“Sharing Economy” Startups

May 30, 2014 Artwork, Comics, Pop Culture Comments (0) 200

Over at The Nib, Susie Cagle put together a great comic laying out the problems with the “Sharing Economy,” but she’s too kind and even in her tone for some of us. “Sharing Economy” is basically a polite term for “Black Market,” the environment in which people living in poverty are so desperate for money that anything of value becomes a commodity.

As Cagle rightly establishes up front, this new economy isn’t really about “sharing” at all, it’s about selling, treating human beings as products and a base of users as inventory. Users often fail to notice that the kinds of things they’re doing, like getting in the car with an unlicensed, uninsured taxi driver or letting a complete stranger sleep in their house, would seem both crazy and illegal if it weren’t through an app.

So I got thinking about some approaches to the Sharing Economy that I haven’t seen yet, and came up with three that seem particularly ripe.

Incidentally, I love the idea that when you sell an organ through Carvr, they send an unlicensed, uninsured surgeon to perform the transplant. It’s okay though, because you get to post your review afterward.

 

Continue Reading

The Graveyard Slot (an excerpt)

May 29, 2014 Science Fiction & Fantasy, Writing Comments (0) 112

A few days remain to pre-order Black Chaos, the new zombie anthology from Big Pulp! Black Chaos includes 25 new zombie tales from indie and small-press authors, including my brand-new story The Graveyard Slot.

As an incentive, I’m sharing the first few pages below. If you’d like to read the whole story, pre-order Black Chaos from Big Pulp. Note that the pre-order page is an Indigogo campaign, but the book is not contingent on reaching any financial goal. You’ll get whatever you order, no matter who else signs up.

Also note that my usual policies apply: I’m happy to sign anything you want me to sign, as long as you find a way to get it in front of me, and if you buy the book and tweet a photo of it (with or without you) at me, @keeltyc, I’ll reward you with some yet-to-be-determined prize. I’ve been thinking a drawing of your choice, but no one has yet taken me up on this offer so who really knows?

So that’s it for now. Enjoy!

The Graveyard Slot

By Christopher Keelty

Richie’s TV was on the fritz, and Mom was parked in the living room watching her American Idol or The Apprentice or So You Think You Can Castrate a Dachshund or some other bullshit. He had to pull the old Magnavox from the back closet of the basement, its plastic belly bulging with tubes and capacitors. It was hidden behind three dusty boxes of old magazines that Richie relocated, swearing under his breath. When he wrapped his arms around the Magnavox, strands of sticky spider web clung to his hands like a mummy’s wrappings. They tore free with a sound like Velcro, and Richie swore he felt hairy legs scramble across the backs of his fingers. Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Video: New Zombie Fiction and Other Updates

May 19, 2014 Personal, Video Blog, Writing Comments (0) 112

Sorry to be an absentee around here the last week or two. I’ve gone back into the writing process, this time revising the novel I finished drafting in March, Tsar Bomb. The good news is I’m almost halfway through my first read-through, and it’s the cleanest first draft I think I’ve ever written.

It still needs major work, of course, but I might be sold on the particular writing process I used on this one. Maybe I’ll share that process here at some point.

In the meantime, the video above contains a couple of announcements, about the Jersey Devil Press Sampler that went out at the Asbury Park Comicon a few weeks ago, and about the Black Chaos zombie anthology from Big Pulp that drops next month. You know, the one I’m in, that you can pre-order until June 1? That one?

Being buried in revisions, I may be posting less frequently for a while, but I’ll try to keep up. The videos and cartoons take a lot of time to create, so those particularly may be less frequent. Fiction is my first priority.

Continue Reading

Government Prayer and the Supreme Court

May 6, 2014 ACLU, In The News, Politics / Religion Comments (0) 78

I took to video to share my thoughts about the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Town of Greece v Galloway. It’s a terrible ruling that opens the door for towns across America to essentially endorse unofficially-official religions.

I spent some time on Twitter yesterday talking to people who think the ruling is a good idea, but I think most of them misunderstand the questions in this case–if they don’t suffer more systemic misunderstandings about the history of the United States and the Constitution. Continue Reading

Continue Reading

First Amendment Friday: 05.02.2014

May 2, 2014 ACLU, Gay and Lesbian, Politics / Religion Comments (0) 131

This is a feature I started in my time working for the ACLU, that seems worth continuing here. It’s a roundup of news stories about First Amendment rights, not only from the United States but other parts of the world where such rights may not be guaranteed. As with any roundup of news stories, please consider the integrity of the linked source–I try not to link articles that feel bogus, but sometimes stories slip through.

  • In a new book, retired Supreme Court Justice Paul Stevens suggests six new amendments to the U.S. Constitution, including a revision to the First Amendment that would place “reasonable limits” on political campaign contributions. [NPR]
  • The NCAA believes the First Amendment gives them the right to profit from using the images of the players it doesn’t pay and doesn’t educate in video games, and they want the Supreme Court to agree. [Bloomberg]
  • Several Christian groups that perform same-sex weddings, including the United Church of Christ, have sued North Carolina because the state’s marriage equality ban, enacted through both state law and the state constitution, violate their religious freedom under the First Amendment. [Wall Street Journal]
  • Defense attorneys for alleged gang leader Ronald Herron argue that his rap recordings, in which prosecutors claim he journaled his crimes, are in fact protected free speech, analogous to Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” and inadmissible at trial. [AP]

Continue Reading

Continue Reading