There is a mistaken notion that technology is amoral, it’s just data and it’s neither good nor bad. It’s a form of reality.
It continues to amaze me that people go into the giant fishbowl that is Facebook and allow them to collect their data, slice it up and sell it — I guess it’s a question of visibility. If you don’t see it then you won’t think about it.
To switch gears I was talking with a friend who loves to go on Youtube and listen to all manner of shit that’s up there. He said he spent an afternoon listening to 20 versions of Bob Dylan’s ‘Boots of Spanish Leather’. And he said that it would be great if Google/Pimptube came up with a better interface and algorithms that would help people delve deeper into music and that this could really help out.
First off, no technology is going to make people curious. That’s what education is for and it’s not doing a very good job at it. Most people eat what they’re fed by our corrupt tastemakers — whether that be electronic goods, movies, books, music, it’s really the most funded culture that is being consumed by the largest group of people.
Second, there’s an assumption that Google really gives a flying fuck about music and musicians. Musicians definitely not. They may care about that Korean fucker who did that ridiculous pony dance, but a musician who makes music that isn’t the sonic equivalent of baby food? Well, that’s a different story.
And let’s just stop for a second and recognize the incredible shallowness of a culture that makes a Korean guy riding/humping a pony a massive musical hit. It’s really quite mindblowing.
Not only is technological purity/amorality a load of crap, the idea that technology will save us, the music business or anything else is a megaload of crap. I think folks are hoping that there will be some sort of technological breakthrough vis a vis global warming and nobody is really going to have to change their diet or the driving habits or their car.
And I think the geeks want to present themselves as the solution to the corrupt music business, but I see no evidence that their technology is only going to pay the creators of the most shallow/sexualized content and anybody who does anything that doesn’t involve showing a lot of skin is going to be on a steady diet of fractional cents.
There is no drive to deepen our culture, technology is only as good as the folks who are deploying it and I’m starting to see very little between the assholes at Facebook/Google and the folks running the major labels.