Why nerd culture must die

Thank you Pete Warden for the article Why nerd culture must die

As a musician/composer heavily reliant on copyright as a means of at least some form of power in relationship to my clients (tv production companies and tv stations mostly) and as a tech lover (since my days on the C64 who never really went into science, coding or engineering because music was the bigger love for me) for the past 10 years I’ve experienced the “wrath of the internet” first hand and in painful personal attacks. And what hurts most was, that I felt the dreams painted by the geeks where my dreams (open culture, removing the middle men, direct access) but then the geeks started to actively destroy my professional field (the one that lets me provide for my family) and at the same time ignored the writings on the wall (the steady decline in revenue and the loss of the middle class musician/composer due to piracy).

There was mockery, victim blaming, talk of a “new business model” that nobody really defined. Not even the really smart people in tech managed to come up with a “new model” that actually works for the lower and middle class musicians. For them, the best solution is still to sell an album (digital or physical) for roughly ten bucks.

Throughout those last 10 years the “ignoring outsiders and believing in ourselves” that I deeply admire and that I feel I`m a part of in my field has built up such a high barrier between otherwise like minded people (nerds and musicians are always visionaries, they recognize things that most people don’t). Even though I have built up a strong resistance for it, it still hurts the sensitive side in me.

Let us work on bridging that gap.



Rogerio Marques – Whole Lotta Love

a) who is that guy????

b) it makes me sad we no longer have a culture where playing music reflects a state of being and makes a statement in relation to the world. You can now just “perform” the breaking out of the norms on a nightly talk show for a minute, get the claps, laughs and wows but it leaves emptiness.

To add insult to injury the uploader (some Russian dude now raking in clicks and making money on top of a performance he had absolutely nothing to do with, but that`s a whole other discussion) filed this video under Comedy.

c) Not sorry for being a downer, I had to say it.

Rogerio Marques – YouTube.

Drugs and prostitution to be included in UK national accounts | Society | theguardian.com

Drugs and prostitution to be included in UK national accounts | Society | theguardian.com.

Are you kidding me with this stupidity? Who checks these numbers? Who reports their drug sale? How accurate are prostitution reports?

This can be used as a number to just get the GDP to where it looks good and the bonds don’t loose their value. A gigantic scam if you ask me.

Italy announced this as well recently.

A recipe for disaster and I’m mortified.

Used books and money left on the street

I have to get something off my chest that has bothered me for quite some time. To start I have to mention that my cousin wrote the fantastic book “Albtraum Sicherheit – Interessen und Geschäfte hinter der Sicherheitspolitik” (nightmare security – interests and business behind the politics of security). The book was available on Amazon from day one and also from day one there were offers for € 0,99 cents of used copies of the book. Leaving the question aside where those used copies came from I want to focus on a more capitalistic aspect of those used books.

Let’s suppose a book costs € 12.99 on the day it is published. Right next to it, Amazon allows a third party store to sell used books. These used books typically start at € 0.99 + € 3.00 shipping.

Why does the used book seller not operate with the following equation in mind:

  € 12.99 cost of the new book
– €   3.00 shipping
– €   3.90 (30% discount towards the price of the new book, assumed a mint condition)
€  6.09

This means that even with a 30% discount towards the original price of the book the used book seller could have a 5 times higher revenue to the tune of € 6.09 – € 0.99 = € 5.10

Can someone please explain to me, how it makes sense financially to leave this money on the table? You would still undercut the new version of the book. You would not even have to share the extra revenue with the author or the publisher (which I personally think is a shame, but that’s a different story).

Please leave a comment to get me to understand the thinking behind this!

Censorship – yes or no?

Is it censorship if I’m editing my own hosts file to block websites such as Facebook, Buzzfeed, Upworthy etc.?

I love staying in touch with all my friends, but these sites are really big time sinkholes. There needs to be a better technology to run our social interaction. One that isn’t based on sucking in more and more clicks. But one that is based on true interpersonal value (experiences, recommendations, empathy).


Surveillance and free human beings

In the past couple of weeks we’ve seen where peoples’ desire for security will lead us: to the surveillance state, as has been revealed by the publication of PRISM.

For me personally it takes me back a bit to what happened surrounding the introduction of the SOPA and ACTA bills. Back then, if you remember, “the whole internet”™ went into an uproar unlike anything ever seen in the technology world. Google went black. Wikipedia went black. Reddit went black. The world pretty much ended according to people who are more than interested in removing any individual rights that may be in the way of the tech industry moving forwards.

Where is the outrage now? Where are the demonstrations now? Where is the political youth opposing this surveillance and promoting a free civilized society based on the rule of law? Unfortunately they are nowhere and here are my thoughts about why:

In the case of the copyright debate the primary reason for the outcry was, just as many colleagues had suspected all along, purely about the filesharing aspect of the privacy debate. None of the true political implications that came along with it. And all the talk about privacy and surveillance state and the likes where smokescreens in order to justify taking away the rights (and by extension the ability to monetize their works) of millions of authors in order to personally not be liable for watching TV series, movies and listening to music without paying for it. Because, in no way would copyright lead to what this article in the guardian talks about and I share a quick quote:

Lavabit has been told that they would face serious criminal sanctions if they publicly discuss what is being done to their company. Thus we get hostage-message-sounding missives like this:

I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on – the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.”

I have been of both sides of the copyright debate: when Napster came out I was just starting out in the industry and felt like the industry kept me out by design. I was happy that something “interrupted them” and “put them in their place” and defended it.

But after slowly making my way into the industry and starting to actually understand how the industry works, how the different institutions function (many of whom I still don’t agree with, but that doesn’t warrant taking away their right to exist!!) and what the struggle being a media creator supporting a family really means, but first and foremost: that the only thing I, as a media creator, have to sell is a license, I have felt the attacks of the copyleft movement to be intimately personal, vile and solely aimed at taking away my possibility to monetize my work. And for musicians and composers who don’t see the media industry as a “late teen/early twenties let’s form a band and play some cool parties for our friends” but as a way of making business with each other and who have spent countless hours practicing, studying, throwing away sketches, being unsatisfied with ideas (in short: artists struggle) it’s not quite as possible to just switch gears and work for a consultancy or social media consultancy company.

A lot of us (media creators) went into this field exactly because it is not possible for us or not desirable to live the kind of life where you have to give up a lot of your own personality and convictions in order to actively be popular and appeal to market interests. We’re all forced by market interests, that I understand. But there’s a difference with sticking to what you believe in and relinquishing it in order to “not offend”!

Authors rights have given individuals the freedom to live their dreams, to break away from trodden paths, in essence to be truly free human beings. And that is, at least to me, the ultimate goal and worth fighting for.

It can wait.

Ich habe eben die halbe Stunde damit verbracht, diesen Film anzuschauen und wünsche mir, dass jeder der diesen Text liest, das auch tut.

Ja, mir ist bewußt, dass der Film ganz genau extra so gemacht ist, dass er unter die Haut geht. Das ist aber kein Argument, die Aussage des Filmes in irgendeiner Weise in Frage zu stellen.

Und wer jemals geliebt hat, oder jemanden, den er geliebt hat verloren hat, der weiß, was das bedeutet. Und dass nichts auf der Welt wichtiger sein kann, als die um sich haben zu können, die man liebt.