free reading around the web

Check out the September issue of the the Pool journal, with contributions by Erik Stinson, Jordan Tate, Robert John, and Robert Lorayn. Discussing a web commerce model based on all teasers and no one getting paid (that is, no model), Stinson writes:

It’s happening in porn because our culture doesn’t value sex – or rather – banishes it to the far reaches of the deleted browser history. We don’t feel great about watching porn – so we accept this brave new media model. Will acceptance in this area fuel a total distortion of traditional media venues? Will the cinema ads at beginning of feature films begin to lengthen until the feature itself is an end to the story of consumption offered by the endless series of sponsor motiongraphics?

Probably not.

Tumblr actually ends most of the anxiety arguments concerning the degradation of media quality. And Tumblr is just a visual version of Napster. People like quality enough to steal it. They hate marketing enough to avoid it whenever they can. Tumblr solves the spiritual problem of content-as-advertising, without solving the economic one. Napster did the same thing with music, ensuring a level of quality by making everything accessible, but at the same time destroying the business model for all paid media.

Old hippies remember the "potlatch" web economy where your power was determined by your ability to give stuff away. There's really no place for dollars in that environment, which is one reason outsourcing is bad: it takes away the crappy day jobs that are the lifeline of creativity. And speaking of not getting paid in order to get paid, Juan Cole has an arresting headline: Justin Bieber on Sen. Klobuchar’s Criminalization of the Internet: She should be put away in Cuffs. Once again Congress does the bidding of overzealous cops and greedy moguls and sends a bad internet bill down the sausage chute (S.978, sponsored by Democrat [sigh] Amy Jean Klobuchar). Cole:

Although Klobuchar’s office denied that her legislation would affect Bieber, the senator’s staff seems unaware that Bieber got his start covering other people’s songs and uploading the performances to YouTube. The bill, if passed, would not only make that illegal but would make it a felony, not just a misdemeanor.

The music and movie industries have forced crap on us for years and they deserve to die, to put it in blunt, Bieberesque terms. Their death spasms (such as this bill) drag down too many innocents.