11 December 2013

Link Sausage Platter With No Points

... or at least a variety of missed points. And I do not mean the mathematical/geometric construct "point" (at least not until the last item on the platter).

  • A commentator muses on the price of works of art and, I'm afraid, entirely misses the most-relevant point while hiding the one he's making. He starts off with some interesting observations about inexplicable inflation in auction prices, but then moves on to criticizing the particular taste in modern/contemporary art of those who are buying (without ever admitting that this is what he's doing). The missing word in the article is "refinement." The implicit contrast between the commentator's (purportedly) refined taste and that of the allegedly misguided buyers who don't share any "serious art" background with the commentator is perhaps the most obvious place it's missing. The commentator never asks whether this is a good thing, a bad thing, or even a relevant thing; he instead presumes that his own refined taste is the "correct" one, and that any divergence from it must therefore reflect poorly upon those who don't share his taste. At a further remove, one might question the refinement-of-taste process. Perhaps this is the commentator's smackdown of the nouveau riche who don't share his educational background, enabling a sense of superiority to go along with his resentment. (Not that I've never engaged in such a process!) If anything is refined, though, it's the process of middlecreatures — auction houses, gallery owners, art commentators — in extracting more and more of the money involved from the process while ensuring that none of it goes to the artists.
  • Speaking of extracting money, it's time for Forbes's annual ranking of "overpaid" film stars (which rather conveniently ignores just how little the "star" has to do with what's on screen, or where, or when — I'd like to see a similar "ranking" of executive producers!) and of the connected-at-least-by-calendar annual laments about how few films make profits (UK edition). The contrast with the preceding sausage is entirely intentional.
  • Then, in a bit of context that sheds rather uncomfortable light on the preceding two sausages, there's always Baltimore.
  • This is why I use Firefox and do not accept third-party cookies under most circumstances. It's also very, very old news.
  • Sunlight has two salutary effects: It disinfects (given enough time), and it sends cockroaches scurrying for cover (much more rapidly). Like these cockroaches, who persist — rather bringing this link sausage back around to the first one on the platter — in valuing everything about copyright, patent, trademark, and other "intellectual property" based solely upon what middlecreatures proclaim is its immediate financial return, without consulting the actual creators or actual end-users.

    In related news, the House of Reprehensibles has passed an anti-"patent troll" bill to restrict the activities of "non-practicing entities" — patent-portfolio-holders who have no intention of actually exploiting the patents themselves. <SARCASM> Nobody is talking about the analogous NPEs for copyrighted works, though... primarily because the closest analog to NPEs in copyright are publishers and film producers/"libraries" sitting on works they're refusing to make available. In other words, the ones with all the money. </SARCASM> None of which gets you away from math.