Pirate LogoThe Pirate's Dilemma


Archive for the ‘Real Talk’ Category

Internet Trends 2010

Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley’s presentation on current and future internet trends is a dense, thick glob of data. It’s hard to digest it all at once, but it’s an insightful, inspiring read and well worth spending some time with.

Agree with Meeker 100% about us entering the golden age of online advertising. Clients are coming to us at Syrup with ever more ambitious plans for online, and more and more digital is becoming the heart of a campaign.

Via BBH Labs.

Everything is OK

The Story of Mr. Splashy Pants

If, like me, you need Reddit every morning like you need caffeine, you already know this story. But it’s worth a watch anyway.

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian tells a great story and makes some good points about the internet. Not the first time these things have been said, but well put and expertly shoe-horned into four minutes.

via the one conference I haven’t spoken at yet but would really like to.

Dear Lily…

A creative response to Lily Allen’s somewhat misguided rant against filesharing. If you don’t know about this Mike Masnick’s posts on Techdirt are the place to start.

Lawrence Lessig on the possibility of “i-9/11″

Some chilling thoughts from Lessig on one way the copyright wars might end. Pirates, and to a greater extent, ad-hoc networks of all kinds, are a necessary part of the free market system – they (try to) keep governments and corporations honest. If something like Lessig describes ever happens, the idea of the pirate as freedom-fighter will be widely embraced. An i-9/11 would be devastating for the short term future of not just the internet, but liberty and democracy. On the other hand, this is the battlefield where citizens should want to have this fight, because this is the battlefield where we can win.

Going Dutch


Lebowski are publishing the book in Holland next month, and to promote sales of physical copies, they are giving away the electronic version. Great to be working with (yet another) publisher who didn’t just want to publish the book, but actually put the ideas from it into practice. You can get your copy of ‘PIRATERIJ’ here.

I’ll be in Amsterdam for the launch in the third week of August – do drop me a line if you’re in the neighborhood!

Obama on hip hop as a social force

When I wrote about hip hop as a global force for social change in Pirate’s, I knew many people, hip hop fans included, didn’t take that idea seriously, even though there are a lot of smart people writing about this constantly. Never in my wildest dreams did I think the next President would be saying similar things. Let’s hope something comes of this sentiment.

Some Place Like Home

Some Place Like Home

I just got a chance to see this powerful documentary on the changes taking place in Brooklyn. As a BK resident I’m deeply concerned about what is happening here, but this film is worth seeing even if you’re nowhere nearby, because the tragic suburbinisation of the American city is coming soon to a place near you.

The film outlines the way bad planning happens, and how quickly things can be turned around if people organize and apply a little pressure. Change is not the problem – great cities are always transient. Problems start when development takes place without any real participation from local people, without any consideration for the amenities people actually need or any regard for the culture and people crushed by poorly thought out redevelopment.

It’s no big surprise that this is happening, this is how most of the rest of the country is designed. The film reminded me of this great talk James Howard Kunsler gave at TED about how suburban sprawl happens:

As Kunstler puts it we should be designing inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about. I don’t want to see that happen to Brooklyn. The Some Place Like Home trailer is below, (if you want to know more, head over here, or visit Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn).

7 abundantly clear things about abundance

MY speech from Pop!Tech last week has just gone up. I talked about a few other things besides competing with pirates, including virtuous circles, a subject I’m getting really interested in. There were so many great speakers there – two others worth watching are Juan Enriquez’s “10 commandments” talk on the state of the economy, and Benjamin Zander, who was sort of talking about virtuous and vicious circles too, and was just incredible.

Roll up for ICA “Smackdown?!?”


I’m in London later this week, my publishers asked me to do an event Thursday night at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. It was pitched to me as a Q&A with journalist Andrew Orlowski (pictured). I was surprised to see it pitched like this by The Register (where Orlowski is an editor):

Roll up for the freetard smackdown

Reader Offer Next Thursday, 9 October at 7pm, our very own Andrew Orlowski will be tackling the perennial issue of digital piracy – live and dangerous at the highbrow Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London.

He’ll be taking on New Media consultant Matt Mason, author of The Pirate’s Dilemma (How Youth Culture Reinvented Capitalism), which suggests burgeoning freetardism has transformed “underground scenes into burgeoning global industries and movements, ultimately changing life as we know it, unraveling some of our most basic assumptions about business, society and our collective future”.

Should be interesting.

To celebrate we’re offering Reg the chance to witness this cultural car crash first hand, for the low, low price of £6. The ICA’s usual price is £10, £9 concessions and £8 for members, so we can’t say fairer than that really, even if you are a die-hard freetard*

Cultural car crash? Maybe you get paid extra at The Register for alliteration. I’m not sure whoever wrote this really understands the term ‘freetard,’ and if they do it’s pretty safe to say they haven’t actually read my book. A ‘freetard’ is someone who thinks everything should be free, the content industries should all be burnt at the stake and anarchy should rule the world. The book doesn’t make that case, and the hack that put together this post should know better.

Anyone who is expecting this event to be some kind of Fox News style shouting match is probably going to be disappointed, because as far as I can tell Andrew and I are pretty much in agreement on how piracy pushes industries to innovate. He says in the comments on this post:

“Remember that when a new media technology comes along, it’s often used to store/record/play media for which the license has not been granted. These licenses eventually get granted – when some way of monetizing the anarchy has been agreed.“

That sentence could of been a line straight from the book, so I’m not sure what we’ll be smacking each other down over. But fear not, we’ll find something interesting to talk about. To celebrate, I’m offering readers of thepiratesdilemma.com an even better offer than The Register’s. Meet me by the fire exit at the ICA at 6.55pm, and I’ll sneak you in for free.

Update: As predicted, this wasn’t any kind of smack down at all. Andrew and I seemed to agree on almost everything (except for the things he didn’t want to bring up – see Andrew’s take on it here) and there wasn’t a freetard in sight.

E-mail It