lunes, 2 de junio de 2014

Some Good News

There will be a before and after of The First Global Economic Crisis. Like in the wake of most upheavals ( First World War, Wall Street Crash, Second World War, Fall of Communism), the world is never the same again.
Some have leapt to the far right, with parties such as Ukip and the French National Front leading the way. It is a road already travelled, and the destination is not worth revisiting.
Others have swung to the left, hoping that a revived version of socialism might be able to make some sense of the actual mess. Optimism as a last resort.
But where the change really lies is in the organisation of society as a whole. The digital world has opened up a new form of collaboration. The old hierarchical system is no longer pertinent because the militant bases can now operate on a far more democratic platform.
Decisions can be taken according to what every person involved in the process democratically chooses. The ‘leader’ is reduced to a mere spokesperson, the mouthpiece of the common will. The political agenda is designed by and for the voters, and put into effect by accredited party members.
In fact the term ‘political party’ will no doubt fall into disuse. The old way of having to choose between two or three job lots of policies, the take it or leave it option, has no place in the ‘new’ society. Without much fuss we can now decide on individual issues such as Education or International Cooperation, without having to swallow all the collateral nonsense that used to go with such packages.
It is a more open, more democratic way to participate in the running of a nation, an organisation, a global concept.
Many will not enjoy seeing the gradual erosion of their age old privileges, and the more radical will no doubt put up a fight.
But progress is relentless and inevitable. We are on the way to a new era of citizen participation, and the breaking up of monopolies and oligarchies. And that, as I  hope you will agree, is good news.

domingo, 1 de junio de 2014

Pirates at bay.

Peter Sunde, co founder of Pirate Bay, has been arrested after 2 years on the run. He was sentenced to 8 months in jail and an enormous fine for file sharing.
As a writer and musician, I should be jumping for joy that this ‘pirate’ has been caught.
Not at all. Here in Spain a court has just ruled that file sharing is legal, and I totally agree. That the huge companies that for years have controlled the cultural market failed to do their homework, failed to see that the digital copy was going to destroy their business, is not my concern.
New ways to wrap culture in commerce are emerging, as was inevitable. Streaming, free digital copies with the ‘real’ product, signed copies etc. Business will survive.
In the meantime the distribution of music, video, literature and the like has gained enormously.
All my works are available in free digital format. I prefer the exposure to the meagre dollar or so that can be gleaned from such files. Not so hard copies, printed books or c.d.’s which have costs involved.
I use Pirate Bay. It is an excellent way to try out material that you are not too sure of without having to lay out 20 euros for the original product. If I am convinced, I often prefer to get my hands on the full enhanced product.
Free this man. Let the entertainment industry sort itself out and find ways of making money, but don’t punish this man for being bold and pushing the barriers of the digital world into the future.