Brett Rants

Books Best Left Unwritten

Being a writer, I have a low opinion of the publishing industry. It comes with the territory and/or the understanding that there is a difference between what one might wish to write or read and what will likely sell to a mass market audience. Of course, no one really knows what will sell, otherwise no one would bother printing all those books that wind up in the bargain bin. Anyhow, the concept of this page is that what follows are all ideas that could be expanded into books. Heck, any idea can be expanded into a book. Just like any idea, no matter how thin, can be expanded into a webpage heading. But no matter the ability to expand upon a blurb, it remains that some books are best left unwritten.

Don't Let Sharpening Your Blade Get in the Way of Going to War

A book dedicated to the concept that it's a pretty good idea to strike while the iron is hot, one can be too prepared, or as Nike said it best, Just Do It. Swoosh!

Hero Mode

This book will explain why your personal 'Elevator Pitch' should revolve around a life dedicated to Heart, Body, Mind, & Soul.
Life is meaningless except as it relates to others.
Let's keep the temple open for business, shall we?
The driving force behind it all.
Looping it around to the start, bringing others along for the ride is the entire point... and why I wrote this book in the first place. Join Brett Paufler, Master Bullshitter, as he presents insights so obvious, soon, you too will be saying to yourself, 'I could write that book.'

Vote No on Democracy

In this excellent tome on political insight, a leading anarchistic thinker, and hence complete unknown, explains why a working democracy requires a no vote for every yes.

Eh, that's probably not clear. Political choice is not binary. For every candidate you'd vote for, there is probably one you'd rather vote against. And for elections to have any meaning, one needs to be able to do both.

I've leave it as an exercise for the reader to work out the implementation details.

The Failure of Linux

Did you know that the inventor of Linux (one of the worlds most successful free Operating Systems) does not use Linux?

See, that's the way to do a book blub, factually true, but maybe missing an important detail or two. Anyhow, I find it fun, curious, and/or worthy of note that it is my understanding Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux doesn't use Linux; but rather, a distribution of Linux: namely, Red Hat.

Trust me, books have been written about less.

Programming in Real Time

Why coding in the transitional environment between live input and output streams inevitably leads to the need for on the fly real-time code updates.

Or, you know, I was looking at my personal projects and noticed a lack of:
It's all about the real time, baby.

Also, includes a bonus section on how Agent Based Models can be used to mimic erosion (of morale, geological canyons, or whatever).

Alignment by the Numbers

Do you remember way back in the day when Slaughter Quest™ had alignments. There was Law vs. Chaotic and Good vs. Evil all arranged in a nice symmetrical 3x3 grid. Well, in this here Near Magical Tome discover what alignment you use for cooking, yard work, and all your other day to day activities.

'Well, Bob, I tend to be Lawful Good in my cooking, but I'm definitely a Chaotic Evil gardener.'

'I'm not sure what that means, Alice, but good for you.'

The Current Valuation

In which the author describes the emotional give and take and changes in his mental state after buying an art print at the flea market for $7, seeing it listed online at the artist's website for $10,000, subsequently being told it'd probably only fetch a $100 at auction, and finally realizing it was pretty much worth the $7 he had originally paid for it.

'I view it as a metaphor for relationships. I mean, I still like the painting, but it just wouldn't matter if it went away.'

May not be suitable for all audiences.

A Confidant's Manifesto

The grizzling but true story...

Eh, OK. Along with changing all the names and dates, I pretty much made up all the case studies, but still, I stand by my basic thesis that if one is going to have a confidant, it makes sense to utilize the services of a professional. And if you're going to ask me what type of professional, I'm just going to move on to the next title in our current offering.

Be Smart:
or at least
Don't Be Stupid

Your two step guide on how to become a professional computer programmer in one easy lesson.

'Uh, yeah, that pretty much sums it up.'

'Still, you don't want to be stupid. Oh, he covered that, already. Never mind.'

The Communist Art Manifesto

from manifesto publishing, don't you know

One Hundred Days at the Beach: one artist's struggle to bring their artistic vision to reality, while keeping the sand away from the sheets.

'You are not storing that surf board here!'

On the premise that at it's core, most art isn't any better or more inspired than filling a Room with Yarn or covering the local stripper with Hot Chocolate Syrup, a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Artsy Fartsies was split into $25 micro-grants and the results chronicled herein.

The results will surprise you... unless, you already lost all faith in humanity, in which case, you probably could have told us so.

Chips Ahoy! in which two grown men share a package of cookies whilst jumping on the couch, acting like pirates.

Or, my personal favourite, Endlessly Meta, in which the grant receivers pledge to buy copies of this book with their endowment, thereby allowing more culturally enriching projects to be funded, like:

School House Rock in which grade schoolers bought new panes of glass, right before throwing rocks through the old ones.

Self Actualizing

In which it is argued, some might say unconvincingly, or, ahem in the same enlightened manner as to be found in The Communist Art Manifesto (also from manifesto publishing, available wherever better art projects are sold) that the true power of a free populace (i.e. read, a populace unshackled by capitalistic pig-dog oppressors, just in case that was unclear) lies in the opportunity this affords the aforementioned sordid mass of humanity to become self-actualized, engage in personal enrichment and/or self directed art projects, and (let's not forget) the vast leisure time required to read such cultural milestones as The Communist Art Manifesto in the first place, you know, so they (those unbathed, uncultured, and un-enlightened masses) know what to think and can spout the party line whenever some would be Fascist Dictator Art Critic gets up in their face and inquires of them, 'Don't you think it's time to stop surfing, grow up, and get a job?' To which the answer must always be, 'No! No! And, no!' in no particular order.

Please note: the author does not in fact surf, though he is accepting donations for his follow up work, One Hundred More Days at the Beach, scheduled for publication this fall, by, yes, you guessed it, yada-yada, publishing, letting the cost of the paper it's printed on determine it's level of quality since 1965.

Shooting First

He worked long. He worked hard. I mean, let's not be unreasonable. When he wasn't at the beach, he worked long and he worked hard. OK. Fine. I get it. Sure, there really weren't that many hours in the day when he wasn't at the beach, but basically, before he'd actually heard about the beach, he worked long and he worked hard, so with that past tense qualifier in place, what he was saying was still technically true...

You know what? Let's just start over.

It was supposed to be a surprise birthday party. But no one had told him that! Twenty one strangers (come on, mostly his wife's friends, so he hardly knew most of them, except for the cute little blonde in the group, if you know what I mean, but whatever, they'd) stooped down low, crouched in the dark corners behind the living room furniture, and sprung out yelling!

So, he did what any red blooded, gun touting, card carrying NRA Psycho would do.

He shot them! Dead!

And I should qualify that not all red blooded, gun touting, card carrying NRA's are psycho's but this guy, clearly was. I mean, he reloaded... twice. Chased one guy down the street and had to drag him back the two blocks so it'd look like self defence. So, psycho and NRA: not redundant, that's all I'm saying.

Unfortunately, It was only too late that he realized they'd held him no ill will.

Clearly it was case of temporary insanity... mistaken identity... or something. Maybe it was Pro Bono... or E Pluribus Unum, look, that's not really any of your concern, Ace Lawyer Johnny Rotten is on the case, but the real question nagging Cherry Blossom, his faithful(less) assistant (still working on that last as of this printing, anyhow the question nagging on her mind was), having shot the guests, was the accused obligated to return the gifts.

The Temple in the Bazaar

A landmark work that examines the long-term socio-cultural ramifications of shifting one's emotional offerings from a religious super-structure to an amorphous community of online equals.

Or in other words, can God survive in an era where Praying for Our Daily Bread has been long since replaced by Posting to Snapchat that which we are about to eat?

How many Cython's can dance on the head of a pin?

Surely it must depend upon the size of your RAM.

Never Enough

Do yourself a favour and buy this book. On second thought, do yourself an even bigger favour and do something you love today, which with any luck, would be reading another mindless tome. So on second thought, go ahead and buy this book.

Or in other words, why having fun should have a higher priority in your life.

Remember, reincarnation is optional, you don't have to come back. But if you don't want to when you have the choice, maybe it will be because you were doing it all wrong the first time around.

Anaconda: Get Bitten

One man's quest to create the ultimate game of Snake Bite Anaconda. Now if he could only convince someone else to play it.

OK. Not really a book, more of a mental reminder that after three years, perhaps I should return to that first unfinished computer project of mine: Anaconda, only the best high-low poker game ever.

Where else are you going to find skip straights, slugs, and cooperative team play at the poker table. Remember, it's not cheating unless you get caught.

Not available in all states. Online gambling is illegal in certain jurisdictions. Local laws apply. By cheat, we mean, pre-arranged group play in which the objective of cheating the unwary blind is not only within the rules of the game, but an encouraged course of play. Finally, all draws are BHP™ certified random.

Snake Bite Anaconda: Get Bitten Today!

In Defence of Silence

How loud music is destroying yet another generation.

Yeah, that's right kid, get off my lawn.

Studies1 have shown that loud noises raise blood pressure, scare young children, aggravate stomach disorders, and in general keep this author away from many otherwise seemingly pleasant activities.

Why do so many (bad, really-really bad) musicians insist on amplifying their music? Why do car alarms go off so very often, yet no one else seems to notice or care care? And why does this particular author awaken so often in the dark of the night to rage against the injustices of the cacophonous world around them, yet they, themselves, that is to say the author, remain unheard?

Might it be because the rest of society is deaf? Or if not deaf, has turned a deaf ear to the destruction of last remaining sources of solitude.

Do not go quietly into that final silence... Wait, no! Got that backwards. Let's see... OK. Hell has a special place for the engineer that came up with that car alarm idea.

1: Actual studies not included, conclusive results may vary, please consult a qualified scientific investigator prior to quoting me on any of this, that is all.


In this ground breaking book, celebrated author, cranky old man, and known member of The Lunatic Fringe (SPO) proposes the abolishment of the outdated patent and copyright system and replace it with a system of cash awards, paid yearly by the government and society at large to that year's winning contributors.

'I hear he's only really in favour of this idea, because he figures that's his best chance to get his Hundred Days at the Beach project funded.'

'Seriously, who's going to write for free? Bloggers? Please.'

'The American Worker is patently incapable of competing on the World's Market without an artificial advantage. Removal of the patent system that so obviously enforces the status quo would lead to a competitive world market based on merit. We wouldn't stand a chance. We should lynch the f@$#er!'

The simple truth is that copyrights and patents bolster America's exports, but if that comes at the cost of hobbling the future workforce and being able to compete in an open market, is the price worth it?

White Boarding

Worse than water boarding! Every day thousands of would be Computer Scientists are asked to stand before a white board and solve complex algorithms in pursuit of employment. Why is this barbaric practice not only allowed, but encouraged?

Is this really the best way?

Or, you know, a more reasoned explanation might be that Computer Science Graduate students are used to teaching sections standing at a board, so white boarding (like a chalkboard only using markers) simply helps post-academics hire others who opted for a more traditional programming education. I mean, the truth of the matter is most folks don't own a white board. And those that do (for home use) have it completely covered with projects. So if I were to team up with another, I'm sure both of us would sit next to each other opting for pen and paper over a white board. Thus, the practice of white boarding subtly pre-selects for those with white boarding experience: corporate or academic. Nothing wrong with that. But really, very little having to do with computers.

Still, buy the book. Or better yet, fund the kick starter and I'll actually write the book.

Studly Do Little

The single sentence argument in favour of stud fees in the modern human reproductive marketplace craftily expanded into a hundred thousand word tome, so that I, too, may hit on the hot babes at my next book signing.

The chant may go 'My body, my choice.'

But (obviously) the bigger issue here (and by bigger, I mean, like, way bigger) can be summarized by the aforementioned single sentence catch-phrase slogan, 'My sperm, my stud fee.'

I mean, without a duly notarized bill of sale, how do we know it wasn't stolen or otherwise taken against my will. Seriously, I don't want to play the rape card, but I will if I have to...

Birthday: The Missing Months

If we were only supposed to celebrate it once a year, it would be called a Birthyear.

In the ground breaking best-seller (one can only hope), celebrated author (me) goes into agonizingly long detail as to why birthdays should be celebrated on a monthly basis.

Hey, if nothing else, I'd do it for the presents!

Wait Five Minutes

On the meteorology of island micro-climates and why they say, 'If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes; it'll change.'

What started as a simple meteorological investigation into island micro-climates soon turned into a competition as six of the world leading meteorological experts bet the others that they alone could accurately predict the weather an hour in advance in the most chaotic weather system known to man: The Hawaiian Islands.

Read the inside story of professional jealousy, annoying equipment malfunctions (or was it sabotage), and unexpected journeys to the outer reefs for some deep sea fishing on their day off.

Who will be eliminated next?

'Sunny day! I called it!'

'Ah, man! It's always a sunny day.'



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And then I paused to consider: when was the last time I bought a book, I mean, like, actually paid cash money for one? It's been years. So, let's think. It was maybe going on three years ago that I paid something like five dollars for a bag of books at a library book sale. But times change. And in these last two months, I've owned title to something on the order of a hundred actual ink and paper books (and magazines, maybe half and half again were magazines that) passed through my fingers and I didn't pay a red cent for any of them. Those communal book drops are wonderful things. Seriously, between freeloading readers like me... and hacky bloggers flooding the system with free content (also, ironically, like me)... it's no wonder the publishing industry is at a point of crisis.

The End of Times: Publishing in it's Final Days

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