Hi. My name is...Dave

Posted by DaveM49 8 years, 4 months ago to The Gulch: General
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Shrugging since 1996. Definitely not a "moocher" or a looter, but to the world at large I am useless, until the day when those who want my skills are willing to pay a fair price for them.


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  • Posted by jbaker 8 years, 4 months ago
    Sounds very interesting Dave. I hope to hear and learn more.
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    • Posted by 8 years, 4 months ago
      Well, I do hope you understand there are a few "trade secrets" involved. Mind, I can recommend a couple of books by Claire Wolfe, who, though not an Objectivist, has published several works with useful information for those who wish to live under the radar. "101 Things To Do Until The Revolution" and "Don't Shoot The Bastards (Yet)" are full of interesting material, though some has become dated already. I will cite a favorite quotation from the former book, however: "Strongest Weapon on Earth: your mind, properly used".
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  • Posted by 8 years, 4 months ago
    That was in 1993. Three years later I'd assembled a second book, this one essays and photographs (most of which, thankfully, had earned money individually). The total royalties during the first year of publication came to $113, which did not even cover the costs of postage, long-distance phone calls, and photocopies incurred during the process of assembling the book.

    Due to a technicality I never knew existed, one year after publication of the book, the government took every penny I had received in royalties and more besides. I quit.

    I continue to write and constantly seek to improve my skills for the day when I will be able to sell my work and keep the proceeds. But if you want to know what I "do"....I do odd jobs which require only a little of my time and pay the rent handily, leaving me free to pursue my true profession(s) on my own terms. I live in plain sight....but the person I once was publicly is utterly invisible to the world at large. And will remain so, unless....
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  • Posted by 8 years, 4 months ago
    I turned my hand to a mix of journalism and fiction, selling regularly to regional, literary, and on occasional, national magazines. Eventually, some of the fiction was collected in a book issued by a literary press at what seemed a generous royalty arrangement. I never received a cent. There was not enough money involved to bother with a lawyer. I moved on.
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  • Posted by 8 years, 4 months ago
    I have done many things. During my teens I worked on farms, in a factory, and a photo lab to make money to further my education. Illness put an end to my formal classroom studies--I carried on as best I could on my own. My hope was (and is) to become a successful writer, though I use the term loosely.

    In 1985-86 I wrote a series of computer games which sold to a fair-sized publisher under a contract which promised to be quite lucrative. Another publisher made its own copies of the disk and sold them at fire sale prices, effectively destroying the legitimate market and taking some chunks out of my reputation along the way. My legitimate publisher had the resources for lawyers, who promptly settled for a pittance (the settlement was less than their fees). For six months of work, I received around $450 and was the subject of headlines in trade magazines which prevented me from ever finding another software publisher.
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 7 years, 1 month ago
    Welcome, indeed!
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    • Posted by 7 years, 1 month ago
      Thanks. I think often of Hugh Akston's comment to Dagny when she asks him what he will do if the traffic stops and business at the diner declines. He replies "Then I'll just have to find some other way of making a living". Owen Kellogg makes similar comments about finding transportation and all manner of other day to day requirements. Be aware, always, of choices and alternatives. You may need them at any time.

      I've found one helpful addition to "hiding in plain site". I volunteer for a charity organization which operates a thrift store nearby. NOT A SACRIFICE, though I enjoy helping people and providing small lessons when possible. Being "at work" has virtually stopped questions about what I do for a living and I am perceived as "community-oriented". Despite the fact that I receive no salary, they feed me, provide me with other "freebies", and when a high-end item that can be resold comes into the store, I am the first to know about it and get at least a 50% discount as an "employee". I often rescue sellable items from the garbage after they have been tossed despite my objections. Of course, an item that has value on the international market may actually be worthless in a small town.
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  • Posted by 8 years, 4 months ago
    GLocay: anyone can do it, I assure you. I have posted a few useful tips elsewhere on the forum. There is a lot of crossover between living under the radar and "survivalism"--basic skills are a major asset. Read a few books and practice what you learn. Do you need a Mustang or an SUV when no one will notice a mid-size 4-sedan? Find an ordinary job, live in an ordinary home. Wear practical clothing that does not stand out. Reinvent yourself as a garbage collector, a construction worker, or what have you. With a bit of effort, you can become invisible anywhere--and do your own thing when no one is watching.
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