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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

You won’t find better proof that television is a captive marketplace. You can only watch it in ways The Industry allows, and on devices it provides or approves.

Doc Searls

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Michael Jennings (London)

    What is television?

  • I swapped my ‘television’ for a 42 inch 1080p monitor years ago.

    It is powered by a HDMI enabled laptop computer and has a 3TB external hard drive attached which contains years of TV series and movies.

    This ‘industry’ as you call it sounds more like the Soviet Union of the Gorbachev era, completely oblivious to its own rapidly approaching irrelevance.

    I watch what I want, when I want, without advertisement or interruption. If I want a cup of tea, I press pause.

    TV is a dinosaur, the fatal wounds have been delivered, but its nervous system is too slow to tell it that it is already dead.

    The only question is will it outlive the printed newspaper (“Yesterdays News! Tomorrow!”).

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    I don’t know about the future of TV stations, but I do think that newspapers have a future- I love to read the paper on the train into work, and to cut out the best bits (i.e. the comics)and to share these around.

  • Laird

    I haven’t yet reached John Galt’s exalted plane of existence, but I do Tivo almost everything (except sports) and fast forward through commercals and other interruptions. I can even pause it (live broadcasts, too) if I want tea. But it all comes from the cable feed, for which I pay a subscription fee.

    And that’s why cable TV (and, for that matter, satellite TV) exists: to attract customers who will pay for the content they offer. Most producers of that content also do so for the financial reward, which generally increases with broader viewership, but even if Al Jazeera’s goals are not primarily financial it still wants to reach as many viewers as possible. To complain that any content provider, even Al Jazeera, should choose to market its product in a way that results in more people seeing it stikes me as rather bizarre. If giving up its internet channel is the cost of broader access to the American market, that seems to be a perfectly rational business decision. Especially if Al Jazeera is at least partially interested in revenues. Swap more paying customers for fewer (even if loyal) freeloaders? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

  • veryretired

    The driving principle of the computer/information culture is make it smaller, more powerful, and with more apps to allow individuals ever more versatility and access.

    This focus directly contradicts the centralizing trends in modern culture, and is undermining many of the centralizers fundamental institutions, esp media and education. Soon banking, advertising, many kinds of shopping, and even manufacturing itself will be decentralised and flattened.

    That is one of the main reasons the ruling class is so desperate to get controls over the inter-net and major computer uses, that and money.

    The ability to enjoy increased options and multiple choices for basic things all the way to major elements is infectious and, in the final analysis, irresistible.

    The genie is out, and no one, not the chinese or islamists or any of the various collectivist cadres in Europe or the US can stuff it back in the bottle.

  • Regional

    Television is just poor acting portraying cliched characters in predictable story lines to push an agenda while the elite is a closed shop to outsiders maintaining their control of the Meeja to keep the plebs misinformed but the Internet is overcoming this by high lighting the deceit to push an agenda to keep them in power, us plebs will just ignore them, try it you’ll sleep a lot better and not worry about trivial things. In fact, most dramas should be cut to ‘arrest the Tory’

  • Eric

    I don’t know about the future of TV stations, but I do think that newspapers have a future- I love to read the paper on the train into work, and to cut out the best bits (i.e. the comics)and to share these around.

    The problem is you don’t pay enough to produce the paper. What you pay at the newsstand just about covers the cost of printing and distribution, but the rest has to come from advertising, and the internet has gutted advertising revenue. Less advertising money means fewer reporters and editors, which in turn affects the quality of the product, which in turn lowers circulation numbers, which means less advertising money…

    The publishers are banking on digital revenue to make ends meet. They may not be able to accomplish that feat, but even if they do the question will be “why should we maintain a money-losing printed product if our profit is coming from the online property?”

  • Runcie Balspune

    I love to read the paper on the train into work, and to cut out the best bits (i.e. the comics)and to share these around.

    You can read the online news on a tablet on the train into work, and cut and paste the best bits and to share them on social media and email – on second thoughts, please don’t.

    The death is of broadcasting, the old media controlled the medium of distribution, the internet has changed that, just as with the decline of vinyl and compact discs, the “media industry” was really just a toll scheme, the distribution of content is now no more important than the distribution of electricity.

    In the new era, artists and programme makers will connect directly to their customers.

  • lucklucky

    I don’t have one either.