06 July 2011

Lumpy Link Sausage Platter

  • I'm simultaneously cringing and giving one of my famous gleeful about-to-eat-a-helpless-swimmer toothy smiles at the NotW wiretapping scandal in England — and its implications for doctrinaire libertarianism. I'm cringing because nobody deserves the kind of treatment that Rupert Murdoch's Sauron's pet and protege at least tolerated, and more probably encouraged — and, at minimum, was responsible for (like any senior leader) — that was given to potential "news items." The glee comes because this sort of thing demonstrates that the "enemy" that libertarianism should be focusing on is unaccountable accretions of power of any kind, not just government — and yet the doctrinaire libertarian forces are being silent on Sauron's empire because it doesn't bear the label of "government," while simultaneously ignoring both reality and the problem of the "company town."
  • The Economist ponders the future of brick-and-mortar bookstores — oddly enough, without considering the economics of brick-and-mortar bookstores. Most people do not realize that, per square foot of retail space, new bookstores have more invested in inventory than any other retail sector except perhaps (and only perhaps) jewelry stores. In turn, that implies that a bookstore cannot rely upon commodity turnover as a long-term profit-making model; yet that is precisely what the "superstore" meme requires at its root. Whether Michael Dirda's (im)modest proposal regarding "bestseller lists" would have any effect is a question for another time.
  • If you really want to know why TV and film have gotten less adventurous of late, just consider what they're not paying the writers. Unfortunately, if one delves into the depths of the figures, writers of comedy-through-stupidity works like typical TV sitcoms, though, seem to be doing just fine...
  • When even Fortune expresses some disdain for monopsonists, however well hidden, perhaps there's hope. Naaah.
  • One of the felines at the IPKat seems somewhat surprised at the impact of territoriality on e-reading devices (and may I suggest a good, free proxy anonymizer as a workaround?). Those who've discussed this with me know that I've advocated for over a dozen years now that in the long run, it's in an author's best interest to license world rights in each language, rather than territory-by-territory rights in each language... so long as the publisher is also obligated to report, account for, and pay for all sales worldwide as if they're in the home territory. Mr Wilkof's experience demonstrates why (and, not incidentally, links back to the first sausage on this platter, although it might take a bit of thought to see why).