A mélange of design, photography, music and life from Madison, Wisconsin

Free the Future?

Posted: July 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Art, newlow, Politics, Sites | Comments Off on Free the Future?

From today’s Times on the death of VIBE magazine:

Vibe was an arbiter of taste, a clubhouse where people could gawk, preen and dis, knowing that everyone they cared about would see it. With cover subjects rendered to convey respect and cred, it was never hard to spot on the magazine rack. Those racks are thinning with each passing month, but some gaps are more noticeable than others.

Jeff Chang on Can’t Stop Won’t Stop writes:

The only upside of this depression is that many of us no longer have a side hustle to distract us from the incredible art we gotta make.

RIP VIBE. RIP “Urban Magazines”.

and in another struggling periodical, the New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell reviews Chris Anderson’s new book, “Free: The Future of a Radical Price.” Anderson writes:

“In the digital realm you can try to keep Free at bay with laws and locks, but eventually the force of economic gravity will win.” To musicians who believe that their music is being pirated, Anderson is blunt. They should stop complaining, and capitalize on the added exposure…

“Information wants to be free,” Anderson tells us, “in the same way that life wants to spread and water wants to run downhill.” But information can’t actually want anything, can it?

Anderson cautions that this philosophy of embracing the Free involves moving from a “scarcity” mind-set to an “abundance” mind-set.

and finally

Broadcast television—the original practitioner of Free—is struggling. But premium cable, with its stiff monthly charges for specialty content, is doing just fine. Apple may soon make more money selling iPhone downloads (ideas) than it does from the iPhone itself (stuff).

Hmmm! So I sit at my computer. Access is practically free. Reading free newspapers and magazines, watching free television, listening to free music (all legit-take note RIAA) and write this blather about free and look at all the ways the New Yorker (who can’t pay their writers a living wage) wants me to share their work.

What is the answer? As an artist, do I listen to Jeff and just concentrate on making my incredible art? Okay, so here you go:


Oh, and here is a really good read Greg Tate on MJ in the Village Voice.

Michael’s death was probably the most shocking celebrity curtain call of our time because he had stopped being vaguely mortal or human for us quite a while ago, had become such an implacably bizarre and abstracted tabloid creation, worlds removed from the various Michaels we had once loved so much.

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