FTAO Ina Disguise Blog readers



Just a note to say Amazon is causing me some problems with getting the stolen book removed, and I am busy at the moment developing the marketing side of things, and getting the blog onto youtube, minus a few strategic posts that are really just here for Google and Wolfe rather than tag generating publicity.


Studio work progressing and I need to focus on the programming languages if I want to get ahead with the digital side of things, which requires a different mindset than writing and sewing.


Made a video for Wolfe yesterday, for the first time in about three or four years, so evidently I am feeling better about myself.  Hopefully he now understands me a bit better, but who can tell? If not, no loss in trying I guess. Am thinking of doing a series of more general comedy nagging posts.  Unfortunately, nagging requires a face, and Ina has no face, so if I do it, it will probably be under my Second Life name. (my real name is even more ridiculous than Ina Disguise)


Have entered one of my once a decade randy (horny) phases, so who knows what mischief is going to ensue with the creative work, since I tend to pour it all into that.  I will probably be looking a bit different shortly, as I usually metamorphosize during these phases.


The blog will return shortly, when the workload is up to speed, unless something dramatic happens that I feel the need to notice.


Thank you so much for all support so far.



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Has Amber Heard, Johnny Depp?

Has Amber Heard, Johnny Depp?

I see that this is big news in America, worthy of comment from bitter old men and chirruping ladies alike.


I have seen Amber Heard referred to as a gold digger, and trailer trash.  I have seen the somewhat overblown and unnecessary rallying of Johnny Depp’s exes and friends around the unfortunate but seemingly universally loved star.


So, since I actually have some insight, and have been in many, many terrible relationships, here is my unusual take on this sad episode.


From the information provided, Johnny Depp pursued a challenging relationship with a stimulating young woman that he could not take for granted.  From this we can assume his more visually appealing relationship with the lovely Vanessa Paradis ran smoothly to the point of catatonia.


From looking at him, he currently wears the cold sweat puffiness of the regular drinker and drug taker.  This does not make you an abuser, but to decide to go on a bender at fifty-odd, stimulating change is clearly overdue.


Amber Heard, very ambitious, bisexual, apparently not that blown away by his stardom, seemed like a  good idea at the time.


I have been in several abusive relationships.  I am still on speaking terms with two of them, and two others I told to get lost when they tried to return.  Not because of previous history, but because I could not be bothered with their lame conversation and tired old bad habits and lack of self regard.


Let’s get something straight.  Throwing a mobile phone at someone because they are emotionally attacking you just after your mother has died is not abuse.  It is the self protective act because you cannot speak.  Even if he did throw his smartphone at her, she should not have been there causing drama in the first place. That is far more abusive than throwing smartphones around.


I am by no means the most abused person in the world, because primarily I am a deceptively tough lady, and secondarily, I take my part of the responsibility.  Sometimes, battered victims, it really is your fault.

It is your fault for agreeing to stand and be a punchbag.
It is your fault for inciting drama in order to get the attention that you want because there is something wrong with you.
It is your fault for not respecting yourself and demonstrating poor judgement.
It is your fault for not loving your partner enough to leave the first time it happens so he can sort himself out.
It is your fault for not waiting long enough to change YOURSELF before seeking another relationship.

This is a controversial way of looking at domestic abuse, but I have tried it on a couple of pathetic women that were sleeping with a previous boyfriend who tried it as an excuse.  (eg, “Please don’t tell my husband I slept with your boyfriend because he is so big and brutal and he will hit me.”  Tough tittie, if you aren’t ready to move out, do not bother me with it.)


It has always alarmed me also that the perpetrators are offered no help.  In recent history, the attention is focused on the little victim who frequently turns around and says she/he is returning because ‘she/he loves him/her.’  No you don’t, if you loved him/her you would leave until they have had sufficient relationships to increase their emotional intelligence and figure out what went wrong.  Then you would remain celibate for as long as it takes not to pick another hitter.


Domestic violence, in my experience of it, is caused be several alternative factors:

The physical chemistry is such that the great make up sex compensates for the fights, and the fights are incited to get each other into bed.
The violent partner is inadequate, mentally ill or simply so dumb that they cannot communicate.
Anxiety – two of my violent exes had a significant anxiety problem that they could not control and were unmedicated.
The abused partner actually finds ways of requesting that his/her partner abuses them for some other reason, such as guilt.
Drugs and alcohol, and general boredom thereof.

It is my view that women, in particular, need to grow up when it comes to relationships.  One article I came across in the last year had a woman claiming she was being abused because her boyfriend insisted that she watch him playing computer games.  This may be manipulation, but it is up to you to get off your own fat ass and go and do something else.  It certainly isn’t abuse unless you choose the role of victim.


I chose not to be a victim after the first couple of guys attacked me, and I have to say that the most recent assault, by a stranger in broad daylight, was pretty much water off a duck’s back.  A couple of my exes have tried to assault me in my own home, and been summarily removed and/or disarmed.  It is not something I enjoy having to do, but guess what, Amber?




Now grow up, cut people some slack when they are grieving, and since you clearly do not love him and probably never have, please fuck off and find yourself a woman, or whatever your real, very immature problem is.


Some abused women have lost limbs or have permanent scars, visible or invisible.  We are not amused.

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Describing Yourself

Getting your ideas across is a complex process, especially when you have an incoherent concept that you are in the process of rendering coherent.


I have only made any effort to go public at all because I (and even this sentence is a struggle to write) felt I had touched on something that Wolfe either did not understand, or had made a life choice not to understand, and for some intangible reason it was very important to make sure I made as many efforts as possible to get it across to him. Not so much a matter of getting my claws in, as opening a door for him and letting him do whatever he wants with it.  In addition, there is a smattering of potentially valuable knowledge scattered throughout if one chooses to pick it up.  Most of my feedback has indicated that people take the emotional hit, and depart satisfied without really examining why they feel better, but this is a sign of success as far as I am concerned.


I am in the process of widening the net, in terms of publicising Ina Disguise, in preparation for the completion of Best Adventure Ever.  I see that for many sites, the blog posts themselves are too personal,  too opinionated, and do not contain as many pictures as they should.  Everything has to have a kind of reader’s digest uniformity, for many sharing sites, and I stick out like a sore thumb, as per usual. My lizard self tells me that I should edit, rewrite and add pictures to fit in with this ethos and get my work out, and my actual self tells me I would be losing my USP. As an advanced reader, headlines and pictures actually put me off, when reading, but I see that this is another example of my being out of touch.


Somebody very kindly interfered with my Alexa ranking, and has replaced my keywords with ones which are less to do with me, and more to do with getting me more hits.  Thank you to whoever it was, as they have rendered the website much more attractive to search engines etc and have increased the value of the website by quite a chunk. I am not sure what the intention was, but I got a nice surprise when I saw that it had been done and why.


I am quite happy to write articles separately from the blog, I have managed to get quite a bit of material down now, so it is not a huge hardship, but I think it is best for the blog to be the blog, for good or ill.  Journalistic stuff is really for a separate section, so perhaps I should insert an invisible page and stick them there. I will let you know how this process goes, but so far the products page has raced up the leaderboard overnight due to the large pictures, so I surmise from this that large pictures are what people are responding to. In the meantime, I am going to get the blog up on youtube as it is, before I start editing if this is necessary.


So now I have the problem of describing my work again.
What is Ina Disguise all about?

Joining the dots in terms of your intellect, your emotional state and your ability to convey your ideas is not something that is really encouraged in Western society.  There are many good reasons for this, the main one being that you can trap yourself if you do not keep these things separate, and things like your magnum opus being abandoned for several years because of being stupidly in love with a stranger happen.  A bit like choking on a smoothie when you have had bad family news.


If you can manage to pull it off, however, it leads to far more engaging and arguably important work.  You are only as good as your level of passion, and your need for connection and engagement.  Expressing a rather primitive interruption of this flow has been a major feature of the work so far on the Sheep in Wolf’s clothing project.


On the plus side, it meant that taking something traditionally used for another purpose – I made rather advanced textural pieces in two dimensions prior to this unfortunate episode, as can be seen with Saxophone, and On the Beach, but it was clear to me that two dimensions just were not enough to satisfy my visual communications in relation to Wolfe.  This has led to a kind of naive sculpture which also means I have strayed into the realm of interior decor and fashion, which has been rather fruitful in terms of encouragement from appropriate interest groups.  I also quite like the fact that there is no real reference point.  This makes me challenge myself more, since I am the explorer in my current creative field.


In terms of the books, I notice that although I have written at some speed, spilling whatever I have to say out as it comes to me, that I have approached them in the same way one approaches a philosophy essay. There are several possible readings you can make of the same book, and you get a consistent number of points each way.  Superficially, they are just rather entertaining cartoon stories, but you can pull different things from them depending on how you read them.  So I think we can safely say I picked on the right muse on this occasion.  Time will tell if a decent reviewer picks up on any of it, since I am still very lazy with marketing.  We are at the point where I need to put a week or two into expanding the audience however, so this is what I am doing as I work on the next collection whilst listening to programming lessons.


Describing what you do is immensely important to your creative work.  A good bullshitter is often far more successful than a moribund master of the arts.  Finding a more mercurial person to devote themselves to the bullshit side of things is, therefore, invaluable for most creators.  Twisty often likes to tell me that I need an agent, but Twisty is himself the world’s worst for not promoting his work, so I think perhaps he needs one more than I do.


To conclude, any spare time that you have left when creating needs to be spent on exploring the world of marketing, especially if you want to keep your overall costs down.  I am fortunate that the magazines devoted to the rich and famous came to me, but not everyone is that lucky.  Be shameless.  Be positive, and do not allow your own cringing to grind you down.



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A creative post

I cannot move in the studio at the moment, as four Victorian bannisters that I have been working on for about three months are sitting there, dominating the workspace and sitting on wool boxes that I cannot open as a result.


The enlightenment project is also taking up a lot of messy space and money, as it is another resin related project.  This is likely to continue for weeks to come.


It is amazingly annoying, not being able to move around your own studio.  Amazingly annoying, and amazingly messy when the reason for it is dripping chemical pus all over the floor.


Tomorrow I will spend about two hours sanding off some of the resin that I have added today. This is annoying also, since it costs around £40 per litre, and cheaper casting resin will not do.  The enlightenment project involves an awful lot of resin, so it is taking a very long time.


Meanwhile, in my bedroom, which I half-heartedly attempted to declutter last night, I have half a dozen boxes of shades of green, as I am working on a coral reef for Wolfish, and a large selection of leaves and butterflies for another piece or two.  Folie a Versailles, meanwhile, languishes elsewhere as it is too big to put anywhere unless I am actually working on it.  It is too hot to work on during the summer, so I have to wait until the weather gets colder.


Wolfish himself is staring at me, with his so far dead eyes from the other side of the room.  The cats enjoy cuddling him, since he is bigger than them, but until I make up my mind whether to stuff him and how many friends I plan to make for him he has nowhere to go, as his tank is in the box room awaiting tiles and paint.


What’s the time Mr Wolfe? is keeping company with Perfect Posterior elsewhere in the room, as I have a little job to do on both of these.  I still have a computer to finish also, so I will probably put that together today, in the computer room, alongside the other computers I have completed in the last couple of months.


In the meantime, Kira is starting to invade me a little, since my economics posts this week.  She is still back at last year so far, but I suspect that it is coming up for time to finish the book.  I have a good idea what is coming for the next one now, so it is probably time to finish this one.  I also feel a bit more like going through my depressingly abandoned academic notes, so you can probably look forward to more careless fact dropping in the next book.


Feeling slightly better today, although my mother apparently thinks we are at a grand ball on a so-far unnamed Scottish island. This side of things is very tiring, so I try to avoid talking or thinking about it.


For those readers who wonder why I am talking about all these things in one post, this is how you have to learn to pace yourself.  Life is messy.  Probably the most important thing I learned, from all the things I learned in the course of my intensive exploration of life, is that it is perfectly fine to do 30 things slowly, and you get a much better result than doing one thing fast. You only learn to have the confidence to put things aside by doing it.  Yes, you will finish the job later, and it will be much better, so do not be afraid.



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Ina Disguise Q and A

I have had some challengers this week, although they do not choose to actually discuss anything, I am going to answer their fascinating questions anyway.


There are many videos on this available on Youtube.  The questioner asked me about this blog post, or rather made an attempt to say I was talking nonsense without actually reading it all the way through:


Social Conditioning is a bitch, ain’t it?


The questioner was a young American goth, who did not realise that even questioning it meant that his masculinity was a bit shaky.


I am not the kind of chick that has ever really required feminism.  As I have previously mentioned, I was so obsessed with work that the question of my out-working the guys never arose.  The mistake people make with objectification is mistaking it for seriousness.  Whilst some uses of young men and women, in particular, are a bit OTT, we are past the point at which it becomes some subliminal form of making you feel bad.  Everyone is aware what it is for.  Please now watch the entire video below.


As you can see, objectification is here reduced to a matter of levity.  Men like looking at women.  Women are not to be encouraged to look at men in a societal set-up that favours them, since women are to be rendered dependent on them, hence our young man’s objection to my statement.  The recent growth in male stripping etc indicates that America is developing a system of dual intimidation rather than relaxing gender roles as Europe has made some effort to do.  This is for commercial reasons.  They have also introduced a new concept of ‘ugly sex,’ which is what everybody else has been doing for years.


I do not come from a culture in which this is particularly relevant.  I will do a post at some point on Scottish flirting, which I am sure will enlighten poor confused Wolfe no end.


When I say that men like to be objectified, they enjoy the humour and attention involved.  I do not mean they necessarily like being treated as toys any more than a relatively serious woman does.  In some cases, entire careers have been set up purely to get the kind of attention they crave in the case of men who really do like being treated as toys.


A great many men have openly commended Best Romance Ever which is a book very much centred on Kira’s peculiar anti-objectification of Sam.  She maintains distance to achieve intimacy, in a way.  This tells me that men are a lot more flexible than many women give them credit for, although the cover does indicate that it is a unisex book.


2.  Conservatism


Some tiresome American Ayn Rand fan tells me that conservatism is about personal responsibility.  No, conservatism is about having a life so easy that you cannot imagine it all falling apart and needing any help.  The idea of something happening to you is unthinkable, and you refuse to imagine it.  You do not care about other people in society, whether they live or die, or whether they ever get the chance to thrive.  There’s no two ways about it, there is nothing moral about conservatism, American or British.  Society is about the survival of all, not how much you have managed to get for yourself.


Ayn Rand was a darkly humorous psychotic narcissist who had the naive American media around her little finger.  This doesn’t make you look very smart.  Why not buy another gun and shoot some poor people, and cut out all the middle men?  What do you mean no?  Are you afraid you might be put into a private prison and subjected to capital labour for the rest of your life along with the massive proportion of your population you choose to incarcerate? Land of liberty, my fat ass. Land of free speech, spending your time and money suing each other for saying what you think. No thank you, America.




3.  Brexit


America does not want us to leave the EU, because they are waiting for the EU to sign TTIP and TISA.  This is a good argument for leaving.  Cameron does not want us to leave the EU, because there is a fat job waiting for him if he keeps us in it.  He is also waiting for the EU to sign us up to TTIP, as he knows perfectly well if we choose to leave, he will be doing it, and then he will have even bigger riots on his hands as we all object to TTIP.  You can look forward to yet another spurious war to distract us.


It depends really on who you trust less, the faceless people in Europe, or the absolute scum the English voted into government.  Leaving the single market on the promise of finding new markets outside seems like a spurious argument on one hand, on the other, will Britain get the chance to leave ever again?  I do not trust either side of the argument, going by the people making the arguments, so it is important to examine the facts.  In the absence of hang-ups about immigration, there is still something to be said for exit.


Having said this, I would have preferred the European experiment to have worked, but the fact Europe is even prepared to entertain TTIP or anything like it makes me think we would be better off without it.  It is far easier to stop a small machine than a large one, as I have discussed in previous posts.


4. Twisty


Someone asked after Twisty.  We are on an off period at the moment, as I am avoiding confronting an issue neither of us can do anything about.  This is not a romantic issue, Twisty is an old friend who is very helpful, or very hateful, depending on mood.  He will be annoyed that I referred to him as a finisher, but I will explain this in a different creativity post.  To make up for this, here is Twisty’s film, much acclaimed and which, like his others, is all his own work.



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Tired and Lonely

It strikes me that one of my cats and I have a lot in common.  She doesn’t really go out much, as she bothers the hunting cat by clinging to him, and she checks in with me every hour or so to verify that she is still alive.  I now check hits on things to verify that I still exist.


This is an improvement on ten years ago.  Ten years ago I was having to accept that my life was over, after having done nothing but work for years, since that was all I really cared about.


Ten years ago, I imagine Harry was still coming here, although he had probably starting seeing someone else at the time.  Our relationship ended about two years before we actually split up, which is the opposite of Twisty and I.  When we were together, fifteen years or so ago, we split up long before our friendship ended.  He was so stressed that I felt I would have been killing him otherwise.


Not being able to talk about your actual skill is a very unhappy state to be in.  It was not until a week or two ago that I finally lost my tolerance for small talk. Small talk is great fun, but when your mind is actually working on something much bigger, it eventually causes you to become extremely stressed. Even if you do get them on topic, they tend to run off with a different ball, and you lose interest in redirecting them.


I became intolerant of my sisters at around ten years old, whereupon it was decided that I was weird and not one of them.  My mother did not help at all with this, as she is highly suspicious of anybody who is not like her.  It was not until she had her stroke that she exclaimed that I was more like her mother.  Us creative intellectual types don’t have much interest in making other people do things for us, or dressing snappily.  We are busy doing something else, so it is wise to either get us to actually do something, or leave us alone.  My mother was fortunate to have her mother, my father and then me in her life, as we were/are all pretty much the same, grumpy, positive introverts that apparently exist to do things for her.


Still, it gets very lonely when you have nobody to talk to about the subject that interests you.  I have had to listen to years of ranting about immigration, and as a former ethnic minority specialist, I have quite a lot of counter argument to people who rant about immigration.  Nobody has noticed that I have not bothered to respond to this.


The most intense egomaniac I was with, the chef, only learned what music I liked about two and a half years after I met him.  Either I am a very quiet partner, or I have picked people that swither between self interest and not being particularly interested in me.  I think I deserved better, on reflection.


Maybe we should be less tolerant.  Make way for the optimists, and shed our skin more often when it comes to people.  Maybe we should all be more like Wolfe, and ignore everything that does not instantly gratify.  I have coped with too much, most of it for other people, and now I am left thinking that I will never get to discuss anything real with anybody.


This could be a good thing.  It might lead to some interesting work.


I’m tired, and I do not see an end to being alone.

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I’m right, quite a lot of the time

The entire story of this blog can be summed up in one word.  Confidence.  From the day I went from a disparaging stranger to first commenting to Wolfe in an effort to initiate the conversation we never had, almost six years ago now, the entire episode was all about confidence.  Why would a keen thinker even bother trying to explain herself to a promiscuous dude selling health food in the first place?  It all comes down to confidence, and in my case familial abuse.  I thought for a long time before I even tried talking about my ideas to him, and then a lot of emotional upheaval took place which has led me to where we are now.


There are good elements and bad, in terms of consequences.  I offer up a far more well rounded and arguably useful package now, since I have always been reasonably good at breaking down complex subjects into terms that even my not-particularly-interested friends could understand.  I am less inclined to be flashy for a small audience, rather than down to earth and faintly comedic for a slightly larger one.  You may not listen, and you may choose to block it out, but at least I now get a hearing in the first place.


There are several things which came to my attention have assured me that I was right and David Wolfe is/was wrong to ignore me:

A report, possibly two relevant reports, have indicated that GMO has failed to do anything at all for world hunger, as predicted in the writing he did not care to discuss with me.
Yanis’ view indicates that I am right in my thinking in relation to the ethics of allowing corporations to legally challenge governments. We have been at the mercy of false information via discreet lobbying for years, and now we are to get less than discreet legal challenges to force us to live according to profit makers’ wishes. Also as predicted in the original book.
The information on the European Union, provided for the referendum, indicates that the US encirclement policy against Putin is indeed at the heart of these not-particularly-nice trade deals we are being told we have to negotiate.  (ditto) We are all supposed to form a giant trading circle around Russia.  This is unhelpful, childish and stupid, and frankly I have more respect for Russia as a result.
The Asean nations may be quite happy to go along with this, but the Asean nations have a host of different costs and benefits to Europe.  I always previously thought of Europe as being the responsible continental bloc, with less pressure in terms of suffering populations and being more fussy about food in particular, I imagined that the EU would save the world from the mortgage on life that GM has been turned into by American corporatism. As the German chemical companies are also rather keen on modifying genes to accommodate chemical profit-making, this is not going to be the case.

I am sorry Wolfe.  I am sorry that I am not also 22, blonde, wearing a bikini or whatever your limited criteria is for speaking to people without messing about like a squirming five year old for several years.  I am sorry that I am not a confident person.  I am sorry that I thought that you would understand anything that I had to say.


It is a shame that I was going through so much at the time that I did not just dismiss him as an idiot instead of putting myself through all this in order to come back to the point where I appreciate my own mind. I could have lived without the food related self torture too.  That side of things isn’t his fault, if I hadn’t bothered actually speaking to him at all, I could have avoided any of it. Discovering that he is even more insecure than I am in some respects, clouded my vision even further.


For the benefit of the rather stupid science ‘experts’ I frequently come across online – here is a short, concise description of what GMO actually does.

Patenting a seed, and then suing landowners if that seed is blown onto their land is a bit like granting the company doing it ‘God-like’ powers for the purposes of profit.  It would have been very easy for a supposedly ‘God-fearing’ nation like America to simply spot the ethical problem with this and make an ethical decision that life is not patentable.  They did not.
As with the Green revolution, where the USA sent chemical-treated seeds in an effort to feed the starving, instead of paying a blind bit of attention to local foodstuffs and issues with land, profit is at the heart of American altruism.  All that happened was that small landowners were put out of business in favour of larger landowners who could afford equipment and chemical supplies to support the growing of unsuitable and unsustainable crops which did not provide year round food availability.  This led in one notable case to a poorer village having to feed the next village, the next village having been stupid enough to agree to accept American donations.  GM simply took the Green Revolution a step further.  According to America, the entire world should pay them for growing food.  This is what TTIP will lead to. It is a social and capitalist revolution, not one of altruism or concern for others.
Nature is extremely good at coping with interference.  The only thing GM actually does in terms of reducing pesticide or herbicide use, is ensure that ecosystems develop systems for defence against man-made chemicals. This means that the aforementioned chemical company gets to invent another chemical, and stays in business indefinitely, passing the costs of development on to the idiots that agreed to this moronic system in the first place.  It is only a matter of time before, like the movie, the Americans produce a crop which can be watered only with Coca Cola.
GM may have saved the papaya, but it kills thousands of suicidal Indian farmers every year.  Yes, of course these people matter.
TTIP, TTP etc means that the very very large chemical companies will have the right to challenge any government objecting to feeding the population with GM food.  They have already sneaked in a few without telling us, and now they will insist on the same non-labelling policy in Europe that they have inflicted on the American population.  This will ultimately lead to a global disaster of mammoth proportions, with the double whammy of chemical resistance and no labelling.  Who cares, right?
In addition, TISA can still allow American health companies to lobby for the right to invade our health services.  You can look forward to lots of not very tempting bad food advertisements, in tandem with solutions for health problems you need never have had.  That is how America works, and they would like us to share their bad management for fun and profit.

Do you want to exist in corporate slavery, to please a few lobbyists and politicians too stupid and irresponsible to see the consequences of their actions?


Do you want to live in a world where you are effectively forced to spend a large part of your life ill, in order to pay someone to make sure you do not become even more ill?


Do you want a world of opportunity, or do you prefer to live in a world where you have to toe the corporate line, whether that is about what you eat or what you do for a living?


Do you want to put up a barrier to your own entry to a market, whether that be by being a small landowner, growing whatever you want rather than being told, as many Americans are, that you cannot grow food on your own land because it doesn’t fit in with the fascist regime? Or by starting a business in an impossibly regulated market?


Do you want private prisons and capital labour?


Do you want armed police turning up if you milk your own cow? (yes, this has already happened in the US of A.)


Do you want an inferior, uncritical corporate education to enable you too to cheer people like Trump?


Do you want to be denounced by a faceless PR company or even your own doctor if you speak out against any of this?


If this is what you want, keep going as you are, because that is the future we are looking at.  Sit and play some more Candy Crush Saga, and see if that helps.  Make sure that you rid yourself of conscience, self directed thought or any feeling that you can do anything about it.  Look forward to corporate militia, because once the stupid politicians and corrupt individuals willing to agree to this retire to their tax haven, this is what you are left with.




Right, Mr Superhero, read it and weep.  Move your ass, if you know how

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It is amazing how hurt and confused you get when somebody steals your book.  I was not terribly bothered when Best Scandal Ever was pirated, as they were giving it away and I appreciated the distribution, but last night I found out someone has been selling Best Romance Ever on Amazon.
I have no idea how much money they have made from it, I do not imagine that it is much, but the fact they put a hideous cover on it and had the audacity to put it up there annoys me intensely. It is a bit like handing out leaflets for something you believe in, only for a mugger to come along, take your leaflets and then stand next to you selling them.
The only reason that there is money involved with Amazon purchases, is because Amazon won’t let me put the books on there free of charge.  I have a policy of not charging for the best…ever books because they were intended for one person, and that person happens to have no respect for giving things like books away. (you would understand if you knew the lengthy story, but it is not something I care to go into here) In any case, since I do not really publicise them, they do not move on Amazon, so I rarely check it.
To add to this mystery, someone who clearly knows me put themselves on Amazon as ‘Little Minx,’ and reviewed both books.  Anyone meeting me in person would drop the little part, so I am not sure who this could be.  The person knows me well enough to remember my birthday, and even my closest friends would know that my birthday is something I usually try to avoid, so I am more confused than ever.
The good thing is that there is not likely to be money involved.  The great thing about starting out with a bunch of free books, is that you take the whole thing for what it is – a hobby, until someone either tells you that you are too good to be giving away books, or you have amassed sufficient readers and books to make it worthwhile to sell them at all.  Money kind of sullies everything, in terms of fun, so I think given that we have now had four bestselling authors try to claim the book, (turned out to be a software error causing their angst from other books) another book has been pirated, and now someone has actually tried to steal Best Romance ever, I am rather glad I chose this slow and lazy route.  I am learning not to hit the roof when something stressful happens, because nobody else is all that bothered.
Anyway, you can see why someone who put a lot of work and money into marketing would absolutely freak out if something like this would happen. That is not to say that us paupers take it much better.  If it is your book, it is your book.
On a lighter note, I now know what stumbleupon is for. It doesn’t tell you much on the site, but basically it is a kind of swapsite for websites that want to expand, so there are a lot of people who sit and click through tons of them in order to add theirs.  It adds a lot of traffic, but most of that traffic is utterly useless.  I am also in the process of adding myself to a few other sites from the ‘shameless’ post.  This takes a long time to get up and running, so do not think that it is something you can do in one day.  Try two a day or so, as the form filling and information adding gets really boring.  Then you wonder how you could possibly have ignored all the fiddly bits that they ask for and not kept a record of all your website addresses.  Such a waste of time.  Sigh.

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Ina Disguise Statistics Update

Ina Disguise Statistics update

For those who are interested, here is my statistics update.


More than a million readership hits per year does not translate into actual readers, so do not be deceived if somebody tells you they have X million hits.  It probably includes some bots, some accidental hits etc.


Overall, Ina Disguise attracts about 5,000 people per year via the artwork, from all over the world, although I seem to be particularly popular in the Far East, Eastern Europe and the USA.


Ina Disguise has about 25,000 readers, the blog is set to overtake the books this year unless I put out the unfinished works I have on the go, which depends on how I feel.  Like the pervert I am, I am having a sewing moment in the course of designing the game so I have not felt like writing for a while.  I have also been building computers for the last month or so, and I have other commitments apart from this project.


95 people have so far this month come to the website looking for information on Wolfe, which is a bit bizarre as statistically speaking, he only gets about 20 percent of the posts.  He is one of many threads, and if you take a look at the tag cloud, ironically not the most significant one.  I have just let it happen, rather than concentrating on one thing or another, so I guess I am a bit inattentive. Some posts were strategic, and I see that my subversive PR is extremely effective. (no, I am not going further into that, but David would not be displeased at the level of naughtiness that goes into this blog)


300 people have got to the products page so far this month, which is good considering that I almost never plug it.  I am the laziest marketer in the world so I figure this is OK.  The website is actually doing slightly better than Etsy in terms of the artwork, so I guess spreading myself around a bit in the form of article writing is the next step.


I figure this is not bad for a part-time entity.  I need to get the game nailed down and the books and stories out, and I need to work on some articles whilst I get some more artwork done.  The sooner I have the non-Ina Disguise work out of the way the better.


Again, if you are reading this because you plan to do something similar, take the slow approach where possible.  You can waste a lot of money if you try to rush it, and the personal approach ALWAYS wins.  It is also considerably cheaper to put hours in than money in the early months.

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The Future of Capitalism

The Future of Capitalism

Listening to the delectable Yanis Varoufakis this evening, (he moves beautifully) it struck me what a marvellous idealist he is.  His ideas about society and capitalism are charming, but they will not work, sadly.  The future for the Eurozone and for the USA is extremely bleak for the general population, and there is very little chance of turning back.


Why?  Yanis’ take on the relationship between capital and state is based on the idea that:

businesses appropriate research from society, which is governable
society has responsibility for the people in it

What we have seen from our government in the UK, is that a large proportion of society feels no responsibility for the people in it, and that governments cannot be trusted to function effectively or responsibly when there is a possibility of personal profit.  As a thinking and feeling individual, Yanis is adorable, but as a realist, he falls down on a number of counts.


TTIP will give business the right to challenge governments on issues of regulation.  In the UK and the rest of Europe, regulation is currently dictated from Brussels, by faceless people who debate in private and are seemingly unchallengeable by the well paid MEPs who sit in the European Parliament. What we have found out about TTIP has been either leaked, or interpreted by people who have limited time to look at the documents, and who are prevented from making notes, taking the time they need to study it, or fully evaluating the information they are provided with.  This will not do, for a number of reasons which the public appear to be choosing not to understand.


Yanis’ view of society as being something which falls within governable boundaries has disintegrated thanks to the internet.  Intellectual property now has to be seen as individual in nature, rather than as something produced by a collective will.  This makes it far easier to exploit, and far more difficult to regulate.  In addition, enforcing taxation on business effectively has become impossible, in the event that we do not have tax haven income, we will simply be undercut by systems in place in countries such as Switzerland, the villages of Zug and Pfaffikon being cases in point.


We are all about to be crushed under a capitalist jackboot which is not going to be under anyone’s control, and if there is a suspicion that it is, the person concerned will simply be presented with a self interest situation that they cannot, and probably will not, resist.  Responsible idealists such as Yanis and I are a dying, almost dead breed.


Add to this the massive proportion of the UK and USA population who appear to believe that nothing unfortunate will ever happen to them, and that as long as they support the mighty they will be protected, which is not only untrue but a vicious state of existence, and you have a storm which ends in disaster.


As Yanis says, the future mechanisation of deskilled work means that the very people baying for the blood of the less fortunate will very soon be suffering alongside them.  As Yanis says, it only takes a small development for AI to pass the Turing test, meaning that human labour will cease to be relevant at all in a massive proportion of cases.


The only good thing about this is that the businesses still need someone to sell to.  If we cannot tax businesses effectively, and businesses require nothing but customers, what are we left with but resource hogging consumers with no income?  Then nation states truly do become irrelevant, since inevitably anyone functioning internationally will simply choose to base themselves wherever corporation tax is lowest.


The good news here is that individuals can only consume so much.  As I have said in previous posts, you have to trickle up, otherwise you cease to function at all.  There is no point in continuously benefitting the haves at the expense of the have-nots, because the haves have limited wants.  Otherwise you end up with very dirty luxury, since nobody can afford to do the cleaning.


So, what is the answer?  My proposal, in my extensive paper for Wolfe, was that the answer is to create maximum income limitations, return to anti trust legislation, and break up large companies.  Genetic modification for example, should not be in the hands of chemical companies, and companies such as Walmart should be restricted to one line of retail trade.  This keeps companies as competitive instead of domineering forces, and it creates new opportunities for the general population. We certainly do not want TTIP or TISA, which are inherently corrupt deals designed to confuse those being courted to sign them.  We allowed them to get too big, and now we have a major and urgent problem with companies bigger than nation states.


If we cannot persuade the public to vote with their wallets, we have to persuade governments to join together to prevent the unlimited growth of individual businesses.  Capitalism is lovely, but it is no respecter of human suffering.  Since there is no way of making a global decision to do this, we also have to take into account that a less altruistic country is always going to allow the existing giants to function without restriction, and we have to be prepared to punish them accordingly.  Otherwise the future involves destruction beyond our current imagination, as we return to a dark age of clearing the starving bodies from the street, whilst others hide in their rooms, eking a living from underselling their ideas to unfettered corporate monsters.

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