Hint: It isn't me and it almost certainly isn't you.
The Author is currently reading a book entitled "Who Owns the Future" by Jaron Lanier. And it is ironic that beyond ironic that he is posting this on Facebook, the biggest Succubus server on earth. Every second, millions of members post billions of dollars worth of uncompensated content. Something as simple as a darn good recipe, instructions for changing a headlamp on a Ford Explorer, or pictures of a bygone era in a small Indiana town.Or it could be a newsworthy video or a song by the next U2.
What happens is this: The poster gives away value and Facebook skims value off the top in form of advertising revenue. And billions of dollars of this uncompensated value to Facebook readers. Remember, in the pre-Internet days, people would have gladly paid some amount of money for this information in the form of a cookbook, a mechanic or CD album.
Grifting on a scale that even Donald Trump would envy. HINT: That is the aspired-to business model of the Trump Network.
FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE MUSICIANS. I WAS NOT (much of) A MUSICIAN.
THEN THEY CAME FOR THE JOURNALISTS...
Lanier makes the point that because of the ability of Internet users to file share, and rogue hosting cites to deliver music files, musicians cannot easily protect their product (their recordings.) Lanier calls it the "Napsterization" of intellectual property.
Musicians used to hate the "labels" because of their control of music release, marketing and distribution. Musicians sold their souls to cut out the labels, disintermediate and sell straight to the consumer. Now, with content having far less value and the Big Servers facilitating distrubution of music, they would like to buy them back. One big problem, however, is they no longer have the money to but them back.
Similar things are happening to journalists and news photographers. A similar fate awaits the other intellectual content producers.
WHY GO TO WABASH COLLEGE OR EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY WHEN STANFORD AND MIT COURSES ARE ONLINE AND FREE?
Lanier also makes the point that tech leaders have an an ambivalent relationship with the university and the degree. On the one hand, there is prestige in a degree from a premier institution. But on the other hand, the tech industry will accept any college dropout with the next disruptive business concept. And the top tiers has such famous college dropouts as Zuckerberg, Gates, Wozniak and Jobs. And with the demise of second tier institutions comes the demise of thousands of middle class and upper middle class jobs.
WHITHER THE INSTITUTION. OR UP THE ACADEMY.
Thousands of other jobs could be on the block as the information necessary to run them is reduced to an algorithm and software-controlled (or mediated).
TRY THIS ON FOR AN ALGORITHM.
Where UV = Uncompensated Value.
Bits x UV= Free Money for Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg can have a life-size 18k gold model of himself. (Or for those really steeped in Baudrillard, a gold map like that of the Borges' Empire so detailed that it ends up covering the entire Facebook Empire.)
The title of this Blog, “Welcome to the Desert of the Real”, comes
from the 1998 film “The Matrix”. The world in the Matrix is a
Simulacrum, a computer–generated illusion. It only “looks” and “feels”
like the late 20th century. Instead, human beings are enslaved in tanks
of fluid, wired to the Matrix. Humans are the ultimate wetware, the Meatmen of the Matrix. Also, readers steeped in
post-structuralist philosophy may recognize the title as a paraphrase of
a quote in Jean Baudrilliard’s 1981 book, “Simulacra and Simulacrum.”