self-determination (what a concept)

Geert Lovink, from his essay "Requiem for the Network":

Let’s get unfashionable and dig up an Adorno quote from Critical Models to recast into the social media age: “The old established authorities decayed and were toppled, while the people psychologically were not ready for self-determination. They proved to be unequal to the freedom that fell into their laps.” This is what networks require: an active form of self-determination. Self-organization from below is the precise opposite of smooth interfaces, automated imports of address books and algorithmic ‘governance’ of one’s news and updates. Self-determination is not something you download and install for free. During the turbulent 1990s centralized information systems lost their power and legitimacy, but instead of smaller networks that claimed to be more democratic and -- in theory -- promote autonomy and people’s sovereignty, all we got were even larger, more manipulative monopoly platforms. Self-determination is an act, a political event, and precisely not a software feature.

Net theorist Lovink returns to form after a painful stretch writing as if everyone used social media. Non-pod-people can read and enjoy this essay!

marketing music (or not)

Jonathan D. Kramer, Postmodern Music, Postmodern Listening (Bloomsbury, 2016), chapter 10.8:

"...When Beethoven put on concerts for his own financial benefit, he was marketing his wares. Paganini and Liszt cultivated public personae of considerable magnetism, in an effort to draw attention to their product -- that is, their spectacular compositions as they themselves flamboyantly played them. Were they selling out when they composed music with an eye toward the marketplace? Or is selling out a particularly modernist idea? Schoenberg refused to sell out. He did not try to market his wares. His Society for Private Performance was created to avoid all influence of commodification. At that stage in his life, he wanted his music to be heard only by those who were likely to be interested in it and sympathetic to it. He was not trying to convert outsiders to it; rather he was willing to welcome into his circle those who were ready to enjoy and appreciate his music and that by his colleagues. He decidedly did not want to use showmanship to attract large audiences. He preferred small audiences of true appreciators to huge unwashed masses..."