Bush and Language

Plastic Bag’s Tom Coates on the future of music and content distribution .

The push we hear from copyfighters is that it’s against the very nature of the environment in which we’re operating that the movement of data should be restricted. But actually creating a relationship between one thing and another thing is a core part of pretty much every single system that runs the internet or powers a computer. Which then brooks the question – will people walk willingly into systems that can limit what they can do with their media, or will they look towards free services and P2P to help them find what they want for free? And the answer is in the question – people will indeed walk willingly into systems that limit what they can do with their media in one space if those same systems also open up greater possibilities elsewhere. I speak as an Audioscrobbler user who lets a centralised system record in detail everything I listen to and then expose it to the rest of the world. I speak as the adopted-owner of a Tivo and as a user of Amazon – both of which are continually recording the things I’m buying or like or express any kind of interest in. I walked straight into these environments because telling them things, allowing them to associate objects / property / media with me, allowing them to track me, provides me with enormously poweful ways of discovering new music, finding good television, buying cool new things. People will, in a nutshell, cheerfully sell their rights down the river for some cool new functionality and most of the functionality that is coming depends on being able to maintain a consistent identity online, and letting other systems respond to your behaviour and to compare it to the behaviour and interests and passions of others. ..We should never underestimate how hard it’s going to be to navigate and how many areas we’ll leverage to find our way around it.

To summarize, conventional copyright control through traditional distributions stands a chance because they offer a simplified range of choices for the consumer. It all boils down to how does the individual find quality content–through bloggy things, through collaborative filtering, through adaptive technologies (If I like A and B but not C, this website’s statistical analysis shows that you would probably like D). Cost makes a difference of course. If something is ridiculously expensive, there’s no way people are going to pay for it. But managing content is aggravating. Rich as we are in cultural resources, the time spent in organizing/categorizing and backing up is something the consumer will do everything to avoid.

Graphic Novels for Snobs

Open Media Network FAQ

William Saletan on Bush’s ugly campaign rhetoric. It’s old but an effective bit of analysis.

Here’s another linguistic analysis of Bush’s stupidities:

Three times, Bush repeated the answer he gave to Edwin Chen of the Los Angeles Times: “Had there been a threat that required action by anybody in the government, I would have dealt with it.” Outside Bush’s head, the statement was patently false: The 9/11 threat required action, and Bush failed to deal with it. But inside Bush’s head, the statement was tautological: If there were a threat that required action, Bush would have dealt with it; Bush didn’t deal with it; therefore, there was no threat that required action. The third time Bush repeated this answerin response to a question about whether he owed an “apology to the American people for failing them prior to 9/11″he added, “The person responsible for the attacks was Osama Bin Laden.” This is how Bush’s mind works: Only a bad person can bear responsibility for a bad thing. I am a good person. Therefore, I bear no responsibility.

In case you hadn’t read it already, Saletan deconstructs another Bush statement , something so deceptive that it just damns Bush’s credibility.

Intellectuals who are reading this, I know you are dismayed by all this (much as you may admire the writer’s analysis). The scary thing is that the intelligentsia have pointed out Bush’s absurdities numerous times, and yet these political revelations have made no real difference. For the first time we see how a political body governs in spite of its intellectuals.