raganwald
Monday, November 05, 2007
  Are you in?
Right now we are in the middle of the biggest land rush in computer history. For those of you who are too busy getting stuff done to keep score, there was a big rush to create computer companies. IBM won the sweetest and biggest estate on that one. Then we watched wave after wave of companies bringing out smaller computers: Digital, Apple, IBM again. But the next big rush was software, and Microsoft was the big winner that time around.

If all of network TV vanished from existence tomorrow morning would it make a difference? I mean come on. Deal or No Deal? Retards guessing about briefcases? Or dancing with the fucking stars? How did Tom Bergeron ever get on TV and why is he still there?


One of the interesting things to do in a land rush is to figure out whose land is getting taken. We’ve watched eBay, Google, and Craigslist eating Newsprint’s lunch. We’ve watched Apple eat Sony’s lunch, and now it’s going after the Recording Industry, Hollywood and the TV Networks. Simultaneously.

Sure, there are a few exceptions. The Simpsons. Thirty Rock. The Office. But even the good stuff is forced to be somewhat retarded by the strictures of the network system. Ever seen the original Office, the one made in England? Way better than the one on NBC. Let’s face it. Network TV blows. The system blows. The business model blows. The consumer experience blows. But worst of all the content blows. What’s more, the system is set up in such a way that it pretty much requires the content to blow.


Apple having an outside chance—or any, any chance at all—of pulling this off is only possible because those three industries are all equally bloated, ignorant, and wilfully spiteful to both the artists and the customers who pay for everything. That, and demographics matter: the heavy purchasing demographic in all three industries is the first generation to grow up with personal computing devices, portable electronics, and cell phones as the default. The executives running these business still think of this stuff as “new technology.”

Meanwhile all the good stuff is happening off the network grid. There’s this huge pool of young smart funny talent who want nothing to do with networks and are just rolling their own. Right now they’re not getting paid much because the bulk of the frigtarded audience just sits there in front of the network boob tube watching moronic former boy band members trying to do ballroom dancing. It’s just inertia. The viewers do what they’ve always done.


You don’t need to bet on or against Apple to be a big winner. Who was the big winner in the SF Gold Rush? Hint: you may be sitting on his name right now. Levi Strauss sold jeans to miners, he thrived on the ecosystem. There are opportunities for everyone to get a piece of the pie. And there will be pie, a lot of it. A lot of people are going to have a lot of fun, make a lot of money, and literally change our culture.

But that’s changing. The networks know it. The frigtards will get old and die and the people who are young kids today are not even going to pay attention to the networks.
—FSJ, This Hollywood writers’ strike cracks me up


Let’s face it, Western Culture is pretty-much defined by the consumption of media. After we stuff ourselves with food we don’t need, squeeze into Hummers and SUVs we don’t need, then head down to The Mall to enjoy the sterile atmosphere of a pretend-main street in a pretend-small town, where we eat some more, what do we do? Watch TV, lots of it. Go to the movies, lots of them. And listen to music, lots of it.

Somebody is going to change everything we know about television, movies, and music. It could be you.

Are you in?
 

Comments on “Are you in?:
Or maybe we'll all wake up from this consumerist nightmare when the oil stops flowing & the power starts winding down, and realize there's more to life than needless consumption.
 
Start by supporting the writer's strike. That FSJ was delusional beyond belief. "All you people in your Lexuses" - FSJ has no idea how hard people work in Hollywood. (And for such microscopic money, in many cases.) It's unbelievable. It makes the most stressed-out Silicon Valley workaholic look like a stoner sitting on his couch.

Anyway, to be purely analytical, it's not actually a land grab. It's much more like the extremely tired dinosaur analogy.

Also, the labor differences between Silicon Valley and Hollywood are actually a very powerful argument both for and against unions. On the one hand, Silicon Valley does have a huge benefit over Hollywood in that its labor situation allows it to move much more quickly. On the other hand, through the whole residuals system, people in Hollywood get paid every time something they do makes money. Try introducing something that rational to the world of venture capital. Of course that's television, more than movies, and obviously Hollywood's not going to teach anyone about sane business practices today or any other day. But think how much different our industry would be if you got paid every time your code made somebody else some money.
 
Start by supporting the writer's strike.

No thanks. or maybe yes please. The problem here is that I support the strike in principle. So yes.

But I can't think of anything that has be less excited than scriptwriters. I don't know if it's the system or the people, and I have trouble caring. The fact is, the product rarely appeals to me.

That FSJ was delusional beyond belief. "All you people in your Lexuses"

Ummm... You want fact-checking from a satirist?

Anyway, to be purely analytical, it's not actually a land grab. It's much more like the extremely tired dinosaur analogy.

The beauty of the Internet is that you have your perspective, I have mine, and nobody of substance is paying attention to either of us.

The problem with the dinosaur analogy is that everybody talks about the dinosaur and not about the rodent-sized mammals that would thrive in the vacuum after the dinosaurs went extinct.

In this case, I am much less interested in lambasting the industry (including you, my friend, who has bought into it) than I am in getting people excited about toppling it.

I want it crushed. Destroyed, leveled. Flattened.

People in Hollywood get paid every time something they do makes money. Try introducing something that rational to the world of venture capital.

And from there it's a very short step to demanding that Hollywood should get paid every time I watch a movie or RIAA should get paid every time I press "play" in iTunes.

Is that what you want from software? That you rent it by the month? Or make a micropayment when you launch a text editor?
 
@anon: Well heck, I suppose I should ditch this programming gig and learn how to bleed a cow.
 
The beauty of the Internet is that you have your perspective, I have mine, and nobody of substance is paying attention to either of us.

Whoo-hoo, I got no substance. Thing is I support strikes in principle, but am a little ambivalent about the writers' goals. A few shows have actually captured my attention, so I guess I will support them.

And for the record, I am against micro-payments as much as I am against RIAA terrorism.
 
Now sure in what capacity it matters as to how hard people in x location or y industry work.

Wouldn't a phenomenon much like facebook, twitter or something change the game for hollywood media? Granted there are some technical challenges with those companies now, but it strikes me as a couple of smart people sitting down and coding a prototype over the weekend and *poof* the game has changed.

Once that changing singularity happens, then the real work begins for the change agents...

TV in particular is such a brain drain, I'm not sure I care what happens to it at this point. When Seinfeld goes on Larry King and declares "do you know WHO I AM?", I am so absolutely disgusted, I just tune out, period.
 
I am much less interested in lambasting the industry (including you, my friend, who has bought into it) than I am in getting people excited about toppling it.

I want it crushed. Destroyed, leveled. Flattened.


Honestly, dude. Bring it. Do your worst. Technology is transforming distribution, and that has the potential to do some great things by shaking up the politics around distribution, and levelling the playing field, etc., but that effort is an attack on the same corporate power structure the writer's guild is attacking.

you have your perspective, I have mine, and nobody of substance is paying attention to either of us.

I wish. Avi Bryant dedicated a whole post to making fun of me. I wish nobody of substance was paying attention to us, but there are people of extraordinary substance who read us both.

And from there it's a very short step to demanding that Hollywood should get paid every time I watch a movie or RIAA should get paid every time I press "play" in iTunes.

That's not a short step.

I said:

People in Hollywood get paid every time something they do makes money.
 
I said:

People in Hollywood get paid every time something they do makes money.


Giles, I can read. I read it. I am able to perform the diff on my own. I assume other readers will do so as well.

And I drew a certain conclusion. You disagree. You don't need to say you disagree, the very fact that you said something and I said "We disagree" makes it obvious to people that we have different points of view about the destiny of Hollywood, the Networks, and the RIAA's members.

Have a nice one.
 
Not even. I said Hollywood creators get paid every time their code makes somebody money. You suggested this implied a very short step to arbitrary assertions of control from the RIAA. I know you can read, but I don't think you actually took the time to do it.

Hollywood's residuals system is very productive for the context it operates in. It also presents a serious technical obstacle for remix culture. This is a fascinating question. It's not a technological obstacle but a technical one - should ownership cascade when somebody remixes your work? If so, how could that be done?

A code residuals system would be so different from what we have today that the idea qualifies as industry-specific science fiction. Would open source still exist? It might, but it definitely wouldn't look how it looks now. What would we have instead?

If you're not willing to listen to what I want to say, you really can't logically claim that our opinions differ. All you can say with certainty is that we're asking different questions.
 
I know you can read, but I don't think you actually took the time to do it.

I'm reminded of two people arguing, and one tells the other "You're not listening."

Same dynamic, same irony.

Although I'm probably misusing the word Irony. A better example of irony would be this:

"In 1900, Charles Justice was a prison inmate at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus. While performing cleaning detail duties in the death chamber, he devised an idea to improve the efficiency of the restraints on the electric chair. Justice designed metal clamps to replace the leather straps, thus allowing for the inmate to be secured more tautly and minimize the problem of burnt flesh. These revisions were incorporated into the chair and Justice was subsequently paroled from prison.

"Ironically, he was convicted in a robbery/murder and returned to prison 11 years later under a death sentence. On November 9, 1911, he died in the same electric chair that he had helped to improve."

Electric Chair on Wikipedia
 
The music and movies industry forget that their business depends on consumers - and they are now paying for that. The need the artists because someone needs to create good enough content someone wants to pay money for (but the artists don't really need the industry just to make music).
But for the TV, their business never was about the consumers. Their business is just advertisements, and about getting enough people to watch them (I think it was Douglas Adams who wrote this once). Thats were their money is coming from, and it's everything that's counting for them.
Now, Google & Co are changing that already for the newspapers, and we will see if they can do that for the networks as well. But it is a different business - I read a newspaper to get informed, but I watch TV to get entertained. For the latter, I want to be passive - and the networks are good at providing that entertainment.
 
Hey Giles, did you, by any chance, criticize me for not paying attention to your comments... on a blog that doesn't permit comments?

Just asking...
 
Funny how he'll name-drop Avi Bryant for cred, then turn around and call Avi and other leaders in programming thought "Reddit Monkeys" when they disagree with him. Apparently the easiest way to deal with people pointing out your inaccuracies and illogic on your blog is to remove comments from your site. No worries--I thought your post was honest and insightful.
 




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