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  1.  (3902.1)
    Had a fantastic discussion last night on property, both online and technology affecting scarcity in the physical realm. No audio this time, as in a stroke of genius engineering, no one had installed an outlet on our side of the coffee shop. However, I took extensive notes and would be happy to expound upon anything if it's not clear enough.

    In general we covered Getting Things for Doing Stuff, social good, idea sharing, issues of scarcity, and buying into an experience. Fascinating stuff.

    Next meeting will be on the 7th of November, location and topic to be announced within the week.

    Thanks for your time and attention as always.
    • CommentAuthorAnonymous.
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2008
    Great reading, I feel sort of miffed in places about the lack of expansion. Do you guys only chat in Seattle?
      CommentAuthorWillow Bl00
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2008 edited
    The group I run is in Seattle, but I fully encourage others to start groups in their own geographic locations.

    We've also started looking into options for others to join us, possibly with Skype. I'll let you all know if that pans out.

    Also, where do you want to know more? I likely remember the ideas even if I couldn't quite keep up in typing.
  2.  (3902.4)
    I would love to know what the full thoughts were as far as art and value as related to supply. Because of the shortness of the text, I can't tell what exactly that means. It seems almost as if you suggest the artistic value of a work is dependent upon its scarcity, but that doesn't make sense to be so I'm guessing you meant something else. Could you clarify?
    • CommentAuthorAnonymous.
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2008
    Personally, just more about the discussion on open-source science (I think science, at the moment, is very open-sourced. The books are available, there's no private guild for scientists - as far as I know - and as soon as a study is finished it's usually common practice to publish it. Patents regard property over the rights of manufacturing, not the knowledge itself. Knowledge is free in our society, for the most part) and that open-source ideal then clashing with the right to privacy, considering mods, or art, or anything along those lines. Well, maybe it's a discussion I'd like to have rather than one you can expound on.
      CommentAuthorWillow Bl00
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2008 edited

    Apologies for the wait.

    The idea on supply and demand with artistic endeavors was presented as such:
    The original piece of art is always quite valuable because there's only one of them. How valuable depends on how many people would like to own it. (take, for instance, if the original script pages and/or sketches for FreakAngels were/are hand-done)
    However, it is now possible to have endless replications in digital format of the original. (you and I and many others can view the FreakAngels comic without detracting from the original)
    So then the question was, how do we support artists who are giving away replications of their work for free, because with infinite supply there is no value placed on the infinite copies (basic economic theory of supply and demand). (The lovely people at Avatar, including Warren, deserve some compensation for giving us such awesome stuff, right? But we don't pay for the online webcomic)
    What we do is buy into the experience, or to show that we belong to the community. Even though we've read the entire thing online, a fair number of us go out and buy the trade paperback (if you haven't already I encourage you to) or a bag, or a t-shirt, or what have you. The infinite copies of the piece of art no longer hold monetary value, but the experience the art brings us does have value. Thus the comment on valuing soul a bit more.

    You can also relate it to free MP3s, CDs, and concerts; images, prints, and gallery shows/originals.

    Hope that covers it, please let me know if it doesn't.
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2008
    A couple of notes:

    The purpose of money over barter is the simple fact that I don't always have what you want when I want something you have. In Settlers of Catan that's okay, eventually someone will have what I'm after for the price of something I have. I real life, it's pretty tough to conduct your entire life these days without some sort of intermediary. Bartered trade will always be flawed in a varied marketplace.

    The role of being a creator in the digital age while being able to make money at the same time is something I've always struggled to comprehend. What it comes down to is finding a method of making money that doesn't compromise you while allowing your viewers an unobstructed view of your product. Most webcomics run advertising and merchandising. Musicians (at all levels of celebrity) give their music away for free and then try to make money off live shows and merchandising. The problem isn't necessarily that it's impossible, it's just that there isn't a rigid infrastructure yet. The old models of publishing, advertising, and distribution are being pushed out, but aren't being replaced by a steady, set model. For every successful musician that makes a living off of selling T-shirts, there are dozens that tried that and couldn't sell one. And book deals? How the hell do those happen, you know?

    I would have liked to had an audio of this one. Oh well.
  3.  (3902.8)

    Yeah, audio would have been way nice. I'm still hoping to find a venue that will suit all our needs, and am appalled that some of these places get away with so little in the way of community areas.

    Personally, I'm pretty excited about there not being a rigid infrastructure yet, because it means we get to create it. We are creating it. We're building our future, and that means a lot of hard work but also a lot of possibility.
  4.  (3902.9)
    Thanks for clarifying, Willow. I was misinterpreting it as less immaterial artistic value the more a piece is copied, which clearly doesn't make much sense.

    I do wonder, though, if keeping artists alive and well now requires a sort of reworking of society so that art is valued more. For instance, here in America fine artists sometimes have a hard time, simply because of how pragmatic people are. Additionally, I think there is far less art commissioned by the governments, religious institutions, and nobles like there was, say, during the Renaissance. So, if the supply is infinite, it seems like there might not be enough appreciation of the spirit of the art to keep artists going, unless they're fairly well established.

    I wonder if artists might need to return to some of the ideals of the Art Nouveau movement, where art is interwoven with every aspect of daily life, with objects individually designed rather than mass-produced.
  5.  (3902.10)
    Arts are usually the first thing to go because they're the least valued by a pragmatic system.

    I think this video from TED does a fantastic job of summing things up as far as what we value, and how wrong it is:
    Sir Ken Robinson

    It's not just the supporting of artists that we need to reexamine. We need to figure out how to support everyone. As someone at this meeting had pointed out, we have the technology to greatly alleviate most of the suffering going on in the world right now. Why don't we?