Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:21 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital" 
Author Message
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
Posts: 3118
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
Click here to read topic.


Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:09 pm
Profile WWW
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
Oh you old nostalgic fogey you.


Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:15 pm
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
Very insightful topic, me and my family have long held on to what most people would now call ancient techonologies, we still don't have cable and we still have a VCR, albiet one that plays both DVD's and VHS tapes. We don't have a fancy flatscreen HDTV, and i'm glad for all that, cause there's something comforting about it, don't know how to explain it in words exactly.


Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:20 pm
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
Encore! Encore! :D


Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:49 pm
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
This is interesting, because the other day I found out my 10 year old nephew was getting a cell phone for his birthday, and I became nostalgic telling my nephew that when I was 10 no one had a cell phone. I do miss my childhood playing outside and building LEGO sets.

also there are already robotic lawn mowers that follow an invisible fence, but I find mowing the lawn to be strangely relaxing.


Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:19 pm
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
While I do agree to most of James' thoughts, there's one point I got to comment about:

Records (and record players) are coming back! At least some independent labels start to recognise the demand for "grabable" covers and "full size" artwork. The in-between medium CD will keep loosing ground to both digital downloads (for easy handling) and good old-fashioned records (as collectors items). These new generation of records are mostly top value products: extra heavy / colored vinyl, fold-out covers, 2 disc sets, free CD included... and they usually sell for about the same price as a limited edition CD.


Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:46 pm
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
Quote:
Those who grew up in the analog era can relate to the concept of an antenna rotor. For the clueless, that's a device with a motor attached to a rooftop antenna that allows the operator to rotate the antenna so it points in different directions, permitting improved reception of close signals and creating the potential of seeing snowy signals from distant markets ("distant" meaning about 100 miles away). As a child in the New York suburbs, if the atmosphere was right, I could pull in stations from Philadelphia (in particular Channels 17 and 29), as well as a couple from Boston.


Antenna rotor? More channels? You had it lucky. I live in a third world country, so until 1991 I had a grand total of 1 tv station. And when the Muslimeen launched their coup d'├ętat in '90 they also took over the only tv station technically leaving me with zero channels. Those sons of bitches made me miss my Friday night MacGyver.


Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:20 am
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
I have a quite different position on piracy and it's not worth arguing about in detail here. Let me play devil's advocate:

"Punish those who violate copyrights not for simple personal enjoyment but for profit. Change the laws to decriminalize downloading for individual use while strengthening penalties for those who pirate for profit. Recognize reality. The genie is out of the bottle - it's not going back in."

Many of these arguments could be applied to child pornography on the internet: the genie is out of the bottle, recognize
reality, the laws on the books stem from the pre-internet age, most consumers aren't into it for personal profit, etc. So,
do you support de-criminalizing internet access to child pornography as long as it is for "personal use" and not for profit?
From a technical point of view, the issues are essentially identical.

Aahhh, you might say, but child pornography is per se illegal. Well, so is copyright violation. What is legal depends on laws
and laws can be changed---that's what you are advocating. Aahh, you might say, but child pornography is intrinsically bad from a moral standpoint whereas film and music (most of it, at least) is not. There are, however, people (like myself) who
believe that copyright violation is intrinsically morally wrong. I might be in the minority, I don't know, but that is a moot
point since you probably wouldn't accept a majority ruling concerning child pornography if it goes against your belief that
it is intrinsically wrong (which is what I am assuming).

What's the difference?

No musician is forced to sign a contract with a record company. If these folks feel that it is better to give their music
away, more power to them, but then they shouldn't sign with a record company which, directly or indirectly, is opposed to
this. Ditto for the cinema.

Many people justify illegal downloading by saying that the artists just get a small percentage, that the pricing model
is wrong etc etc. But by that argument, I could justify shoplifting. The argument that nothing substantial is taken away
is wrong since even if not all downloads represent lost sales, some of them do. (If someone in public discourse states
that all illegal downloads are lost sales, that's wrong, but it doesn't automatically make the view that all illegal downloads
are OK right.)

I recently experienced the following: in a forum dedicated to a musician (who is not rich and has (had to) work(ed) at
other jobs to pay the rent), people started exchanging a new album illegally. The musician herself was a lurker on the
forum and pointed out that she gets some money for each legal sale and politely asked the people to stop. The response
was mostly along the lines of "we'll continue since she obviously doesn't know what is good for her and has been
brainwashed by the big labels".

"More freedom" isn't always the best direction, or the one which society will take. 40 years ago, we had John Wayne
doing commercials for the tobacco industry, with films from the Soviet Union being shown and statements like "in some
countries, the government decides what is good for you". Nowadays, smoking is illegal in public in most countries where
this was not the case a few years ago. There has been a paradigm shift.

A similar paradigm shift might take place with respect to illegal downloading. People might realize that much of society,
especially culture, depends on intellectual property rights being respected and take corresponding steps. France's new
law and court rulings in the U.S. imposing fines which make people take notice might be the start. The success of
various "pirate parties" in countries without a one-party or two-party system might backfire, since Joe Public will realise
what buffoons most of these people are.


Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:16 pm
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
Posts: 3118
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
5wivesofbergman wrote:
I might be in the minority, I don't know, but that is a moot point since you probably wouldn't accept a majority ruling concerning child pornography if it goes against your belief that
it is intrinsically wrong (which is what I am assuming).

What's the difference?


I think you make some interesting points in your post - too bad you had to start it off with such an outrageous analogy.

But, to answer your question, the difference is the nature of the content. I'm not going to go into more specifics because I don't want this response area to turn into a discussion of child pornography. Let's stay on topic.


Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:58 am
Profile WWW
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
James Berardinelli wrote:
I think you make some interesting points in your post - too bad you had to start it off with such an outrageous analogy.

But, to answer your question, the difference is the nature of the content. I'm not going to go into more specifics because I don't want this response area to turn into a discussion of child pornography. Let's stay on topic.


I agree we should stay on topic. The problem is, had I not made such an outrageous analogy (of course, I am not
comparing the CONTENT in the two cases, but I think that is clear), most people would accuse me of being a fifth column
for the big studios/record labels.

Yes, the content is different, but that is essentially a MORAL distinction. However, it is also a moral decision to respect
copyright. My point is that one can't argue in the latter case that laws are antiquated, the internet and digitalization
have changed things etc then not accept those arguments in the first case. If one argues that morality trumps technology
in the first case, then one must allow this argument to be valid in the second case as well.

Part of the problem is strawman arguments. The "conservatives" sometimes claim that each illegal download is
a lost sale. We all know that's not true. However, that wrong strawman argument doesn't negate ALL of the
conservative arguments. Similarly, the "liberals" sometimes claim that illegal downloads have, at the end of the day,
actually helped artists. While that might be true in some cases, it is not true in all of them. Whether or not
it is true, and that is my main point, the solution can't be that everyone respect only those laws he personally agrees
with. (The whole point of laws is that not everyone agrees with them---were that the case, they wouldn't be necessary).

The necessity of the outrageous analogy is that it forces people to think through their arguments. If they REALLY believe
that technical advances should change the laws, then this argument has to hold everywhere. On the other hand,
if they can say "not in this case for moral reasons", then they at least have to respect the moral reasons of the other
side in all cases (whether or not they agree with them).

There is a similar argument with regard to software. There are those who champion free software and those who
champion the more conventional model. However, many of the free software advocates have put their money where
there mouth is and develop their own software, which they give away. (I still don't think it's right that they demand
that ALL software must be free, but at least they write their own stuff rather than relying on stealing stuff from other
people.) I would like to see more artists who champion free downloads to similarly put their money where their mouth
is. I would at least take them seriously, even if I don't agree on details. I can't take seriously someone who says that
illegal downloads are OK against the express wishes of the artist concerned. (To return to an outrageous analogy,
that's like the rapist saying "I know better than you do what you really want".)


Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:05 am
Gaffer

Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:54 pm
Posts: 7
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
Although I would choose today's technology over the past, as a forty-five year-old I have fond memories of getting the weekly TV guide and seeing which old movies were appearing that week and trying to stay up if it was a late night showing of an old Universal monster movie on channel 17, of getting the fall preview TV Guide and seeing what syndicated network shows were going to be airing as reruns five nights in the early evening (yay, Three's Company at 7, Happy Days at 7:30!) , and on my birthday buying those silent 200 foot 8 millimeter edited versions of old movies from the local discount department store (Two Guys in my case). Now of course you can get pretty much any tv show as a dvd set, and people buy movies on dvd on impulse in the checkout line for under $20. The annual airing of THE WIZARD OF OZ is also a great memory.


Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:03 pm
Profile
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
I would agree that menial tasks such as mowing the lawn are now some of the best relaxation time I get in my hectic life. Ironically, that relaxation is enhanced by having my Ipod loaded with my music collection, legally downloaded or ripped from CD, of course.


Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:25 pm
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
Quote:
The necessity of the outrageous analogy is that it forces people to think through their arguments.


Actually, no. It forces people to disregard your opinion as invalid regardless of the merits of your argument.


Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:28 pm
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
"No computers, no DVDs, no video games, no cell phones, no iPODs, no on-line. I'm not going to argue the untenable position that the world would be better without those things, because only an idiot would deny they have (on balance) improved the quality of life. But something has been lost, as well."

Suppose I'll play Devil's Idiot. How have the i-pod, cell phones, video games, and dvds improved the quality of life? It's easy to answer how the computer and internet have (though I'm not thoroughly convinced that the world is actually better with them than without them) but I would like someone to give me an argument for those other things. My idiot position: video games, i-pods, cell phones and DVDs have done more harm than good. How am I wrong?


Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:21 pm
Post Re: June 20, 2009: "Let's Get Digital"
wordlessdictionary wrote:
"No computers, no DVDs, no video games, no cell phones, no iPODs, no on-line. I'm not going to argue the untenable position that the world would be better without those things, because only an idiot would deny they have (on balance) improved the quality of life. But something has been lost, as well."

Suppose I'll play Devil's Idiot. How have the i-pod, cell phones, video games, and dvds improved the quality of life? It's easy to answer how the computer and internet have (though I'm not thoroughly convinced that the world is actually better with them than without them) but I would like someone to give me an argument for those other things. My idiot position: video games, i-pods, cell phones and DVDs have done more harm than good. How am I wrong?
Well those things actually give you sometihng to look forward to.


Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:33 pm
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr