A few consideration about “advertising”
by Ciro Discepolo
The computerized/computer revolution following the born and development of the Internet has certainly subverted some basic rules of social behaviour. I do not only refer to the rules that should organize the execution of individual professions such as journalism.
For example, up to few years ago it was absolutely forbidden to any journalist to collaborate with two different newspapers or magazines at the same time (while it was tolerated to write for a daily newspaper such as La Repubblica and a weekly magazine such as Panorama).
This rule seems not to apply to television, for we can see journalists of the private Italian network Mediaset collaborate to shows of the national Italian TV RAI. There are journalists who publish on paper what they have already published on the Internet, and such events were unacceptable some time ago. We are therefore facing a sort of general upsetting of rules - deontological rules too - but one cannot really accept that all the rules of logic can be suppressed without consequences.
At the high school I learnt that the value of a good is inversely proportional to its availability.

Therefore we have been educated to believe that if a friend lends us a book or lets us read something rare, we have to be grateful for that. Alas, some people think that this isn’t true any longer.
This happens when many authors write on the Web, and when the author himself spreads the news that he has written something on the Web.
Say that Mr. Smith writes articles that thousands of people may consider precious or at least attractive. One day he puts them on the Web and breaks the news. Often what happens is that little time later, somebody claims: Mr. Smith plugs himself. Perhaps he spent whole days of his time or years of his work (perhaps in complex statistical researches) and wished to donate this to everybody. Perhaps he offers his own book free of charge to everybody who wishes to download it from his homepage. The judgement is negative in any case - he’s here only to plug his new work.

On the other side, the browsers of the Web (not all of them) believe that they are little absolute kings assisting with benevolence to the offer of presents from their subjects, and they decide whether they take or deny the offer with a thumb up or down. Of course they would “loot” the text the way they consider to be more correct. They would simply read it or they would take possession of it, perhaps they would even claim that they wrote it in fact! For they rely on the impunity guaranteed by the current situation of the Internet - quite similar to that of the wild and lawless Far West.
As you can see, the rules have been swapped - who donates is a scoundrel and who exploits or steals is a gentleman.

Now, I can accept that somebody’s lack of criticism and cleverness may lead them to think this way, but I cannot understand that the community of the Internet accepts such a general way of thinking as a good principle.
As far as I am concerned, even if I’m bound to meet such a twisted view of life, I’ll go on posting messages containing useful information for thousands of people who keep on asking them to me: news such as the diffusion on my website - free of charge - for everybody of studies and researches that cost me days, weeks, if not months or years of work. I’ll also publish the news of a lecture of mine, still free of charge and open to everybody, a lecture that many people await for, and I see no reason not to do so.
On this subject I have one more thing to specify. Usually most of my colleagues do not write a review of my books, for reasons that I can easily understand, and when they do it - my books are harshly criticized. I could supply witnesses who claim that certain clubs or associations of astrologers prohibit their member from purchasing my books. I am not concerned about that: a short episode tells you why.

When I first published, in 1979, my Guida all’astrologia for Armenia editore, the book was distributed to the bookshops without having had any review at all. A week later, the publisher phoned me saying the book was selling “fairly well” and that, had things went on this way, he would have soon made a new impression. The following week he called me announcing that the book was being reprinted.

I generally write two kinds of books: those that may interest a wide public, and those intended for hyperspecialists. In the latter case, sometimes I take on the charge of the whole costs of the publication and donate the proceeds to UNICEF - an organization that I support enthusiastically.
The books intended for a wider public generally sell very well: their run usually sells out in a few days despite the lack of reviews.
Now, if it were my goal to advertise myself, I think that I would accept to collaborate to national magazines, glossy papers, weekly or monthly popular magazines, TV shows, not to mention the annual booklets of forecasts for the twelve solar signs - the latter being a quite lucrative activity indeed. But I have non skeleton in the cupboard: everybody can see that I have never behaved this way.

So I would like to recommend to some fellow browsers of the Internet: remember to switch your brain on before starting talking or writing.


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