but I finally saw Doug Block’s excellent independent documentary, Home Page, which chronicles a certain thread in the early days of the WWW. It was kind of creepy to watch now, everything under glass like that, but at the same time that history is my history in a big way. So it’s kind of like looking down a weird webified memory lane full of people that formed the experience depicted in Block’s film but also, quite separately, my own past on the net. Weird, but I’m glad I finally saw it.
wrote today, “I gotta dig how fast and far the People Vs. Hollywood political conversation is spreading.” For the record, I’d like to throw one small point out, maybe to fill in the historical side of this a little. People are fixated upon the DMCA and its role in overturning old US copyright law traditions. It is right to be fixated on that insidious law – but it didn’t begin there.
In its own way, the Telecom Reform Act of 1996 was as important as the DCMA. Everyone focused on the Communications Decency Act back then, but that was clearly just a smoke screen from the beginning. The types of business combination that were finally allowed under the Telecom Reform Act are what has given rise to the large, monopolistic firms who are driving things currently in Hollywood.
Of course those combinations started to occur well before 1996 – but the “reforms” in 96 stripped away the barriers to companies who could own the whole pipeline and control it from head office. Before 1996 there were enough different kinds of player in the food chain that it was harder to get traction, either operationally or as a lobbying force.
My quirky translation: These are tragic, frustrating times. It’s also an opportunity to do right by our neighbours – all of our neighbours. The stakes? As I wrote elsewhere:
History will judge the perpetrators of this, as will (likely)
military or other action judge them. What has happened is horrific, and deeply
sad. And without justification in any way.
But history will also judge us all, as individuals and collectively,
in our reactions. If we start painting all arabs or muslims with the
terrorist brush – we will, and should, be judged harshly for that. If
we let mindless aggression get the better of us, whether in our
governments or as individuals – we will, and should, be judged
harshly for that.
is quick, that’s for certain. He’s already replied to my little missive and explains things a little more. And what he describes would drive me completely bonkers – in fact, it has done so many times in the past. I have a thing against all shadowy priesthoods, and the workflow priesthood in a web environment is one of the most frustrating things around.
It reminds me of the dark ages in Europe, where they developed this incredibly complicated system of monasteries and the whole Church structure surrounding, essentially, one issue: how to keep Aristotle hidden. OK, there was more to it than that – but make no mistake, keeping Aristotle unknown was a major driving force behind the European power structure for hundreds of years.
And then, of course, St. Thomas (you may know him as Aquinas – and there were others too all over Europe) let the cat out of the bag, leading (though not directly) very quickly to Luther and Calvin and the rest is literally history.
Point being that any priesthood, any dogmatic, centralized control of knowledge or process that goes beyond what’s very strictly necessary is a dangerous thing. It’s inefficient, and limits good people from doing interesting work. In that, TM, I think we are in agreement.
(a magazine, and not a bad one at that): Boo! And the 100 Other Dumbest Moments in e-Business History. Hilarious.