People will come, Ray [Quote]

“This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.” Gets me every time. Oh…

“This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”

Gets me every time. Oh how I do love this game.

Newspapers’ odd infatuation with unnecessary explanation [Quote]

The software industry has a concept known as “legacy code,” meaning old stuff that is left in software programs, even after they are revised and updated, so that they will still work with older operating systems. The equivalent exists in…

The software industry has a concept known as “legacy code,” meaning old stuff that is left in software programs, even after they are revised and updated, so that they will still work with older operating systems. The equivalent exists in newspaper stories, which are written to accommodate readers who have just emerged from a coma or a coal mine. — Michael Kinsley, “ Cut This Story!

The psychology of paywalls [Quote]

“Paywalls are psychological as much as navigational, and it’s a lot easier to put them up than to take them down. Once web users get it in their head that your site is “closed” to them, if you ever change…

“Paywalls are psychological as much as navigational, and it’s a lot easier to put them up than to take them down. Once web users get it in their head that your site is “closed” to them, if you ever change your mind and want them to come back, it’s extremely difficult to get that word out.”Scott Rosenberg, former managing editor of Salon.com

Content isn’t going away, so calm down [Quote]

Testify, Mike: Eventually, as these new business models and new institutions work themselves out, it’ll suddenly seem “obvious” what the right answers were, and people will forget the hundreds if not thousands of different experiments — both good and bad…

Testify, Mike:

Eventually, as these new business models and new institutions work themselves out, it’ll suddenly seem “obvious” what the right answers were, and people will forget the hundreds if not thousands of different experiments — both good and bad — that went into developing the new model. It’s a time of upheaval, for sure, but there’s no indication that there’s any real risk to the production of content. Just a few businesses that got big and don’t want to change with the times.Mike Masnick, TechDirt

Here’s why digital is always better [Quote]

“Consumers are no longer tethered to a network program schedule, a wire, a single screen or device — a TV set, a game console, a physical newspaper, magazine, or book — for their information or pleasure. With choices, consumers feel…

“Consumers are no longer tethered to a network program schedule, a wire, a single screen or device — a TV set, a game console, a physical newspaper, magazine, or book — for their information or pleasure. With choices, consumers feel in control, putting an end to the old argument over which is king, content or distribution or technology. It’s the consumer.”Ken Auletta, Media Maxims

Twitter’s most impressive attribute, explained in 115 characters [Quote]

“Essentially, Twitter left a ball and a stick in a field and lurked on the sidelines as its users invented baseball.” — Steven Levy in an excellent Wired piece….

“Essentially, Twitter left a ball and a stick in a field and lurked on the sidelines as its users invented baseball.” — Steven Levy in an excellent Wired piece.

Fear = Epic Fail

The disruption sweeping across the content industries tends to whip the fear up in media folks. Newspapers are dead! Newfangled gadgets are killing predecessors! Free is locked in bloody conflict with pay! “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…

The Science of Fear, by Daniel Gardner The disruption sweeping across the content industries tends to whip the fear up in media folks. Newspapers are dead! Newfangled gadgets are killing predecessors! Free is locked in bloody conflict with pay! “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together … mass hysteria!

It’s all a bit much.

That’s why I find the reasoned perspective in Daniel Gardner’s excellent book “The Science of Fear” so refreshing. For example, the following excerpt objectively traces the genesis of fear in just a few dead-simple sentences. Entire fields of rigorous academic inquiry have failed to define fear’s pathways so aptly:

But how do people choose which risks to worry about and which to ignore? Our friends, neighbors, and coworkers constantly supply us with judgments that are a major influence. The media provide us with the examples — or not — that Gut feeds into the Example Rule to estimate the likelihood of a bad thing happening. Experience and culture color hazards with emotions that Gut runs through the Good-Bad Rule. The mechanism known as habituation causes us to play down the risks of familiar things and play up the novel and unknown. If we connect with others who share our views about risks, group polarization can be expected — causing our views to become more entrenched and extreme.

Seems easy, doesn’t it? If we acknowledge bias and our own reactionary triggers, we can elevate analysis above the muck of fear. No more killing gadgets or dying industries. With a little reflection, we can view the issues at play within the context of what’s actually happening.