I'd bet all my Quatloos that we'd do better by looking at more sterile environments where next-gen life would probably want to be. Suppose for a minute you could do a 100% redesign of all your bodily systems, live comfortably in a far wider range of environments than your current meat suits; would you really want a high oxygen atmosphere that corrodes your gizmos, the risk of having some biologic screw with your circuits, or have any desire to physically depend on the drippy, oozy life systems of a planet such as Earth? Probably not. FYI- you Earthlings would be shocked to know just how many shots are needed to come here.
I agree, art is not created in a vacuum; in fact, I've made that exact same argument to lots of would-be artists I've encountered in my twenty-plus years as a professional illustrator. I'd even go so far as to agree that life experience is probably the single most essential ingredient to creating anything worthwhile.
But there's this multiplier of talent, called "craft." Few masterpieces ever spring forth from a virgin birth without lots of sweat, failure, and more sweat in the beginning. On top of that, there are some art forms in which it's absolutely critical for an artist to have a deep reservoir of experience as a craftsman, someone who can combine technical know-how with a trained eye or ear, to have any hope of success. This more often than not is acquired from being in the trenches a while; whether behind a stage, in an orchestra, or in a studio. As you've noted, there are exceptions; in particular, in disciplines where one's craftsmanship can be honed outside of an industry setting.
I can't begin to tell you how many young artists I've encountered who have natural talent, but lack the skills to be more than just another amateur who's waiting tables. That's a different kind of vacuum- an ignorance of the tools and techniques that are needed for success, and another place where art goes to die.
"Artists are incentivized to create works because it's in their nature to do so."
Not necessarily untrue. However, modern civilization depends on people being physically/financially able to specialize in what they're good at. We get better art, literature, science, music, and everything else when people are able to do that.
Too bad copyright doesn't serve this purpose quite so much anymore (if it ever did), now that it's been re-tasked as a tool for corporations seeking profits from ownership and rent, rather than creation. --
Let's be really, really accurate for once. The entities crying "piracy!" have zero incentive to refrain from going way over the line and turning what they're selling as benevolent "protection" into commercial weaponry. Wholesale removal of democratic constraints, the ability to suppress competition without that bothersome due-process nonsense, maybe even achieving that holy grail of modern capitalism, getting money for nothing, via Investor State Dispute Resolution? It's all good to them, baby.
I'm thinking the COMCAST VIP cards are no more significant than any other bit of gold-foiled ephemera handed out to the pampered ones. What class of human beings responds more to meaningless trinkets and shiny baubles than the political class?
Of greater importance IMO is an omission in the Hill's article on COMCAST's lobbying- one of my favorite D.C. critters was not mentioned, long-time COMCAST lobbyist former Sen. Don Nickles and his firm, the Nickles Group LLC. While the Nickles Group is only middle of the pack in terms of COMCAST's lobbying dollars (OpenSecrets.org) The New York Times mentions that Sen. Nickles is one of the hotshots on Comcast's Time Warner merger strategy team (NYT- Comcast’s Web of Lobbying and Philanthropy) And just this past week, one of Don Nickles' right-hand lobbyists, and dedicated servant of COMCAST, Hazen Marshall, was named Mitch McConnell's policy director. (POLITICO- GOP goes on K Street hiring spree).
May you continue to enjoy your fine COMCAST customer service in the coming new year, with help from the U.S. Senate leadership. --
If you stop to think about it, a BJ in a stall indicates a politician who's motivated by something other than money, has impulse control issues, and maybe can be turned or compromised by a competitor on the cheap.
The moneyed interests naturally would like their political purchases to be predictable; simple creatures that respond to money only.
"The individual who yawned provided a more nuanced comment that in large measure highlights just how much factual information is missing. Of course there may be undisclosed facts that if known could implicate illegal conduct. Nobody is arguing otherwise. What we are saying is that those like you who appear to have already made up their minds are doing so with an insufficient data set in hand."
That there's some quality cut + paste for a mobster's defense attorney. Jurors, pay no attention to the blood stains in the MPAA's trunk, you just don't have all the facts. --
If you fancy yourself a secret agent or provocateur, it breaks the mood if you go around using silly-sounding titles like 'Google'. Picture Sean Connery/James Bond going after Google rather than Spectre. Not happening.
"that is not actually the meaning of the word 'sobering' in a context like this."
Those damned Chinese, forcing everyone to be entirely, seriously literal with their new laws banning puns and distortions of language. Damn, but that spread fast.
O.K., this time without jokes or reference to alcohol: if I were to learn that humans are alone in the universe, that this is not the magical and purposeful place created by the hand of the Great Kazoo; that humans, the creators of 'Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo' are in fact the supreme beings in all of existence, I'd have a really hard time taking much of anything seriously. --
So in other words, stay sober? No disrespect to Mr. Clarke, but if I was forced to conclude that humans are alone and the only intelligent life in the whole wide universe, I'd be drinking like you wouldn't believe. You mean, this is it? This planet of idiots??? F@#* me, sober has just been removed from my vocabulary.
But thank the Great Kazoo life's about as common as dirt. --
It's comical how the U.S. government is so completely dominated by corporate power, while at the same time the public believes their Kenyan-Socialist government is too large, too intrusive, and should just go away. Humans are just too bizarre for words.
The devil's in the details. There are "title specific" reprographic royalties that are supposed to go to copyright owners who's works were recorded as having been used. Then there are "non-title specific" royalties, which are some portion of the licensing fees paid by licensees, but not attributed to the use or copying of any particular work. These funds are then distributed to entities in the "arts community" where the theory is that they are at least helping creators in a general way. Over the years the piddly little Graphic Artists Guild has received a considerable percentage of its revenue via the Authors Coalition, part of the CCC's stream of non-title specific reprographic royalties. GAG, being on paper a labor union, files LM-2 financial reports with the Department of Labor / OLMS (file # 513-583) and its reprographic royalty income is revealed in those publicly available reports. If they're getting tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, ($276,123 in 2013 alone) then how much non-title specific money winds up in the pockets of all these other so-called advocacy or "artists rights" groups? I'd love to know.
Don't forget it's not just music, there's also a parallel world of dark shadows involving printed works. I'd love to hear from someone who's a better researcher than I am about IFFRO, and particularly the Copyright Clearance Center in the U.S., as I haven't been able myself to track down just how much money flows through them to the likes of the Authors Guild and Graphic Artists Guild, and other so-called "artists rights" groups, who's business frequently involves poisoning the well of copyright law. As bad as it would be if the money was going to publishing execs buying yachts, it's the question of just how much becomes political dark money that really bothers me.
I recall reading somewhere that the CCC redistributes hundreds of millions, but damned if I've ever heard of anyone being able to track what the real amounts are, or who gets it. --
The older I get, the more I enjoy doing things to get people to not like me. It's liberating, wish I'd started being a jerk sooner. ;-D
Seriously; I don't mean to sound preachy. it's just that IMO there's some seriously high water coming, and we all have the simple but uncomfortable choice of either getting up from the couch and stuffing sandbags, or hoping the couch floats.
Maybe the only bad that will result from too many complacent / disengaged / dispirited Americans are yet more wasted tax dollars, having to learn Mandarin so you can impress your new boss, perhaps losing a kid or a spouse to cancer after drinking too much of that funky-flavored water the government was too lame to do anything about. Same old same old, the world goes on.
On the other hand, maybe we're not too far from having one of history's big moments, when people get to stare at the rubble of their homes and communities and wish like hell they'd been paying closer attention, and had done more when they had the chance. Hard to say.
You need to list a few more "I can'ts," like- "I can't write, can't educate myself or others, can't send money, can't support any group, can't do research, can't march and hold a sign, can't take part in local issues, can't volunteer anywhere. I'm sure there's quite a bunch of others I'm missing.