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Re: <nettime> Google dubbed internet parasite by WSJ editor
Evan Buswell on Wed, 8 Apr 2009 05:40:14 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Google dubbed internet parasite by WSJ editor


Seems to me that all of this is operating on an economics already
outdated, not to speak of what it will be in years to come.  The
assumption is that what is valuable (in many senses of this word) is
the content.  But relate this to a blog I saw recently
(http://vonahn.blogspot.com/2009/02/academic-publications-20.html):
"Given the number of people working in computer science and the fact
that publishing papers is considered the goal of our work, there is an
insane number of papers written every year, the vast majority of which
contribute very little (or not at all) to our collective knowledge.
This is basically spam."

When we think about the amount of information we are inundated with
every day of our lives, the idea that what is obviously valuable is
the *creation* of information starts to look a little foolish.  What
is valuable is the spam filter, is picking through the crap.

Interestingly, the "left" (if that's really even the proper name for
this camp...) often sees the value of information in the same way as
the WSJ is doing here.  I'm thinking here of the analogy between the
development of copyright law and the enclosure of the commons, as
popularized by Eric S. Raymond et al.  The way this story sets up its
characters: The People have always been able to use information, other
than certain slight protections which were put on its use.  But the
Big Evil Corporations wanted to take away this preternatural
commonality of information in order to continually capitalize on it.
The People must get together and stop them.

That's perhaps too sarcastic of a formulation, as I have the utmost
respect for ESR, despite my disagreements.  Nevertheless, what happens
when Google is one of the Big Evil Corporations, yet benefits
economically from weakening copyright law?  The assumption on both
sides seems to be that the free flow of information on the internet is
undermining its inherent value.  But what if the causality is reversed
here?  What if information is increasingly seen as free because it is
so worthless, so overproduced?  (here intentionally conflating libre
and gratis).

...and just for fun:

> "Google encourages promiscuity -- and shamelessly so -- and therefore
> a significant proportion of their users don't necessarily associate
> that content with the creator.

This turn anyone else on? :-)

---Evan Buswell

On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 11:15 AM, Matteo Pasquinelli

<matteopasquinelli {AT} gmx.it> wrote:

> [ re-enter the parasite. /m ]
>
> "There is no doubt that certain websites are best described as
> parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the internet."
>
> Google dubbed internet parasite by WSJ editor
>
> http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,25293711-7582,00.html
>
> COMPANIES that aggregate mainstream media content without paying a fee
> are the "parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the
> internet" and will soon be challenged, Robert Thomson, the Australian-
> born editor of The Wall Street Journal has warned.
 <...>


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