23
May 02

Where did the music go?

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 201 views

Where did the music go?: you’ll probably all have seen this Jaron Lanier essay, if you’ve been browsing the sidebar links here – it’s been talked about in Michaelangelo Matos’ and Nate Patrin’s blogs and probably several others. It’s mostly nonsense, and the reason it’s nonsense isn’t the aesthetics of the writer. It’s the same problem we saw in the Andy Gill article Alex linked to, in a more extreme form – a critic assuming that if there was anything interesting happening, well, they’d surely know about it. So for instance Lanier mourns the collapse of Napster and wonders if that was ‘our’ generation’s best missed chance to create a new pop economy – but Napster was the first and most prominent in a line of file-sharing applications, not a unique entity. If Lanier knows this, he doesn’t care because it spoils his doom-saying argument. This essay will be published in a book edited by DJ Spooky: oh dear.

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