How does a number prove who I am? SIN doesn’t come with a picture. I find it funny…they aren’t even concerned about the Canadian Government, it’s the American Government they want to look after but make it about not taking out taxes for the USA. I’m Canadian and I don’t pay the American Government taxes and am not an American citizen. So, there seems a lack of actual thought going through the whole process. Some leave me alone because they already know that e-books are not where the money is yet. So, I now am back to trying to get some kind of number so that they won’t harass me about numbers. Fingers crossed. I’ve made a request for information here in Canada. So, anyone who is really good at math must enjoy this new computer literate world…it seems it all runs on numbers.
Then there was my saga this week with the cell phone. It suddenly refused to start. It seems to be full power, seems to go on, but then stops at the opening screen and goes no further. It just happened out of the blue. Apparently no one can fix it….and won’t lay a finger on it…so it must be osmosis they use to diagnose these things nowadays. Apparently, and I won’t use the name of the place we bought it from, we essentially bought a “piece of crap”. Now, I have to say, this may have been honest, but how much confidence does that instill in my making the decision to replace it with another from the same place? “Conspicuous consumption”, I tell my husband as we stand making breakfast. “Conspicuous consumption”…new cell phones every time they move a muscle and all this technology changing all the time, where does all the dead stuff go? Landfill? Then they cry about eco-friendly. I can’t get a cell to last more than 3 or so years. I don’t use them much. Hate phones and I can only make it last 3 years with little to no use. I seem to have started to become the English version of La Sagouine. For those unfamiliar with this character and Acadian cultural icon, (https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/la-sagouine). In my case, I may be English speaking, but there are Acadian roots in the family. I learned about her in High School. Anything more you want to learn about her, you can google search. An interesting piece of Canada’s history. As an aside, we have finally ordered a cheapie phone.
Of course, other companies decide they will hold your work that is being taken down hostage to getting it off sites. When one is busy, do you have time to fight staff asking that your intellectual property get taken down? Who owns the intellectual property rights? It is always the author. I can only do so much at one time. I removed it from a larger company with absolutely no trouble. These type of questions are floating around the cyber universe waiting to be resolved. Who resolves them? I guess the person who gets fed up with being just a number. People who get tired of being the door mat to the universe and start to answer back. Of course one needs do it politely. When others think they own you, they forget that you also own yourself. Sometimes being kind is to remind them that it isn’t what they want but what the owner of the intellectual property wants or the owner of whatever wants. If they decide they will remove something, they should not have to ask permission from one of their profile pages that they claimed. I guess one has to be super clear on who owns it.
So, be unrealistically realistic because it seems nowadays, they want eco-friendly, but aren’t willing to slow down on conspicuous consumption or take pride in what is made. They want you to put your private information out on the internet without a thought about the consequences or the long-term impacts. People go around flashing their body parts online without thought of appropriateness. Fast paced is one thing. Breakneck speed and poorly thought out are a whole different thing. As Alphonse Karr is believed to have said, “The more things change, the more they are the same”. It sometimes feels that we’re back in the day of ancient Rome…I remember my father making similar comments when I was in my teens…I guess that now makes me officially an older person. Thanks for listening to my podcast and/or reading my blog posts and for your interest in A & J PEI Treasures!
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