by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
entitlement, innovation, progress

Entitlement? Spoiled Brats? Or Just Progress?

from the you-cannot-deny-what-technology-allows dept

A few people have pointed to Charlie Brooker's piece in which he suggests that people are so accustomed to "free" things online that they've become spoiled brats and feel "entitled" to things for free. This is hardly a new meme. We've been hearing it for over a decade in the debates over technology and how it disrupts business models by driving the price of things towards (or all the way to) free. But is it really entitlement? Or is it just a recognition of how progress works and the economics behind it?

I don't think people are complaining because they feel entitled, so much as they recognize the power of technology to provide these sorts of things and recognize that what technology allows cannot and will not be undone. I don't think that's about being "spoiled." I think it's about recognizing progress. Is it "spoiled" to use a telephone or email to communicate? Is it "spoiled" to travel by a car or airplane? Or is it just the march of progress that enabled these things, and which people are quite happy about using because it makes their lives better?

If anything, it seems like the sense of "entitlement" and the feelings of being "spoiled" is coming from those who wish to hold back progress, and to keep things the way they were in the past, rather than embracing what the technology and progress have enabled.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Ron Rezendes (profile), 8 Jun 2011 @ 12:34pm


    "So I can assume that you'll soon expect our telephone services, TV cable, rail and air transport (lets not forget the buses and subways and toll roads) all to be free as well?"

    While these services may not reach a price of "free" in your lifetime, the progress of technology should be reducing the cost of these services TOWARDS zero/free, even if they never actually arrive at zero.

    Now, please explain why I have to pay AGAIN for an album I bought 35 years ago because I want to listen to it on my mp3 player instead of a cassette player?

    Please be brief and to the point, I'm trying to download MORE FREE music from Amazon and I don't really want to split my bandwidth if I can help it.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.