Re: paying the artists: the spike

From: Jason Joel Thompson (
Date: Fri Jul 28 2000 - 12:26:08 MDT

> I think a little meditation on this question -- abandoning
> preconceptions for some honest, intense thought in search of an answer
> -- might change your thinking. Your argument is not supported by the
> historical evidence; therefore there must be an error in your
> assumptions or your logic.

Is Shakespeare really relevant to a discussion regarding the digital
propagation of information over a massively accessible network? Hey, you
might be right, theatrical performance -will- probably be safe for some time
yet... there's still time to see Cats.

I would say that the preconceptions run deep on both sides of this
ebate. -Your- arguments are not supported by 'historical evidence,' there's
plenty of evidence that a high demand environment with protected properties
creates a lot of innovation and profit for lots of people. You can't argue
that the current system hasn't been successful... it's taken us this far and
it's unlikely we'd be here today if the starting conditions were different.
(Unless you're going to argue that the massive explosion of entertainment,
intellectual and scientific properties that has occurred over the last few
decades would have been *faster* if only those damn scientists and software
engineers and movie producers had given everything away for free??)
 The -real- issue is that the arena is changing in a fundamental way--
is -now- the time to start to eliminate the concept of ownership?

The current model is an intensely competitive one. Lots of people have real
positive attitudes about a world in which everything is free and we have no
concepts of ownership. I'll quote from Alex's recent post:

"Chances are that neither of us bothers to keep
track anymore-- physical scarcity is a thing of the past, and the
competition that exists between individuals is at subtler social and
intellectual levels."

This sounds nice. Utopian almost.

Am I a cynic to believe that 'subtle social and intellectual competition
ain't gonna hack it for the majority of the human race just yet?

I agree that when money is useless, we can re-write the rules. When we live
in a complete attention economy, it will be enough to merely be credited as
the creator of information. But what happens when people start arguing that
information should be free from that also?

In my mind, there is only one issue. We need to create positive feedback
loops for behavior that we'd like to encourage. We've got good evidence
regarding the feedback mechanisms that seem to be working so far. The
growth of intellectual property is currently geometric. Lots of people are
highly motivated to produce intellectual property under the current model.
It's like the great wild frontier and everyone is motivated to get out there
and stake a claim.

You know why I'm not concerned about people owning intellectual property?
It's limitless. It's a gold rush with no end. There's always going to be
more ideas, more things, more ways to take advantage of ideas. Claiming
ideas doesn't slow growth, it motivates others to quickly build their *own.*
There's so many advantages to coming up with ideas these days that
everyone's motivated to do it. I want to continue to see direct rewards
accruing to those individuals who come up with the best ones. I don't want
them to make their money by advertising, or hand-outs, or public
appearances, or selling t-shirts or any of the other flimsy (IMO) means
described in this discussion thus far. I want them to make their money as a
direct result of meeting direct demand in the marketplace.


::jason.joel.thompson:: ::wild.ghost.studios::

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