Re: The End of the Music Industry As We Know It

I had a reader comment that he thought my post regarding the potential collapse of the music industry was really just an attempt to justify illegally downloading music. Unfortunatley, I accidentally deleted the comment... but I wanted to respond.

I was not attempting to justify illegal file-sharing. Most of the songs I download are songs for which I own the cd or tape, but do not have the cd or tape with me at school. I think this type of use is justified by "fair use" rules. Otherwise, I purchase the cd in a store or from iTunes, buymusic.com, rhapsody, or another online music source.

The intent of my comments regarding file-sharing was to point out that illegal file-sharing is not what is killing the music industry. If you look at the revenue of cd sales for the entire industry in the period 1995-2003 you will notice that revenue has increased every year until cerca 2000-2001, at which point it basically holds steady.

It is not a coincidence that this leveling-off corresponds with the world-wide economic recession. Sure, these numbers might be higher without file-sharing; but the music industry does not have the evidence to even suggest that online file-sharing is the cause of their woes.

I would propose, instead, that the music industry's problem is that it produces a product which is only appealing to a tiny portion of their possible market. Essentially, the 14-25 year-old segment of the market is the only one interested in the majority of new commercial music.

The music industry is dying because it has alienated its customers. The rest of us are sick of teeny-bopper teen-idol crap. We want music with depth, and we want innovation! If the music industry does not step up to the plate and begin offering a product to those with even a slightly sophisticated palate, then the music industry as we know it may be seeing its last days.

Matrix Revolutions

I should probably add an entry about Matrix Revolutions to follow up on my posts regarding Reloaded, but I don't have time right now. I will say this though: I liked the movie. There were some extremely painful moments of dialogue, but overall the movie successfully finished the themes developed in the first two movies. It presented us with the ultimate realization of "Neo as Christ" (in fact, this imagery was a bit overdone...) and was extremely entertaining. Furthermore, the battle between Neo and Smith is far and away the coolest fight scene I've ever seen.

Sorry to all of you who are disappointed that your matrix-in-a-matrix theories are wrong, and also those of you that want to add your deterministic world-view into the movies-- it just isn't there.

More Matrix comments

I found an interesting comment about the Matrix that I wanted to post:

You might also consider that Neo is a messiah. A Christ figure. And integral to prophecies and messiah's is that the truth they show, and the path they walk, is never what anyone expects. So Neo isn't there to free people from the Matrix into the world of Zion. It'll almost certainly be something else. --Morat

Matrix Reloaded

So, I liked the movie. The first 45 minutes or so needs to be re-edited. I felt like all the shots were either too short or too long. And the rave/sex scene was very odd. Actually, I can accept most of the first part of the movie only from the standpoint that I understand why the W. brothers made the choices that they did. Still, they could have done better.

But, once we get back into the Matrix, the awesome nature of the first movie returns! The dialogue gets better, the pacing returns, and the action is unbelievable!

There are many people that are upset that Reloaded has traded the "brain in a vat" question for a discussion of free will. However, Reloaded has changed many of our assumptions from the first movie, such as the truth of the prophesy and Morpheus' role as the leader. The "brain in a vat" question is not gone either; in fact, the W. brothers have brought up some even deeper issues if you look beyond the surface of the film.

For once, I don't know how the story will end! Reloaded is so filled with foreshadowing, though, that I am deep in anticipation of the next movie. It will be exciting to see how the W. brothers resolve this story in Revolutions.

Leaving Evidence for my Biographers

I just read a except from a book by William Griffis, an American that went to Japan in the 1870s and stayed there for quite a few years. Griffis kept pretty extensive journals, but the reason that he did this is not entirely clear. One historian suggests that it might just have been out of family tradition. But, it reminded me of comments that I have heard others make (sometimes tongue-in-check, sometimes not) about leaving materials for our biographers. This always amuses me because it is at once a very arrogant statement, but on the other hand, if any of us actually do end up making a significant contribution to the world, then it is not such a bad idea afterall.

In any case, these thoughts have me thinking about trying to keep a journal again. Not because I think I am going to be a great person, but for my own entertainment (I have a journal from Swiss Semester which is highly entertaining to read).

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