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Zer Netmouse
July 7th, 2006
01:17 pm

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Meme: paypal skzbrust $2-$5

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From:netmouse
Date:July 7th, 2006 08:29 pm (UTC)

Re: Money, money

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ok, so, we're in different states, you're sitting there on your computer, you have a bank account, now send me some money - do it without going and getting a card, looking up a number, or mailing me anything physical.

Can't, can you?

I'm not a business. Even if you had a credit card number you had memorized, I can't take it from you and process it.

However, if you had a paypal account, you could do this. I can ask someone in another state to send me something, and I can pay him in advance, right now, in less than 30 seconds, and I can do it even though I'm sitting at a computer with my wallet out of reach. If I had it set up, I could do it using my cell phone. This is a huge part of how and why ebay got started and actually worked. Paypal provided person-to-person instant remote payment.

Paypal has been around for about a decade. If you truly only heard of it a few months ago I'm astounded. Probably you heard of it years ago but it since slipped your mind, but then again, maybe not, since you've never spent a really large portion of your time online.

And, btw, I'm not saying that it is so prevalent: in fact, I'm saying the opposite - that the fact that it isn't as prevalent as it should be is what has lead to the use fees that people hate - fees no more burdensome than the fees that businesses pay credit card companies, but which are more visible since they are part of the transaction or account cost. paypal transactions between people who have deposited money into their paypal account from a bank account and have kept a basic account to do so have no such fees.

Re: paying twice, what about if a friend loans you something, or you borrow it from the library? You've read it, and you don't want to buy it. Maybe you can't even afford the cover price of the books, if it's rare and hardcover. But you can still send something to the author or publisher if we have electronic payments.

In this electronic age, what if someone emailed you the book? Getting a copy might be as easy as that! Then how do you support the author?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 8th, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Money, money

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OK. I have had a PayPal account for years. It's great and all that for sending money to anyone, for any reason. I don't have time for blogs or L_J (this is my first time) and don't know Brust's situation. He writes, and writes well. Is he not getting royalties? Are his works not being bought and paid for? If a grad student was not earning enough money to meet his expected lifestyle standards working at Home Depot, would a plea from everyone he helped, to send him donations help, or be accepted or be "right"?

OK, artists are special in that art is under appreciated, but so is programming (which can also be an art) and I don't see tons of "donate" buttons for them. It's true that there are plenty of "starving artists" out there and I support the Arts by buying their works. Soon, the Ann Arbor Art Fair will be rolling around. Should every vendor/artist there accept donations? More to the point, should I/we pony up for every artist we like but can't afford, just to help him/her make ends meet?

It sounds like he isn't getting a lot of royalties. Since he is fairly well read, I assume a lot of people have borrowed, bought used, been given or stolen his work to read it. Is this donation thing supposed to mitigate these situations?

Part of this rant is just Devil's Advocacy, but I'd really be interested in some of the answers.

Bob
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