Jesse Kornbluth

As I listened to the speakers, I was reminded that digital media and drug-dealing are the only two businesses I can think of that describe customers as users. That fundamental disrespect carries over to products and services.

Esther Dyson nailed this: “One day marketers will realize people don’t use the Web only to buy things. It’s as if newspapers were talking about themselves as classifieds-only, without even mentioning news and other editorial content.”

(Barry) Diller’s best line was about the insularity of Hollywood: “a community that’s so inbred, it’s a wonder the children have any teeth.”

Bill McKibben and his 2007 book, Deep Economy. And when I returned home, I opened it and looked through my underlinings. Essentially, McKibben argues that endless growth is no longer possible. We can’t afford the energy costs. And if global warming isn’t arrested — well, by one estimate, climate change could kill 184 million people just in Africa this century. McKibben’s solution: localization. It makes life manageable. And more collegial — did you know that Michelangelo’s Rome had 55,000 people and Leonardo’s Florence just 40,000?

The bad news: Our economic system is based on a crude, outdated model: More = better. Blinded by the mantra of growth, our leaders will try to make that model last as long as possible — even if they destroy the planet in the process.

McKibben points out that we — that’s Americans — suck resources out of all proportion to other countries.

McMansions: Until 1970, Americans lived in houses about the size of today’s garages.

Food: 75% of the apples sold in New York come from the West Coast or overseas, even though New York produces ten times more apples than its residents consume.

Energy: Americans use twice as much as Europe.

McKibben’s argument gains force when he gets down to examples. His idea of name-dropping is charming: “When I was last in Bangladesh….” Other stops on his travels: Brazil, China, India. And in each place, he discovers some brilliant innovation that saves energy and boosts the quality of life. (But that doesn’t take America off the hook. If rich countries don’t change, he says, the poor ones won’t — they take their dreams from us.)

this is a dumbing down process that promulgates gluttonous consumption as “american culture” and inculcates a mindless dutifulness and reverence for the economic elite…also, a recent study indicated that the actual content of network news telecasts actually has gone from covering corporate goings on and corporate ..ahem..”bnevolence” towards america to 22% of the content of their broadcasts in the past few years, up form 7% less than a decade ago..there you have it- nearly 1/4 of national news is now nothing more than the corporate- owned networks paying homage to and detailing the well being of corporations!…hence- the initial and continuing corporate media endorsement of a war virtually free of reasoned and factual discussion and debate…

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