We never read: a postscript to the Emily White fracas
I’ve come to the conclusion, most likely long overdue and a massive generalization, that one can’t use the Internet to intelligently debate a topic. Especially when the subject of that topic is rabidly defended, whether right or wrong, by the subject’s supporters and one’s opponents. I now understand why Paul Krugman doesn’t respond to comments on his economics blog.
Case in point; my last post. I spent a week researching the topic and the ensuing debate around it, then another 12 hours pondering my response and a further 6 hours writing and editing said response. Within about 90 seconds of posting a link to my post on Twitter the first comment arrived. To say it was negative would be an understatement. That’s not what bothered me. What bothered me is that it would have taken far more than 90 seconds to read my post and the two others that I refer to. Online commenting is easy.
[An aside: the post I mention above was not gracefully presented and I am aware of it. Unfortunately the result was that the heart of the matter was overlooked by some, so the hailstorm of hate that I received in the comments that I had to delete was my own fault. The one's I left in only barely stick to the context and the topic.]
I know, I know, it looks like I’m whining but you can rest assured that I have no complaint here, so please don’t put words into my mouth in the comments area. I am under no illusion. We simply can no longer expect that anyone would give the time it takes to read three posts, digest everyone’s POV and then leave a smart comment or two behind. And commenters are even less likely to do so if two out of three of those posts doesn’t fit the prevailing worldview of what the former U.S. Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, called “the nattering nabobs of negativism.’
I mention Paul Krugman above. He’s a particular hero of mine who I follow assiduously because he simply states the facts as they stand when compared to actual economic theory. Just today he wrote a post that includes this:
The type of macroeconomics Portes and I do offends conservative notions of how things are supposed to work in a capitalist society, so they reject the theory no matter how well it performs, and throw their support behind other views and other people no matter how badly they get it wrong.
I’d like to paraphrase that and move it into the context of my post about musicians versus the Internet:
The position I have taken on the Internet’s ultimate value to musicians offends musician’s notions of how things are supposed to work in a capitalist society, so musicians and their supporters reject the theory no matter how well it performs, and throw their support behind other views and other people no matter how badly they get it wrong.
Musicians are in business when they decide to sell their music and associated products like T-shirts. The Internet upended any notion that there will continue to be “business as usual.” It didn’t stop there; it has disrupted culture and society, human behavior and politics, arts and education and more. Markets have changed or disappeared; new markets must be found or created.
The Internet is the musicians best friend.
And now we have Mobile. I wonder if I dare write about that vis-á-vis musicians and their position on human behavior.