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David Lowery wrote an excellent piece on how Musicians get paid for their music titled, 'Meet The New Boss, Worst Than The Old Boss?', which I definitely encourage anyone to read.

The pursuit of any creative art gives it's own spiritual reward. Unfortunately, it doesn't give any financial reward.

In other words, we have a situation where we have a conflict between needs and tendencies: Creatives tend to drive themselves into positions where their needs are not met.

As Lowery points out, an average Musician doesn't really stand a good chance in today's world of draconian sales outlets and concentrated attention spheres. Unfortunately, the only good advice is not to rely on music for a good source of income.

Let's be clear though, we want a society where creatives can spend a maximum of their time on their craft. That's an ideal worth striving for, and it's not one that going to be achieved by activism.

Instead, it can only be fixed by a disruptive technological change. One way is to have direct person-to-person payments available to the masses, instead of them having to go through a middleman to buy music. That's just one way, and it's hard to achieve indeed.

But even once we achieve that, we need to solve the cultural challenge of having people believe that music is something worth paying for. Part of that is simple waiting for people to change their minds, but part of it is also in making the buying experience much more satisfying. Children of the 80s (and earlier) would reminiscent about the smell of their first vinyl album, and the times shared with friends browsing the catalog of record store in search of new jems.

How do we enable Creatives to satisfy their audience in new ways? How do we enable those efforts to be rewarded? Fundamentally speaking, the answer is to put control of the creation, distribution, and reward channels in the hands of the Creative. Practically speaking, we need better (more personal) computers.

Yet another reason I'm glad to be a Computer Scientist.


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