The End of the Music Industry As We Know It

I was reading an article in Wired magazine over break that was suggesting that the music industry may be on the verge of collapse. According to that magazine, CD sales fell by 11 percent last year on top of a 3 percent fall from the year before. I almost hate to say it, because the idea of what I am about to say sounded weird even to me when I first thought it, but I think that the collapse of the music industry would be good for music.

Why do I think this? Well, first of all, the collapse of the music industry would not necessarily hurt the artists. It is well-known that except in a few exceptional cases, musicians hardly make any money off of CD sales. Instead, their major revenue comes from tours. Now, it is true that the music industry often makes it possible for artists to make new music, but it is hard to believe that musicians will stop making music if the music industry collapses.

Second, I believe that the primary reason that the music industry is collapsing is that no one over the age of 30 cares! The music industy has been pointing its finger at the rise of file-sharing programs such as Napster, KaZaA, Gnutella, and the like, but these really are just a convenient scape-goat. The music industry has very effectively captured the teen market in its promotion of Brittany Spears, Christany Aguilera, N Sync, etc. The industy has at the same time, however, completely ignored the development of artists whose music does not necessarily appeal to the instant-gratification desires of teenagers. Sure, there are a few of these musicians hanging around (U2, Sting, and the Rolling Stones come to mind), but there are even more of such musicians singing to local crowds in America's bars than there are making CDs with $100,000 production budgets.

The Wired magazine article predicted, quite correctly, I think, that the collapse of the music industry would "produce fewer global superstars and more locally successful musicians". And this is why I think the collapse of the music industry would be good for music.

Into the breach my friends!

Well, my first exam is in three hours. We're starting off with the easy one: French. I can only imagine that it will be downhill from here, since both of my physics exams are coming up on the same day-- ouch!

Actually, my quantum test should go fine too. Lene Hau seems to give reasonable questions. Come to think of it, Masahiro Morii gave reasonable questions on our midterm too. That test was just way too long. Well, if I can ever figure out why anyone would ever want to use a canonical transformation, then I guess I'll be just fine.

Monetary claims are immoral

It is immoral to pursue monetary claims against the Church for sexual abuse crimes. Don't get me wrong, I believe these crimes are very serious, but sueing for damages will not accomplish anything. Monetary awards really do little to heal the suffering of a victim of sexual abuse, and the money that these victims would receive would come out of programs that help the poor. Therefore, monetary rewards in these suits have a large social cost to society.

What is really needed is new leadership in the Church which will not try to hide its problems. Now that Cardinal Law has resigned, perhaps new leadership will arrive that can straighten our course.

Disobeying a Cardinal

In Mass on Sunday, M. Chien said that St. Paul's parish will not be participating in the Archdiocese' capital campaign this year. M. Chien says that he cannot in good conscience ask the parishoners to give money to the Archdiocese when the use of the money is as uncertain as it is now (there have been reports that Cardinal Law has been considering filinng for bankruptcy to protect the Archdiocese from lawsuits). While I was shocked to hear this annoucement, I am very proud of M. Chien for doing what he believes is right.

Dogmatism

I disagree with Sammy's assessment of the critique of dogmatism. The problem with most dogmatics is their unwillingness to consider counter-arguments. Thus, it is the non-flexible nature of the dogmatic rather than the specific truth they are proclaiming that bothers us. Is my assertion that one needs to consider counter-arguments dogmatic? Perhaps, but I don't think so. For if you could provide me with a convincing argument otherwise, I would at least consider it.


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