Our academia is a feckless, mindless, slutty epiphenomenon of capitalism amok. Just as the Net was getting the traction to become a universal library, a few smart greedy guys saw their main chance. Created a business model that worked for them, primarily by creating an artificial scarcity that allowed academic publishers to remain mindlessly printing their journals instead of being challenged to find ways to become entirely present digitally, and accessible to all. Micropayments if necessary, but hardly necessary to pay 8 JSTOR execs over $250,000 a year to "execute" this extortion scheme. Feh.
Nothing marks the Times as old media so much as this foolishness. The only news here is how completely they fail to understand the economics of the time and place they are unhappily in.
I just want to note that folks who are being drained by Comcast or Verizon do not quite get why everyone (at least on the "content" side) keeps saying all that stuff out there is "free." It is not free, it is the stuff for which we use the pipes. We do not pay one charge for pipes that have nothing in them, and another, separate charge for the stuff in them distinct from the pipes. Yet this is the senseless model that currently holds sway. Only when the fees we pay are split - between pipes and content - in an equitable way will content providers get paid, and pipe providers will get the upside of the hand of justice. Right not, they sit back and collect, while content providers are doing the heavy lifting. This model is not viable, no matter how "real" it seems today.
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