Apparently The Creative Class Is Dead Because No One Works At Tower Records Any More

from the can-someone-please-explain dept

I honestly had to read Scott Timberg's column at Salon, called "The creative class is a lie," a few times before I was sure that it wasn't satire, and he actually believes the ridiculous things he wrote up. The article mainly tries to pick up on the ideas of Richard Florida, who has been arguing about the importance of "the creative class" in driving the US economy. According to Timberg, the creative class is disappearing. Now, we can debate whether or not that's actually true (and the evidence we've seen suggests the opposite), but the evidence presented by Timberg isn't evidence at all. It's arguing something completely different:
It’s happening at all levels, small and large. Record shops and independent bookstores close at a steady clip; newspapers and magazines announce new waves of layoffs. Tower Records crashed in 2006, costing 3,000 jobs. This summer’s bankruptcy of Borders Books — almost 700 stores closed, putting roughly 11,000 people out of work — is the most tangible and recent example. One of the last video rental shops in Los Angeles — Rocket Video — just announced that it will close at the end of the month.
I keep reading this paragraph over and over again, and it gets no less insane each time. Since when were the folks who work behind the counter at Tower Records and Borders "the creative class?" As far as I can tell, Timberg appears to be arguing that when the people who made buggy whips were put out of work, it demonstrated the death of the transportation industry. He's honestly arguing that the end of incidental jobs, related to an obsolete technology or system, represents the end of an entire industry -- while completely ignoring the (large and growing) entirely new system that has taken the place of the obsolete one. That's ridiculous.

Does he mention that for actual musicians and actual writers there are now many more ways to create, distribute, promote and make money? No. That would involve actually knowing what's going on. He complains about young authors and musicians "struggling through the dreary combination of economic slump and Internet reset." But, was there ever a time that the vast majority of young authors and musicians were not "struggling"? The adjective "starving" typically comes before "artist" for a reason. And the reality is that in the past it was much more difficult to make a living as an author or a musician, because the only way to succeed was to get chosen by one of a very small number of gatekeepers -- the record labels or the big publishers -- and then even after that you'd have to be one of the approximately 10% of creators they sign who they actually decide are worth making successful. Most musicians and most authors -- even those who sign to major labels and publishing houses -- still end up struggling economically. That's always been the case. Pretending that it's something new is a lie.

If Timberg were paying attention, he'd realize that the opportunities for musicians and authors today are much greater, because they don't have to be chosen by the big gatekeepers. They can put out music themselves and monetize it via any number of new and useful DIY platforms, from Bandcamp to Tunecore to Topspin and onwards. And authors have the same opportunity. They can put up their own websites and do self-publishing via Amazon or Lulu. And there are a growing number of success stories of such "direct-to-fan" campaigns in both industries -- people who would have been completely trampled and never accepted by the old industry.

And because of this, we're seeing a massive revival of cultural creativity. And that's because it's not limited to just a few gatekeepers and tastemakers, but everyone can contribute to "the creative class," and people can find their niche and find their audience. It's an amazing era of cultural output... and yet Timberg is missing it all because he's expecting to find it in the counter jockey at Tower Records?

Apparently this is a start of a new "series" from Timberg on Salon to investigate "the hollowing out of the creative class -- its origins, its erosion, the price of 'free,' and offer possible solutions and reasons for hope." But there's a problem there. The very assumption that underpins the entire series is false. If anything, the evidence suggests we're seeing more creativity than ever before. More output. And it's not just amateur content. The size of the creative industries continues to grow, and the opportunities for struggling artists to make a living have never been greater -- in large part because the internet that Timberg doesn't seem to know about has provided the tools to break down the gates and enable large segments of these folks, who never could have made any money at all, to now make significantly more.


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  1.  
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    Hulser (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    La la la la!

    According to Timberg, the creative class is disappearing.

    Isn't it obvious that what he meant was that the creative class is disappearing in the literal sense because they are no longer visible? If I go to the mall and the book and record stores have gone away, that must mean that no one is selling books or music any more. If you can't see it, that's anecdotal proof right there that it must not exist. Simple logic!

     

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  2.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Since we seem to be entering another protest era, a quote from a 60's protest anthem seems appropriate:

    "There is none so blind as he who will not see."

     

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  3.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    If you tilt your head, squint and flex your buttocks just right, you can kind of see where Timberg is going with his logic.

     

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  4.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Was there ever?

    But, was there ever a time that the vast majority of young authors and musicians were not "struggling"?

    Obvious No!

    What is more there never ever could be such a time.

    The logic is inescapable. To make a living as an author or musician is a dream of far more of the population than could ever achieve it (easily by a factor above 1000). Most never try because they know the odds. However if anything changes for the better for those who do try then the immediate effect is to suck more people into trying - restoring the status quo.

    The fact that more people are trying (thanks to the internet) is great evidence that the lot of the young author and musician has actually "improved".

     

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  5.  
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    Jay (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    "It’s happening at all levels, small and large. Record shops and independent bookstores close at a steady clip--"

    Which is actually the industry's fault in the first place since Napster increased demand for CDs... And there's still used book stores. The entire problem now is trying to archive them and put them online.

    "-- newspapers and magazines announce new waves of layoffs."
    The power of the internet has allowed the proliferation and dissemination of a BUNCH of new sites for news and magazines. It isn't all analog and obsolete with print now.

    " This summer’s bankruptcy of Borders Books — almost 700 stores closed, putting roughly 11,000 people out of work — is the most tangible and recent example. "
    And where's the facts about the publishing industry doing better because digital drives the demand for regular books? Thought so.

    "One of the last video rental shops in Los Angeles — Rocket Video — just announced that it will close at the end of the month."

    Netflix and the "rogue sites" allow for a much larger back catalog than what can be housed in a store. I'm sure there are video stores. The demand for them just isn't there when people can stay home with the popcorn and not worry about sending it back in 2 days.

     

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  6.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    "Tower Records crashed in 2006, costing 3,000 jobs..."

    I bring this up every time this comes up...

    The internet did not kill off music stores. The labels decided to kill them way before Napster and other P2P services.

    I worked at a mom & pop record/CD store chain from the 80s to the early 90s, so I know this first hand. Starting in the 90s they started trying to kill us. Best Buy and Walmart were selling CDs for less than we could buy them wholesale. We complained, but they didn't care. Some MBAer decided that big-box retail stores were more important than knowledgeable specialty stores and sent us to our deaths.

    The store I worked for was a chain of 9 stores throughout lower Michigan which thrived in the 70s and 80s. The distributors and labels killed our last store in 1994.

     

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  7.  
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    John Doe, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    They have occupied Wall Street

    The creative class hasn't disappeared, they are occupying Wall Street.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    BS

    Those of us who create are fucking loving the new age of creativity.
    Clueless idiots like Scott can believe anything they want. The fact is him, and people like him, are irrelevant to todays world. And we like that way.

     

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  9.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    Re:

    Yeah, the same logic drives the web music licensing crazyness. They really want to be dealing with three or four big players. Just enough competition to play against each other, but big enough to take advantage of economies of scale.

     

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  10.  
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    Mr. Smarta**, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    Makes sense...

    After all, brick makers and masons put rock cutters out of the job. And then drywall makers put masons out of their jobs. What don't you see today? Pyramids made out of sheet rock.

    Maybe we need to shoot the house builders in a solid effort to bring back pyramid builders. That way, we will all have our own pyramids and the stone cutters will get their jobs back...

    ... seeing as how they were the 'creative class' also. They did create big blocks of stone, yes?

     

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  11.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 10:58am

    The ONLY way, eh? -- Your view of "succeed" is the star system.

    "And the reality is that in the past it was much more difficult to make a living as an author or a musician, because the *** only *** way to succeed was to get chosen by one of a very small number of gatekeepers -- the record labels or the big publishers -- and then even after that you'd have to be one of the approximately 10% of creators they sign who they actually decide are worth making successful."

    Performers have been moderately or highly rewarded outside of that, so TRIVIALLY FALSE as usual.

    Then there's always an underlying premise that getting tons of money for a little performing is "success": Mike tacitly implies that if you don't get rich, quickly and easily, you've failed. In the past, no one expected to be a millionaire by twenty-five, but at 29 our own Dark Helmet consoles himself in comments elsewhere that he's still young and will hit the big time soon. Materialism is out of control.

    Anyway, I think Mike's assertions are ridiculous in light of current unemployment, grinding wars draining the Treaury, banker bailouts, factories all nearly gone overseas -- but then I've never been impressed by his grasp of economics. Mike was born on third base and thinks he hit a home run, is all. If he had to pull himself up by his own bootstraps, he'd almost certainly have different views in this area.

     

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  12.  
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    Rachel @ Last Res0rt, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 10:59am

    Twisted Logic

    The only way his twisted logic works is if you think that these artists were all previously employed at these book and record stores, because that was the closest they could ever get to "making it big", or at least they worked there to make ends meet while waiting for their big break.

    ... y'know, as opposed to getting a job more tangentially related to their actual creative fields like advertising, sound mixing, videography, live entertainment, etc.

     

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  13.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re: The ONLY way, eh? -- Your view of "succeed" is the star system.

    What are you talking about? Your comment is nothing more than a personal attack on Mike. Please, if you have something coherent to say, lay it out. With evidence as well.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:06am

    Re: Twisted Logic

    Indeed, that is the reason all waiters in hollywood were 'actors', 'musicians' and 'writers'.

     

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  15.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:08am

    "As far as I can tell..." -- Problem is your lack of acuity, then.

    "As far as I can tell, Timberg appears to be arguing that when the people who made buggy whips were put out of work, it demonstrated the death of the transportation industry."

    Sheerly to avoid such easy carping, you should really REVIEW your writng and remove all unnecessary hedging. It doesn't convince anyone that you're judicious and thoughtful, only implies that you're a timid weenie, substituting cliches in for ideas.

    And in any case, I REALLY doubt that's what Timberg was trying to say. My take is he wanted to show how LACK of creative people trickles down and eliminates jobs selling their products, while also stating that he thinks there IS a real shortage of creative people, with which I agree.

     

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  16.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: The ONLY way, eh? -- Your view of "succeed" is the star system.

    @ "Rikuo": a little blind to your own lacks. I changed one word of your post:

    What are you talking about? Your comment is nothing more than a personal attack on ***me***. Please, if you have something coherent to say, lay it out. With evidence as well.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: The ONLY way, eh? -- Your view of "succeed" is the star system.

    No, that was not a personal attack by Rikuo on your character. This is:

    Yo, Out of the Blue! Your momma is soooo fat, when she goes outside people think there's an eclipse.

     

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  18.  
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    John Doe, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:21am

    Re: The ONLY way, eh? -- Your view of "succeed" is the star system.

    Then there's always an underlying premise that getting tons of money for a little performing is "success": Mike tacitly implies that if you don't get rich, quickly and easily, you've failed.

    You have it completely backwards. The industry would have you believe that the industry is failing if people don't become rock stars over night. Mike rightfully points out that only a handful of people get to be rock stars. But unlike the past where gatekeepers controlled your future, you can now have control of your own future. Maybe you don't get to be a rock star, but you might actually make a living at it rather than waiting tables hoping to be discovered.

     

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  19.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Re: "As far as I can tell..." -- Problem is your lack of acuity, then.

    "he thinks there IS a real shortage of creative people, with which I agree."

    Judging by your comments, you are definitely not one of those creative people.

     

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  20.  
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    Prashanth (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Re: "As far as I can tell..." -- Problem is your lack of acuity, then.

    From the commenter who criticizes Mr. Masnick on a triviality:
    "My take is he wanted to show how LACK of creative people trickles down and eliminates jobs selling their products"
    I've read this 3 times already, and I have to ask, what does this even mean?

     

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  21.  
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    John Doe, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Re: "As far as I can tell..." -- Problem is your lack of acuity, then.

    What you and Timberg are not understanding is that the reason brick and mortar stores are closing is due to the market becoming more efficient with digital distribution. It is not due to a lack of creative people. I would argue there is a glut of creative people as tools for digital creation and distribution of content (movies, music, photos, books) have made it very easy for anyone to get in the game. Doesn't mean the content is good, just that it is being produced. I would also argue that there is more good content than ever as well as people who would never have tried their hand under the gatekeeper model are now getting in the game.

    Content creation is dead, long live content creation!

     

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  22.  
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    ChronoFish (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Re: "As far as I can tell..." -- Problem is your lack of acuity, then.

    "....My take is he wanted to show how LACK of creative people trickles down and eliminates jobs selling their products, while also stating that he thinks there IS a real shortage of creative people..."

    Of course this is what Timberg is implying! But why do you agree with this? Amazon's making billions selling creative goods, iTunes is making billions selling creative goods, NetFlix is making billions, despite some very big f*ck ups lately, selling creative goods. And that's just the "creative goods" you and Timberg are focusing on.

    Take a moment and branch out a bit. See Makezine, Thingiverse, Etsy, flickr, and YouTube. The world is full of creative people. Many of them are making a buck a two - some are making millions.

    They just aren't selling their goods at Tower Records (which was Mike's point) - and THAT trickle down is killing the record shop business.

    -CF

     

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  23.  
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    Dave, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    Or from, you know, the Bible.
    Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not
    -Jeremiah 5:21

     

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  24.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re: "As far as I can tell..." -- Problem is your lack of acuity, then.

    I think it has something to do with the fall of the creative class bringing about the fall of the distribution class.

    Or he could just be smoking something again. It's hard to tell.

     

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  25.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The ONLY way, eh? -- Your view of "succeed" is the star system.

    Thank you! How Ootb could turn my neutral comment into a personal attack is beyond me. Oh wait...he copied it without permission and then changed just one word...surely that's not enough for a transformative use, thus making him liable for copyright infringement?

     

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  26.  
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    scottd, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Well...

    I do however agree with him in the sense that it is sad that you can't go to tower records or borders anymore. I used to love the selection of "B" movies tower had, and they would order ones that I requested...and there couldn't have been any other Russ Meyer fans in the area!!! Border's was pretty cool because they would let you lounge around in their store, I just came short of coming in wearing nothing but my underwear a few times and they never gave me a second look. I know, this doesn't really have much to do with the creative class disappearing, but I agree with you on that point, I don't think it is. There are MANY avenues to expression in this day and age, find one and have fun!

     

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  27.  
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    lavi d (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Tangentially

    The first comment on Slashdot - where I first saw a link to the Timberg article - is this:

    for the retarded...
    by Lead Butthead

    it's called "patent trolling," "eternal copyright," and "software patents."

     

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  28.  
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    Dave, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re: The ONLY way, eh? -- Your view of "succeed" is the star system.

    Could someone please point me to a tutorial that can show me how to write a FF extension that will auto-hide posts from ootb? Sometimes I accidentally read them, and my brain turns inside out.

     

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  29.  
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    WG (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    New musicians taking a closer look at their contract

    I have several friends who have active, successful bands - successful because of their tireless energy in getting their music out to potential fans. To both of them, each contemplating taking on a contract with a label, I warned not to go down that road, to read TechDirt, Wired, and several other sites, in an effort to enlighten them about the pitfalls of signing with a label, that the current crop of labels are not their friend - just the opposite - as their only interest is in how much money can they make off of ignorance of these young, clueless bands. Guess what? Neither have signed, and both are now in the process of looking at starting their own label, or at the very least carrying on the way they have been.

    They are not 'successful' to the extent that the major players are today, but they are happy and making a living doing what they love. They both feel that monetary excess/success will eventually come as their fan base is continually growing.

     

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  30.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: "As far as I can tell..." -- Problem is your lack of acuity, then.

    "while also stating that he thinks there IS a real shortage of creative people, with which I agree."

    Where's your evidence of a shortage of creative people? From what I've seen since the dawn of Web 2.0, the opposite has occurred. There's been an explosion of creative and talented people, creating art and media.
    Again, like I said above, please cite evidence. And no, this is not a personal attack. This is me pointing out to you that you're making yourself look like a jackass. From what I can tell, you agreed with Timberg merely so you could attack Mike.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The ONLY way, eh? -- Your view of "succeed" is the star system.

    I believe so, you should contact an IP lawyer and get him booted of the Internet.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: The ONLY way, eh? -- Your view of "succeed" is the star system.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    It's even worse

    The writing American public is even disappearing. My evidence of this is the failing United States Postal Service.

     

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  34.  
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    timmaguire42 (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 12:17pm

    Nice "Other People's Money" reference. I've used the buggy whip analogy a few times myself.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: "As far as I can tell..." -- Problem is your lack of acuity, then.

    i think he meant theres a lack of creative poeple that sing with the labels or the likes :)

     

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  36.  
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    Jon (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    Jobs for the creative class will be fine....

    There are Starbucks popping up everywhere.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Relax, Timberg--It'll be fine

    Timberg's concern that the "creative class" is shrinking is misguided. As many others have stated, more people than ever are flexing their creative muscles and as a culture, we are richer for it. There has never been more music, books, and other creative products than there are today.

    If the vast majority of the members of the creative class aren't really making any money of their efforts, well that's fine--this has always been the case, historically speaking.

    Timberg's concern that the jobs that make up the lower end of the former distribution networks of creative products are disappearing is also misguided--and what's more, it's a completely separate issue. Book and record store employees are not creatives as such, so who cares if they find themselves out of work? That's fine, too. It's not like they were part of Timberg's precious creative class in the first place. It's not like these people matter.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re: The ONLY way, eh? -- Your view of "succeed" is the star system.

    Parent post brought to you by the Random Insane Techdirt Troll Generator®*




    * 8 different trolling modes, including "Broadbrush", "Tinfoil Hat", "Ad Hominem", and "Freetard"!

     

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  39.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

    and within all this, my biggest peeve is that tower records is an absolutely horrible example to use.

    Tower imploded upon itself due to mismanagement and growing too large at an uncontrolable rate (which is also due to mismanagement).

    the lack of creativity didnt kill tower, tower pulled out an RPG pointed it at its own head and said "hey guys...watch THIS!!"

     

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  40.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: The ONLY way, eh? -- Your view of "succeed" is the star system.

    Could someone please point me to a tutorial that can show me how to write a FF extension that will auto-hide posts from ootb?

    nasch has already written a Greasemonkey script to hide comments by username. (it was inspired by darryl - but a small edit and you can add ootb to it.)

     

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  41.  
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    aikiwolfie, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

    Ah yes. When I walk into my local HMV I am immediately struck by the creativity HMV's elves have put into seriously trying to get me to spend more money than I intended to. And since I don't need to actually buy anything. That experience is all free!

    Poor little elves must no have much to eat.

     

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  42.  
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    gabriel bear, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 3:15pm

    i see the techies hate being called out...

    "Creative" over the course of history shows where sufficient disposable income created by finding slop in the system isn't crushed by finders of new efficiencies.
    that is, "computers" camn be said to come largely from "radio" living off the fat it stored during wwii.

    from the article itself:
    "debunks a lot of Internet hype. “So there’s a new class of elites close to the master server. Sometimes they’re social network sites, other times they’re hedge funds, or insurance companies –other times they’re a store like the Apple Store.”

    Andrew Keen is another Silicon Valley insider who’s seen the dangers of the Net. “Certainly it’s made a small group of technologists very wealthy,” he says. “Especially people who’ve learned how to manipulate data. Google, YouTube, a few of the bloggers connected to big brands."

    Thus, it is obvious why techdirt readers find the shoe fits, but pinches.

     

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  43.  
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    Mark Dykeman, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 4:15pm

    Creative class service economy

    I think the biggest mistake in the article is equating "creative class" with "service economy". If anything, the service economy has been what helps bring the creative class's offerings to the public at large, but it's not the same thing. It's also worth nothing that Timberg's examples depend heavily on chains or franchises that didn't adapt well to the changing marketplace.

    But I don't disagree with one of his stronger points: there are probably a lot of important stories to be told about how huge groups of service industry workers have been displaced... much like the manufacturing and other classic blue-chip stock workers which have been pummeled for the past three decades...

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Creative class service economy

    maybe he misses how he could get the sales staff to put on little skits to try and get his dollars?

     

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  45.  
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    Ben (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:13pm

    Re: "As far as I can tell..." -- Problem is your lack of acuity, then.

    My take is he wanted to show how LACK of creative people trickles down and eliminates jobs selling their products

    Unnecessary hedging hypocrisy fail

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Oct 10th, 2011 @ 11:26pm

    Re: Twisted Logic

    So, basically the store version of singing in the bathroom while Simon Cowell tries to buttfuck you in the small print?

    Awesome!.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 5:09am

    Re: Re:

    This is the burst of the entertainment industry bubble.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 5:19am

    Re: Re: The ONLY way, eh? -- Your view of "succeed" is the star system.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 7:33am

    Re: "As far as I can tell..." -- Problem is your lack of acuity, then.

    I think that Timberg may have accidentally hit on one of the other effects of the loss of jobs in the content distribution world: Many of the people working these jobs were wannabees.

    When you went into your average record store, there was always at least one guy or girl working there that was a local musician, maybe the local "rock god" guitar player or something trying to make enough bucks to keep working the dream. Book stores often have aspiring writers, recent lit grad students, and the like.

    What happens to these people is actually key to the next generation of "content". If they have to go and get jobs away from what they like, perhaps they become disconnected from the situation, and have less desire to be creative. Perhaps they just give up and do the 40 hour a week office job, because, well, it's a job. Does guitar god cut his hair and take the clerk job, or does the aspiring writer end up doing powerpoint slides for a living?

    Over time, you take people away from what they love and jam their talents into the "square hole" of conformity, and you have lost something important.

    Taking people out of the content industry, no matter the level, has to hurt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re: "As far as I can tell..." -- Problem is your lack of acuity, then.

    I think you are missing the point. At the far end of the fall for these wannabees is the opportunity to actually be creative and make a living instead of selling the overhyped next best single.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    Re: Relax, Timberg--It'll be fine

    "As many others have stated, more people than ever are flexing their creative muscles and as a culture, we are richer for it."

    I can only think of the term "when a tree falls in the forest...". For all the apparent creativity, we seem to have less and less true outlets for it. There may be more of it, but most of us never get to see or hear it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re: "As far as I can tell..." -- Problem is your lack of acuity, then.

    That would be a myth, already proven over and over again on Techdirt.

    The music revolution? The numbers don't add up. The UK examples posted in the past show the truth. Recorded music sales down, live sales up - net the two out, and there isn't any great big move. However, the top 5% of all music acts still account for the vast majority of the income.

    At the bottom of the pile, there are twice as many "creative" people making music, and they are sharing... the same size pie as before. Result? 50% less pie for everyone on average.

    So what ends up happening is that those who were marginally making a living as an artist before are no longer doing that. They have more competition for performance space, that competition (supply) outstrips demand (there aren't a bunch of new venues) which leads to rapidly decreasing income for the artists. So the marginal "just making it" acts are now working desk jobs and play occassional gigs, pushed out by other office workers playing occassional gigs.

    See, the "revolution" didn't suddenly create a whole bunch more money, it isn't create a whole bunch of new time for us to enjoy all this new content, so it didn't suddenly make it profitable to be a musician.

    Most of them would probably be happy to get out of the office and sell records again, where they can at least feel they are part of the community, instead of in an office writing business proposals for paper shredders or better cubicles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Relax, Timberg--It'll be fine

    you're using the biggest and unlimited outlet for it right now.

    Sorry, you seem to be way pessimistic about it by taking the word of people who are not involved with the next age. Those figures you're posting lack citation from any refutable sources at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
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    gaetano, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 6:38pm

    "Does he mention that for actual musicians and actual writers there are now many more ways to create, distribute, promote and make money? No. That would involve actually knowing what's going on."

    The issue I think you're missing here, is that there are just as many ways for consumers to acquire these works without paying for them. Even worse is that there is a ever growing belief that one can expect to find it gratis, or they are the worst yet, entitled to something for nothing.

    Is it becoming easier to get out there? Sure. Unfortunately, most consumers treat the majority of content the same way they would a free sample of a cheese puff at the grocery store. They try it, maybe they like it, but they rarely buy it. Fortunately for them, there is someone handing out something new everyday.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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