April 10, 2014

The relationship between money and words will be corrected, Ctd

Andrew Sullivan said during a March 2014 address to Harvard University on the fall of journalism to advertising and PR:
"Suddenly this great [internet] freedom became a great liability. [The internet] was destroying their profits. Eradicating lots of things they were able to do."
Sinead Gleeson (@sineadgleeson) wrote an article in the Guardian on how writers are poorer and struggling to survive, eat, pay rent in the internet age. Joanna Kavenna was quoted as saying, ‘Being a writer stopped being the way it had been for ages. It wasn’t what I expected.’

Yet Shane Smith (@shanesmith30), VICE envisions a change and a correction in the relationship between words and money:
"Everything online is free, we have been a free magazine, everything we do online is free. I think we are going to move towards more of a subscription model. I think that young people are realizing that I’d rather be a part of it. You know Kickstarter has been really successful. On a business sense, on a philosophical sense, where people realize if I believe in something I’m going to actually be part of that. Which I think is incredibly positive. And I think that that’s going to be the next wave of how people are going to get things done online."

In the Sunday Times March 2 2014, andrew smith (@wiresmith) wrote an article, 'Desperately seeking Satoshi'. He explained:
"Godfather to the cypherpunks was a brilliant mathematician named David Chaum, a graduate of UC Berkeley, founder of the International Association for Cryptologic Research. Scion of a wealthy family, he had introduced the study of anonymous communication systems a decade before the cypherpunks had a name. In the process of amassing his 17 patents, Chaum also produced the first workable blueprint for untraceable electronic money, which he called ecash, and was in the process of establishing the system when his Netherlands-based company, DigiCash, went bust in 1998. Because he had patented the software, no one else could use it, but cryptographers still discuss ecash admiringly. 
By then, many other crypts were thinking along similar lines, as e-commerce took off. One of the glittering prizes would be the enablement of micropayments, which would allow organisations such as newspapers to charge tiny amounts for access to individual articles, offering respite from a collapsing ad-based business model."
But there was a problem:
"Small payments were unworkable once you’d factored in bank or credit-card charges. Micropayments would require a new electronic system, with electronic cash that could move fast and be near-free of charge. Fine, except that any such form of e-money will effectively be a number or code, and if my virtual Smithcoin is just a number, what’s to stop me spending it twice?"
On the fall of journalism to corporate advertising, Andrew Sullivan quoted George Orwell from 'Keep the Apidistra Flying':
"The interesting thing about the New Albion was that it was so completely modern in spirit. There was hardly a soul in the firm who was not perfectly well aware that publicity—advertising—is the dirtiest ramp that capitalism has yet produced. In the red lead firm there had still lingered certain notions of commercial honour and usefulness. But such things would have been laughed at in the New Albion. Most of the employees were the hard-boiled, Americanized, go-getting type to whom nothing in the world is sacred, except money. They had their cynical code worked out. The public are swine; advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill-bucket. And yet beneath their cynicism there was the final naivete, the blind worship of the money-god."
Previous articles in the series, with Will Self here, with Libby Purves here.

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