Re: When is an MP3 file like a lighthouse?

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Wed Oct 24 2001 - 12:17:23 MDT

Eliezer wrote:

> Information wants to be downloaded because each additional
> download creates new wealth; money doesn't care whose hands
> it's in because that doesn't create wealth one way or the other.

I think there are some problems with this. I get really annoyed
when I download a program and it turns out not to do what I
really wanted it to do. Its a waste of my time to explore
the program and a waste of the net bandwidth to download it.
One can say the same about music -- if its a "good" song or
movie then the time expended to download it is worthwhile.
If not then it has no wealth-creation effect. So whether
downloading creates wealth depends in large part on the
probability of whether what you are downloading will make
you "feel" wealthier.

I'd also dispute the fact that "money doesn't care whose
hands it is in because that doesn't create wealth one
way or the other". There is a big difference in the
wealth creation capacity of 1 cent in the hands of 200
million people and $2 million in the hands of a single
individual. There is also a big difference between
$2 million in the my hands and $2 million in Madonna's
hands (at least from an extropic perspective).

IMO, you need to be careful with this because I do not
believe many "markets" have the intelligence that most of
the people on this list have. The people on this list
can reasonably evaluate the tradeoffs between an SUV
in the garage and solar cells on the roof. I seriously
doubt most market players are capable of that.

Whether people will be willing to pay in the future to
have the entertainment industry executives review or recommend
artistic works based on whether the download *will* be
valuable to me remains to be seen. However if we get
into that mode it may turn out very well -- everything
produced will be a "hit" for the audience it is being
made for. Whether a million fans will band together
and offer up $1 each for a "new hit" from Artist X we
cannot tell at present.

I agree that models will change but I question where
the dust will settle.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:15 MDT