“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross”. So wrote (theoretically) Sinclair Lewis. It would seem he was wrong. When fascism came to America, it came wrapped in a Reality TV show.
The US is undergoing a massive economic dislocation driven by technology. The Digital Revolution is going to be as massive a disruptive force as the Industrial Revolution was in the 19th Century. We are just now beginning to feel only the very leading edge of it.
Places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and indeed much of the nation are deeply hurt by this. People are angry and confused and understandably so. An old and once seemingly very safe way of life has been torn out from under them. This is not Germany in 1929, but it is as close as Americans can get. … Read More »
Fake news is a problem.
Everyone thinks so, even President Obama who decried it in Berlin yesterday (that is, if TVNewser is to be believed. Who knows?)
To my mind, Fake News is not really a problem. It is rather a function of a free press – a newly freed press, and that is no bad thing.
In 1961, AJ Liebling famously said “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one”. And he was right. In 1961, owning a press was a very expensive business, whether it was a TV broacast network or a newsaper. You needed to spend millions, if not hundreds of millions for all the gear necessary to get ‘your news’ into the homes of milions of people. Whether that money was spent on presses, paper, ink and trucks (not to mention reporters) or studios, cameras, … Read More »
I don’t have to recite the litany of his flaws and failings and sheer ignorance. That has all been well documented over the past year or two. And yet, it would seem, a majority or at least close to a majority (we will all find out Tuesday) of Americans seem ready to go over the precipice, knowing full well what they are doing.
Yesterday, the British High Court ruled that only the Parliament could decide on whether the country would leave the EU or not, effectively removing, at least for the moment, the pistol from Britain’s head. Disaster has been averted, at least temporarily.
In America, there is no High Court to save us from President Trump.
In Britain, Brexit was voted upon by a very slim majority of the British population: 52% to 48%. A majority of those voting for Brexit were … Read More »
In a recent article in WITNESS , professional photographer Adrian Hadland discusses the state of the professional photography business.
It is a profession under enormous pressure. The advent of digital photography, and smart phone cameras in particular have made ‘everyone’ a photographer – if not a professioal.
For those who made their living, or who continue to make their living with a still camera, times are difficult, and not likely to get better.
You may (and should) read the entire article at the link above, but the most interesting pargraph, from my perspective, was this one:
With billions of camera-equipped smartphones in circulation around the world, some participants bemoaned what has been called the “massification” of image creation. “Everyone is a photographer nowadays,” said one plaintive contributor.
To survive and thrive in the digital era, photographers were diversifying … Read More »
If the 2016 election seems to be more like a reality TV show than an election, it is for a simple reason: it is. I should know. I spent years producing reality TV, and this one is a ratings winner, even if it is a disaster for the nation.
How did we get here?
It started with a simple yet compelling plot line: the story of how Donald Trump, a complete political unknown, came within one step of the presidency — and maybe even gets to be the president. We’ll have to wait for the end-of-season episode where you, the audience, get to vote!!!
Nate Silver, Editor in Chief of FiveThirtyEight recently reinforced this ‘politics as entertainment’ idea when he tweeted:
Some people (and some very good friends of mine) claim that the political parties don’t mean a thing, and that events are being … Read More »
The possible (US Govt. Approval Pending) acqusition of Time’/Warner by ATT is indicative of what I would call the Third Generation of Television – the first being broadcast and the second cable.
The Third Generation is going to be online linear and digital.
This has a lot of ramifications, but perhaps the most intersting is in terms of revenue. Without refvenue there is no content, there is no programming and there is no network.
I was particularly taken by an almost throw-away line in the third paragraph of a story about the merger in today’s NY Times.
“Viewers, with new subscription options, could enjoy fewer interruptions and see ads for “the products you’re interested in, not the ones you don’t need to see,” Mr. Bewkes said. National advertisers would presumably pay more to reach them and have an alternative to spending on Google and … Read More »
Not so long ago, and for that matter, for most of human history, we believed that we were alone. Alone in the universe, such as it was.
Until Copernicus in 1519 put the sun at the center of the solar system, we were all pretty much convinced that the earth was the center of everything. Even after Copernicus, it would take a few hundred years for the whole idea of helio-centric to take hold.
It was not until 1920 that scientists even accepted the idea that there might be other galaxies besides our own. Until than, the diffuse cloud patches in the sky were thought to be just that.
Today, thanks to Hubble (see image above), there are about 10,000 galaxies, at least that we know of, and each galaxy contains, apparently, between 100-300 billion stars. That takes us a very long distance … Read More »
Now it all makes sense.
Now we can see what this whole two-year election process was all about.
It was never about the Presidency or the White House.
It was about TrumpTV.
CNBC reported today that Trump son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been meeting with Aryeh Bourkoff, founder of Lion Tree, a boutique investment house. Mr. Bourkoff’s specialty: media deals. Mr. Bourkoff’s resume includes (and this comes right from the CNBC article: “transactions worth more than $300bn, including Liberty Global’s $23.3bn acquisition of Virgin Media and Verizon’s $4.4bn takeover of AOL. He is also John Malone’s favoured advisers and helped the so-called “Cable Cowboy” consolidate the US pay-TV industry — in deals that culminated in Charter Communications’ $78bn takeover of Time Warner Cable this year.”
The meetings have been going on for the past few months. This is no last minute, ‘what are we going to … Read More »
We are living in a period of masive change.
I am reading AGE OF DISCOVERY by Ian Goldin and Chris Kutarna. The sub-title of the book is “Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance”. And risks and rewards there are.
The essence of the book is that we are currently undergoing the fastest cultural change since the European Renaissance, driven by new technologies which are completely re-arranging society.
This has an impact on how we work, how we live, (how long we live), what we read and see and even what we think. In short, the whole world is getting turned upside down.
In the Renaissance, this was also driven by new technologies – the printing press, most notably, which allowed for the instant and inexpensive publication of massive amounts of information for the first time – and the sharing of that … Read More »
Yesterday’s CNN poll had Donald Trump in the number one spot at 22%, and Dr. Ben Carson second at 11%. After that, the numbers pretty much drop off to next to nothing. The only interesting addition is Carly Fiorina’s rapid climb in the polls to the #5 slot. It’s a fascinating thing to watch – the accession of people with no political experience whatsoever, over those with a lifetime of experience in politics.
What is causing this?
You can read lots of opinions on why this is happening, but let me suggest something else.
In 1346, King Edward III of England was pissed off.
He was pissed off because Philip VI, King of France, was sitting on his territory. The fact that the territory was in France was of little concern to Edward, who was determined to get it back.
Edward put together an army … Read More »