Interesting read. It's very common for folks in the first world who think they have a great idea that would make those third world people so happy, only in reality those third world people either can't use those things or they don't need it. The Three Cups of Tea
farce demonstrated that we need more than just building schools or giving fancy toys to third world people to make their lives better - we need ongoing, continuous commitment that often involve hands-on efforts. You build schools? They are useless if there are no teachers, no school supplies, no roads for students to go there, no electricity to power those schools.
Helping a poor country is more than just having a grand idea, soliciting money from fellow first world country people, making that grand idea a reality, and then dumping on folks who would just look at these things and go, "Er... so what do we do with this again?" It's a long-term commitment, sometimes a vocation. If we can't give such commitment, a donation may suffice, but to the right channel. please. Toy makers, vanity charity bodies started by celebrities with no prior experience in such things, and start-up ventures are not such channels.
I'm sure we all know that a very vocal slice of the indie community can't sleep easy at night without reminding everyone on a daily basis that traditional publishing is dying and indie authors are here to save us poor readers from being deprived of quality fiction to read.
I'm not sure what JA Konrath's stance nowadays is, as he is published with Amazon's publishing arm... which runs like a traditional publisher, right? I don't know. But it seems like Amazon is a good guy in the Kingdom of Konrath. At any rate, JA Konrath saw an article about Tracy Hickman "discovering" the joys of indie publishing and ran with it, posting a laughably patronizing sermon to that author. The comments were hilarious in that blog entry, with people actually crediting Mr Konrath for giving Tracy Hickman a wake-up call!
As someone who follows Mr Hickman, I know for a fact that he is no stranger to indie publishing. He was doing this for a long time now, dabbling in early forms of indie publishing even before Amazon unloaded the Kindle and gave birth to the nauseating genre called new adult/tattoo bike trauma porn. He and his famous writing buddy, Margaret Weis, had been publishing games too through indie game companies.
Things become really
hilarious when Mr Hickman posts a gracious response, linked above. That man can really deliver the smackdown with surgical precision without anyone being able to call him rude or anything - I'm in awe.