Friday, July 17, 2009

Quote of the Week

"[Chris] Anderson's reference to people who 'prefer to buy their music online' carries the faint suggestion that refraining from theft should be considered a mere preference. And then there is his insistence that the relentless downward pressure on prices represents an iron law of the digital economy. Why is it a law? Free is just another price, and prices are set by individual actors, in accordance with the aggregated particulars of marketplace power. 'Information wants to be free,' Anderson tells us, 'in the same way that life wants to spread and water wants to run downhill.' But information can't actually want anything, can it? Amazon wants the information in the Dallas paper to be free, because that way Amazon makes more money. Why are the self-interested motives of powerful companies being elevated to a philosophical principle?"
- Malcolm Gladwell, "Priced to Sell," on p.80 of the July 6 & 13, 2009 New Yorker, being a thorough takedown of Anderson's nobody-but-me-gets-paid manifesto Free: The Future of a Radical Price

Listening to: State Shirt - Conway Station Road
via FoxyTunes

1 comment:

Chris Roberson said...

Thanks for the link, which is welcome food for thought. I was reminded of this post from last week, which touched on a lot of the same issues.

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