All the news has been focused on are the “plunges” in the US stock market, with headlines pounding home the fact that “the stock market” has had “historic” drops this week. Before you sell off your 401(k) and hide in the basement, let’s consider some less-hyped facts.
This is an excerpt from my new book, Be the Master, available now at Leanpub. It’s the base for much of the book’s discussion, and so I thought I’d share it here.
There’s a story from the 1700s about a blacksmith named Timothy, from a small village not too far from Lancastershire in England. Timothy had joined the smithy when he was twelve, and barely big enough to pick up one of the heavy hammers his Master (who is not named in the story) beat metal with. His first tasks were largely custodial – sweeping out the shop, keeping the forge hot, and so on. Eventually, he was given small errands to run around the village, such as delivering finished goods to customers. By age seventeen, he’d grown enough to swing the hammers himself, and he helped his Master with basic pieces. By twenty, he was working on his own for many basic projects – horseshoes were in particular demand, and this smithy was known for the unique, hoof-saving designs that Timothy’s Master had taught him.
The word believe is an odd one in the English language, at least in how we use it today. That’s why I’ve decided to try and stop believing in 2018. Let me explain.
You can lead a horse to water, as the saying goes, but you can’t make him drink. This is an important saying, but it lacks the logical follow-up question: “So how do you make sure you can still get to town?”
We all learn. We learned to walk, speak, and math. We learned how to do the tasks that we now do in our jobs, every day. And most of us, along the way, had the benefit of learning from someone more advanced than us. We were the Apprentice to their Master.
In my work, I get a lot of folks asking about US copyright law’s “Fair Use” doctrine. It’s massively misunderstood. Although I’m no lawyer, allow me to clear up a few misconceptions.