You Don’t Need All The Money…

…and sometimes the quest for it can fuck you up spectacularly.

I’ve been a sometime fan of the recently-released Anthem. It’s a fun game, but it’s not finished; it lacks a bunch of things that would make it AAA, and the developer’s gone radio silent after their mad cash grab / lurch for market share. This morning, while catching up on my PC PowerPlay, I saw this great opinion piece I’ll just leave here for you:

The thing I like most about this is the calling out of the reprehensible tactics of people who already have all the money, trying to get more of the money, by exploiting people. It’s really not okay, but it’s evident everywhere – even in book marketing, where the biggest indie names are doing a kind of mad land grab (that’s a story for another time). The kind of interesting thing (to me, at least) is many of these people don’t see anything wrong with what they’re doing. It’s just American capitalism, doing what it’s supposed to, and that’s fine – right?

Right??

A possibly-suicidal friend sent this to me yesterday. He’s got, uh, I think eight book series, all of good to excellent quality. He can’t find an audience, or compete with the big name’s advertising land grab. His income for a year’s work is pretty depressing:

A friend said to me the singular problem with Silicon Valley land grabs is we have this amazing tech, but haven’t grown wisdom at the same rate. The tech’s used to twist the landscape, without answering more fundamental questions like, “Is this a good idea? What does this do to us as people? Is it okay that the human race suffers so long as I drive a Maserati?”

There’s hope, though. Journalists (ref: article above) are calling this out with increasing frequency. Consumers are growing aware, excepting (for some weird reason) the masses stuck into Facebook as their single source of the truth. There are ethical companies putting the soul in console, and that’s a thing we want more of:

The company (Panic) turned down what we can only imagine to be several Maseratis worth of capital, telling the Zuck they weren’t interested in being subsumed into the Borg. The problem with this is they’re not getting rich doing this, and since Facebook and friends control the message (note above comment about people using them as single source of truth), things look grim for independent, original voices in our world.

What can you do about this? My favourite is to exercise some individualism and buy a song, movie, or book from someone you like:

And FFS, pay the artist – streaming a song on Spotify or reading on KU gives pennies on the dollar. Unpopular opinion, but you’re not supporting anyone with those services except the subscription providers (Spotify, or Amazon, or…).

We’ve got a choice here, people. We can reward unique, wonderful voices, or we can take the race-to-the-bottom, lowest-denominator trip to hell. You can’t sit by waiting for Schreier to blow the whistle yet again. We’ve got the data. We know what’s going on. Let’s act like it, hey?


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