Dubious Math in the Case for Amazon’s ‘Evil’

In AlterNet‘s article “Is Amazon Evil?” (12/8/10)–reprinted from the Boston Review (11-12/10)–the description of the economics of e-books is seriously dubious. Reporter Onnesha Roychoudhuri writes: If Amazon had asked publishers what they thought about locking in e-book prices at $9.99, it would have been subjected to a chorus of outrage. That’s because the math behind publishing is seldom in a publishers’ favor. The sale of a $20 hardcover nets a large publisher about $10. Royalties run the publisher about $3, and the costs of printing, binding, and paper are a further $2 (more for low-volume titles). Take $1.20 for distribution, […]


On ‘Disingenuous’ Reports of Antisemitic Chavismo

Robin Varghese’s 3 Quarks Daily link (6/30/09) to a Boston Review piece purporting that, “over the past four years, Venezuela has witnessed alarming signs of state-directed antisemitism, including a 2005 Christmas declaration by President Hugo Chavez himself,” has engendered some homespun media criticism from a commenter logged-in as “Pepito,” who argues that “this canard about Chavez and Chavismo being anti-Semitic has been debunked several times in the past, but it comes backs very often.” In response to the excerpt’s lead example of “15 heavily armed men” who attacked a Caracas synagogue, “held down two guards, robbed the premises, and desecrated […]