March 2005 Archives

Leave Me Some Dignity

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Just so there is no question about it - I don't want to be kept alive through artificial means. Just in case that ever comes up.

You Don't Like What?!?!

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So, apparently in his latest book of essays (I have no idea what it is called, because, frankly I don't care) Jonathan Latham makes a comment about true movie geeks who judge their relationships success (or more likely, failure) by the cinematic compatibility of their erstwhile/former mate.

I totally get this.

I really think that I have gotten better over the years. My wife can't stand Brazil, which is obviously the 4th greatest movie ever made (points to those who know which 3 are better, and why), but I love her anyway (most of the time).

But I really do understand that movies are a litmus test - the movies that you like (or don't) tell more about you than any internet quiz you could ever take. I don't care which Star Trek Character you are most like (did Wil Wheaton get Wesley Crusher when he took that quiz? Have to ask) - all I care about is whether or not you liked Blue Velvet. If you did, then affinity between us is possible. If you didn't, then what did you think about City of Lost Children? (My wife hates it also, but see note above re: Brazil...)

Parasymbiotic

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Over on BoingBoing Cory Doctrow has posted about a talk he gave at the O'Rielly Emerging Tech confernece called "All Complex Ecosystems Have Parasites".

I agree with what he is saying - the more open the ecosystem, the more things that will come to live in it, but I think that he's wrong in characterizing those entities that add value and increase possibility within the CD Ecosystem as parasites. Certainly there are some that are parasitic - a filesharing network that freely distributes Label music while showing ads is parasitic - it lives of it's host (the Label) while providing nothing in return (aside from maybe word of mouth through free distribution to those who might not hear the music otheriwise...that's for another day).

But many of the examples that Cory gives are not parasitic - they are symbiotes. They live with and become part of the organism they attach to, and provide value back to the host in exchange for what they take.

He gives examples of tools that create MP3s, Ringtones, karaoke filters, digital music players etc. These aren't parasites. They are symbiotes that, true, feed off of CDs and could not "live" without them, but they are also increasing the utility of the CD itself. I won't buy a CD that I cannot rip to mp3, for example, so for me the CD/MP3 ripper symbiote is more viable then the copy-protected CD.

It's the one that will survive in my CD ecosystem.

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