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I hail from that generation where recorded knowledge was almost exclusively embedded in book form. My book collection is the one material thing which I truly cherish. And I'm still of the opinion that I'd rather have my comically unsearchable and physically massive library, than all my books on a single device (formats, durablility) even though I increasingly read on, and am very comfortable with eReaders, screens and other non-traditional devices. But 'owning' knowledge? We can physically own books; I don't believe I've ever owned the knowledge in my extensive library. Only Lloyd Chambers can 'own' the knowledge in his books (and this is itself a moot point - see Rose's excellent book on the genesis of copyright, but I digress). If I were to read his book, some of his knowledge would be converted into 'mine own'. And yes, it would be nice to be able to refer to the ur-text (my memory is not what it used to be), but I would never claim that having permanent access to his book meant that I 'owned' the knowledge within it. To me, the value of knoweldge lies it its metabolism. How it interacts with, and is contextualised by my own pre-existing knowledge. (I do, of course, have friends who own many, many magnificent texts, on prominent display - naturally - in the vain hope that their contents will telemagically transfer themselves into their brains: good luck to them.) Perhaps the real value to me is how I might disseminate this metabolised product to others by word and by deed (eg. my own digital restoration projects - great article, thanks!). It's true that knowledge is becoming increasingly externalised, but fortunately, we can secret away whatever we want. It's called memory. I've never been charged a fee for remembering information, and until that happens, I'll put up with whatever business models sustain authors who publish stuff I want to read about. best, wmy NB. Most people who still read physical newpapers, 'lease' them (ie. throw away the physical product when they're done). If I subsequent want to reread an article, I'll pay to access that content again (as I do with my Lexis-Nexis account). Is that so different from controlling access in the way that Lloyd is attempting to do? FWIW I think 'leasing knowledge' is emotionally charged, it seems to me that we are talking about access control, as some other commenters have noted.
Toggle Commented Dec 16, 2010 on Leasing Knowledge at The Online Photographer
The Almereyda documentary is available here: and an early video piece, 'Stranded in Canton' can be seen here: NB. Both versions are licensed and legal.
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Posted Jan 25, 2010 at's blog
There is probably some proportion of a Leica's price that is subject to Veblen elasticity - remember the early rebadged Fuji P&Ss, which had a clearly measurable 'Leica premium' - it's just that the proportion is much lower that the almost 100% for high-end audio interconnects. But what your post has made me consider is the qualitative contrast between listening to recordings on high-end audio, which is a primarily passive experience, while a Leica is used as a tool to create. Perhaps it's this distinction, that the less you can do with an object (ie. simply own it) the more of its value can be susceptible to Veblen pricing. After all, Veblen didn't coin the phrase conspicuous creation On the other hand, writing about experience with high-end audio is a very creative activity. But that's another story.
Toggle Commented Jan 25, 2010 on Leica: Could Be Worse at The Online Photographer is now following The Typepad Team
Jan 25, 2010