Warner Music: why do you fund this crap?

I just saw a very disturbing report on 60 Minutes (an important TV news show in USA) about the music business that pushes a “no snitching” campaign. It impugned Warner Music. That’s the company that Ethan Kaplan works for (as head of technology). Now, admittedly, he’s a geek there, not directly involved in choosing the music strategies of Warner, but let’s start there.

Ethan: why do you guys fund this kind of crap?

You talk about “blowhard hacks” at Gnomedex.

What you are doing and funding (and supporting through your technology) is FAR worse for the human race than any arguing we’re doing at Gnomedex.

What do you say about this Ethan?

How can you write hypocritical posts like this one about Gnomedex and go to work for the company you work for who are spreading the kind of vile described by 60 Minutes?

Comments

  1. Robert,
    I saw the 60 Minutes report. Rappers promoted by Time Warner promote a “no snitching” campaign that urges inner-city youth to refuse to cooperate in police investigations, even if it would save lives. Black community leaders are outraged, while Time Warner laughs all the way to the bank. The execs at TW have no shame. Despicable. I’m voting with my wallet.

  2. Robert,
    I saw the 60 Minutes report. Rappers promoted by Time Warner promote a “no snitching” campaign that urges inner-city youth to refuse to cooperate in police investigations, even if it would save lives. Black community leaders are outraged, while Time Warner laughs all the way to the bank. The execs at TW have no shame. Despicable. I’m voting with my wallet.

  3. Robert, do you think before typing?

    You confuse WMG with WBR
    You confuse passion with a job

    and you are imposing a news story that is so far outside of anything I do for a living upon something I feel so strongly about (music and technology) that I devote my entire life to it.

    I hope at some point Robert you are passionate about something to act and execute on it without the promise that other people are looking.

    This post is just sad and I do feel sorry for you, and pity you.

  4. Robert, do you think before typing?

    You confuse WMG with WBR
    You confuse passion with a job

    and you are imposing a news story that is so far outside of anything I do for a living upon something I feel so strongly about (music and technology) that I devote my entire life to it.

    I hope at some point Robert you are passionate about something to act and execute on it without the promise that other people are looking.

    This post is just sad and I do feel sorry for you, and pity you.

  5. Sorry, Robert, but I think you’re off the mark on this one. As you know, I’m a big fan of Gnomedex, but Ethan’s post was about far more than just Gnomedex, and I agree with much of what he says.

  6. No, they aren’t separate companies. Warner Music is the parent, Warner Records is a subsidiary.

    http://www.wmg.com/ is the home page and links to both.

    That’s like saying that while I worked at Microsoft I shouldn’t care what the parent company does and only should care about what my group does.

  7. Sorry, Robert, but I think you’re off the mark on this one. As you know, I’m a big fan of Gnomedex, but Ethan’s post was about far more than just Gnomedex, and I agree with much of what he says.

  8. No, they aren’t separate companies. Warner Music is the parent, Warner Records is a subsidiary.

    http://www.wmg.com/ is the home page and links to both.

    That’s like saying that while I worked at Microsoft I shouldn’t care what the parent company does and only should care about what my group does.

  9. Robert: I make technology that gets music to people. I can and will not make any claim to anything in 60 minutes. All I’m saying is that my LIFE is music and technology, its also my job.

    Like I said, its sad that for some reason you can’t and refuse to see this, and instead feel to just post something for the sake of posting.

    Does your worldview really not exist separate from what brings in your pay check?

    I LOVE my job. I love working with musicians, I love driving new technology and I love music in general. Passion is a virtue I think, and regardless of one 60 minutes story, what I said on my blog is just one persons opinion.

    I find it confusing what your motivation is? Is this really how you think social change is enacted?

  10. Robert: I make technology that gets music to people. I can and will not make any claim to anything in 60 minutes. All I’m saying is that my LIFE is music and technology, its also my job.

    Like I said, its sad that for some reason you can’t and refuse to see this, and instead feel to just post something for the sake of posting.

    Does your worldview really not exist separate from what brings in your pay check?

    I LOVE my job. I love working with musicians, I love driving new technology and I love music in general. Passion is a virtue I think, and regardless of one 60 minutes story, what I said on my blog is just one persons opinion.

    I find it confusing what your motivation is? Is this really how you think social change is enacted?

  11. And Robert, what my COMPANY does is not what I do.

    Let us sort the music from the sound, as a wise man once said.

    Or:

    “Live for today, I had to laugh not to cry”

  12. And Robert, what my COMPANY does is not what I do.

    Let us sort the music from the sound, as a wise man once said.

    Or:

    “Live for today, I had to laugh not to cry”

  13. Ethan: so what is your opinion on the CULTURAL impacts of the music that your company distributes?

    Ever see “Thank you for Smoking?”

    You sound like one of the guys in that movie.

  14. Ethan: so what is your opinion on the CULTURAL impacts of the music that your company distributes?

    Ever see “Thank you for Smoking?”

    You sound like one of the guys in that movie.

  15. From this distance, the Winer/Calacanis thing was pretty poor stuff. Whatever the problems, these guys are seen as influential in a very broad sense. So when people turn to me and throw that kind of stuff in my face, it’s hard not to agree that it is poor.

    Can that be usefully compared with TW and its promotion of this kind of ‘stuff?’ I’ve not had the benefit of seeing the entire 60 minutes piece so I have to trust your judgment (though I’ve seen plenty of 60 mins to know they try hard to do honest journalism. Don’t worry – it’s bookmarked for viewing.)

    I also take on board what others are saying and what I’ve seen in the music scene over the years. Bob Dylan anyone? Tupaq?

    But as Andrew Field says, media execs (along with others) don’t care as long as it sells. There is a long history of this kind of thing across a broad swathe of industries in all parts of the world and it is part of a much bigger debate.

    So even though I can understand your outrage at Ethan’s post, it’s worth picking up on the positive points he DID make about other people’s presentations and the later contextualization of issues that are important to us all.

    If Ethan isn’t connected to what’s being turned out and has no knowledge of it then he cannot by definition be defined as hypocratic. By your definition, I’d label you the same re: your time at Microsoft on a range of issues that rarely get public attention. However, I’d not dream of doing that because I know that none of us has perfect knowledge of the companies for whom we work.

    How he chooses to approach that re: his company is his affair and it will be interesting to see what Ethan does next.

    Even so, let’s not forget that investigative journalism has an agenda and this is no different so whether what TW is doing is widespread or narrowly located, it can never be a simple case of blanket condemnation.

    Understand I’m not making any excuses, but this kind of thing is rarely 100% one sided. There are nearly always other causal factors in play.

  16. From this distance, the Winer/Calacanis thing was pretty poor stuff. Whatever the problems, these guys are seen as influential in a very broad sense. So when people turn to me and throw that kind of stuff in my face, it’s hard not to agree that it is poor.

    Can that be usefully compared with TW and its promotion of this kind of ‘stuff?’ I’ve not had the benefit of seeing the entire 60 minutes piece so I have to trust your judgment (though I’ve seen plenty of 60 mins to know they try hard to do honest journalism. Don’t worry – it’s bookmarked for viewing.)

    I also take on board what others are saying and what I’ve seen in the music scene over the years. Bob Dylan anyone? Tupaq?

    But as Andrew Field says, media execs (along with others) don’t care as long as it sells. There is a long history of this kind of thing across a broad swathe of industries in all parts of the world and it is part of a much bigger debate.

    So even though I can understand your outrage at Ethan’s post, it’s worth picking up on the positive points he DID make about other people’s presentations and the later contextualization of issues that are important to us all.

    If Ethan isn’t connected to what’s being turned out and has no knowledge of it then he cannot by definition be defined as hypocratic. By your definition, I’d label you the same re: your time at Microsoft on a range of issues that rarely get public attention. However, I’d not dream of doing that because I know that none of us has perfect knowledge of the companies for whom we work.

    How he chooses to approach that re: his company is his affair and it will be interesting to see what Ethan does next.

    Even so, let’s not forget that investigative journalism has an agenda and this is no different so whether what TW is doing is widespread or narrowly located, it can never be a simple case of blanket condemnation.

    Understand I’m not making any excuses, but this kind of thing is rarely 100% one sided. There are nearly always other causal factors in play.

  17. Robert, your post mentioned nothing about agreeing with Ethan.

    Look, I understand why you wrote this post. Chris is a friend of yours, you saw his work being attacked, and you stood up for him. That’s admirable.

    But that’s not really what Ethan was writing about. Too many geeks – myself included – like to believe we’re making the world a better place, when all we’re really doing is making the world a better place for those who can afford the technology we create. That’s what Ethan was really writing about, and I commend him for it.

  18. Dennis: when people pay to attend conferences (Winer did) and they aren’t happy with the content presented on stage shouldn’t they speak up?

    I had my say about Calacanis on Twitter. I thought he could have done a MUCH better speech.

    I didn’t have any connection to Microsoft’s strategy and legal stuff, but I spoke up about it often and, even, helped change strategy.

    I see a role of an employee far differently than you do. Especially when one is a director level employee.

    Employees have a responsibility to speak out otherwise they are implicitly agreeing with the strategies of their companies.

    Ethan loves taking pot shots at other people. He’s aimed his gun at me in the past. But why doesn’t he aim that gun at some place where he actually can make a difference?

  19. Dennis: when people pay to attend conferences (Winer did) and they aren’t happy with the content presented on stage shouldn’t they speak up?

    I had my say about Calacanis on Twitter. I thought he could have done a MUCH better speech.

    I didn’t have any connection to Microsoft’s strategy and legal stuff, but I spoke up about it often and, even, helped change strategy.

    I see a role of an employee far differently than you do. Especially when one is a director level employee.

    Employees have a responsibility to speak out otherwise they are implicitly agreeing with the strategies of their companies.

    Ethan loves taking pot shots at other people. He’s aimed his gun at me in the past. But why doesn’t he aim that gun at some place where he actually can make a difference?

  20. Robert, your post mentioned nothing about agreeing with Ethan.

    Look, I understand why you wrote this post. Chris is a friend of yours, you saw his work being attacked, and you stood up for him. That’s admirable.

    But that’s not really what Ethan was writing about. Too many geeks – myself included – like to believe we’re making the world a better place, when all we’re really doing is making the world a better place for those who can afford the technology we create. That’s what Ethan was really writing about, and I commend him for it.

  21. It’s kind of a strange element in human nature that we try to find scapegoats and take our problems out on them, instead of taking the time to talk about the real issue.

  22. It’s kind of a strange element in human nature that we try to find scapegoats and take our problems out on them, instead of taking the time to talk about the real issue.

  23. Robert, I accept your logic. Now please never criticize me or anyone else again until you defend every failure of Microsoft during your tenure. Let’s start with the security failures that allow spammers to control Windows-run computers, costing the U.S. alone over $10 billion a year, according to the California legislature.

  24. Robert, I accept your logic. Now please never criticize me or anyone else again until you defend every failure of Microsoft during your tenure. Let’s start with the security failures that allow spammers to control Windows-run computers, costing the U.S. alone over $10 billion a year, according to the California legislature.

  25. Robert – I fear you misinterpret me (my bad)

    “I see a role of an employee far differently than you do. Especially when one is a director level employee.”

    100% agree but as we know from the continuing stream of corporate scandals of one sort of another (which by the way I write about a LOT), that’s not the way the current business world operates. There is a systemic failure within business culture at the top that isn’t going away because? Money has no ethics.

    “Employees have a responsibility to speak out otherwise they are implicitly agreeing with the strategies of their companies.”

    Again, agree but MOST employees have no clue as to what’s going on. There are powerful forces out there preventing whistle blowers. Fox News, Pfizer, Shell – there is a very long list. Numerous companies are routinely penalized for one wrong doing or another. Even companies like IBM, GE and Westhinghouse have murky pasts.

    You’re in a relatively privileged position and one that is afforded to few but please don’t assume that everyone else is able or indeed capable of following that example.

  26. Robert – I fear you misinterpret me (my bad)

    “I see a role of an employee far differently than you do. Especially when one is a director level employee.”

    100% agree but as we know from the continuing stream of corporate scandals of one sort of another (which by the way I write about a LOT), that’s not the way the current business world operates. There is a systemic failure within business culture at the top that isn’t going away because? Money has no ethics.

    “Employees have a responsibility to speak out otherwise they are implicitly agreeing with the strategies of their companies.”

    Again, agree but MOST employees have no clue as to what’s going on. There are powerful forces out there preventing whistle blowers. Fox News, Pfizer, Shell – there is a very long list. Numerous companies are routinely penalized for one wrong doing or another. Even companies like IBM, GE and Westhinghouse have murky pasts.

    You’re in a relatively privileged position and one that is afforded to few but please don’t assume that everyone else is able or indeed capable of following that example.

  27. Nick: and when you work for a company that is intellectually corrupt your very presence mirrors the emptiness in your soul and Warner, by profiting by this type of music, which is souless and without merit and which speaks to the basest elements of our society, reflects a moral bankruptcy that we should not tolerate. Ethan: if you say you love working with musicians, these musicians reflect on your soul. Look into the mirror and ask yourself if this is who you are.

    Nick: I don’t work for Microsoft any more. Read this comment again for more clarity on what I’m saying.

  28. Nick: and when you work for a company that is intellectually corrupt your very presence mirrors the emptiness in your soul and Warner, by profiting by this type of music, which is souless and without merit and which speaks to the basest elements of our society, reflects a moral bankruptcy that we should not tolerate. Ethan: if you say you love working with musicians, these musicians reflect on your soul. Look into the mirror and ask yourself if this is who you are.

    Nick: I don’t work for Microsoft any more. Read this comment again for more clarity on what I’m saying.

  29. Robert: did you not look at our roster list? These musicians aren’t ON THERE. Jesus chrispy crap.

    Artists I work with:

    White Stripes, REM, Madonna, Seal, Josh Groban, Arctic Monkeys. Is your vision really that selective?

    http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com/artists

    there you have it. I wager quite a few of these are on your ipods, so what does that say about your indictment?

  30. >You’re in a relatively privileged position and one that is afforded to few but please don’t assume that everyone else is able or indeed capable of following that example.

    Bullshit. Everyone in society has a responsibility to speak up against evil. This kind of thinking is what brought us Hitler.

  31. Robert: did you not look at our roster list? These musicians aren’t ON THERE. Jesus chrispy crap.

    Artists I work with:

    White Stripes, REM, Madonna, Seal, Josh Groban, Arctic Monkeys. Is your vision really that selective?

    http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com/artists

    there you have it. I wager quite a few of these are on your ipods, so what does that say about your indictment?

  32. >You’re in a relatively privileged position and one that is afforded to few but please don’t assume that everyone else is able or indeed capable of following that example.

    Bullshit. Everyone in society has a responsibility to speak up against evil. This kind of thinking is what brought us Hitler.

  33. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” was a popular saying in the ’60s and I think that in this sense one cannot divorce a person from the company he or she keeps. If Ethan, or Robert, feel they can change things they disagree with about the company which employs them from within then staying is not hypocritical but otherwise, to use another popular ’60s phrase they’re selling out.

    While Microsoft’s tactics are, in situations such as OS security and past behavior towards a number of competitors, quite distasteful and Warner Music’s apparently as well, the people I really question are the rank and file workers at, to use one easy example, tobacco companies, whether they’re in IT, marketing or R&D. While in America people are free to choose to smoke that doesn’t mean the people who produce the cigarettes should sleep well at night.

    Ethan can say that working at the record company gives him the chance to do what he loves, something I agree is very worthwhile. But wouldn’t other, less ethically questionable companies jump at the chance to hire someone of his talent and experience? As PodTech did with Robert.

  34. I am confused as to how someone so smart can refuse to address the very substantive issues contained in a post like Ethans – to marginalize his considered insights and personal feelings and turn the tables on him with such a personal attack makes no sense. We all need to learn how to discuss the real issues of the day much better then this. While I like and respect you Robert, I am bummed that you have chosen this tactic instead of presenting a reasoned retort regarding why you disagree with him… in all honesty I think your “publish quickly and often” style has done you a disservice here and you have joined 2 stories you feel strongly about that should have been separate posts.

  35. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” was a popular saying in the ’60s and I think that in this sense one cannot divorce a person from the company he or she keeps. If Ethan, or Robert, feel they can change things they disagree with about the company which employs them from within then staying is not hypocritical but otherwise, to use another popular ’60s phrase they’re selling out.

    While Microsoft’s tactics are, in situations such as OS security and past behavior towards a number of competitors, quite distasteful and Warner Music’s apparently as well, the people I really question are the rank and file workers at, to use one easy example, tobacco companies, whether they’re in IT, marketing or R&D. While in America people are free to choose to smoke that doesn’t mean the people who produce the cigarettes should sleep well at night.

    Ethan can say that working at the record company gives him the chance to do what he loves, something I agree is very worthwhile. But wouldn’t other, less ethically questionable companies jump at the chance to hire someone of his talent and experience? As PodTech did with Robert.

  36. I am confused as to how someone so smart can refuse to address the very substantive issues contained in a post like Ethans – to marginalize his considered insights and personal feelings and turn the tables on him with such a personal attack makes no sense. We all need to learn how to discuss the real issues of the day much better then this. While I like and respect you Robert, I am bummed that you have chosen this tactic instead of presenting a reasoned retort regarding why you disagree with him… in all honesty I think your “publish quickly and often” style has done you a disservice here and you have joined 2 stories you feel strongly about that should have been separate posts.

  37. Chris: I guess I should state that I think Ethan is right. Gnomedex could be so much more. I don’t control the content on stage. I was involved with a little lunch session which very few people attended and if I did run Gnomedex I’d rather have big thinkers like the computer science instructor who is trying to really address the digital divide that’s on my Kyte Channel at http://www.kyte.tv/channels/view.html?uri=channels/6118/41579#uri,channels/6118/41579

    I just thought it was interesting that Ethan attacks other people/organizations without looking inside his own house first. But what do I know? I’m just a “blowhard” to Ethan.

  38. Chris: I guess I should state that I think Ethan is right. Gnomedex could be so much more. I don’t control the content on stage. I was involved with a little lunch session which very few people attended and if I did run Gnomedex I’d rather have big thinkers like the computer science instructor who is trying to really address the digital divide that’s on my Kyte Channel at http://www.kyte.tv/channels/view.html?uri=channels/6118/41579#uri,channels/6118/41579

    I just thought it was interesting that Ethan attacks other people/organizations without looking inside his own house first. But what do I know? I’m just a “blowhard” to Ethan.

  39. Ethan: and while you focus on my blowhardiness neither of us is getting anything done which proves we both like to talk more than actually improve the world.

  40. Ethan: and while you focus on my blowhardiness neither of us is getting anything done which proves we both like to talk more than actually improve the world.

  41. lets end this on a good note then:

    I promise that to the extent I can I will try to affect positive change both inside and outside my spheres of influence.

    I hope you and others can promise to do the same, and also Robert: immediacy and transparency is NOT always good.

  42. lets end this on a good note then:

    I promise that to the extent I can I will try to affect positive change both inside and outside my spheres of influence.

    I hope you and others can promise to do the same, and also Robert: immediacy and transparency is NOT always good.

  43. @7 “That’s like saying that while I worked at Microsoft I shouldn’t care what the parent company does and only should care about what my group does.”

    Seriously. Stop trying to draw analogies because you are horrible at it. What it would be like is when MS owned Slate you agreed with everything printed in Slate when you were there. Or you agreed with every commentator on PMSNBC. Just as ridiculous as associating Ethan with everything Warner does.

  44. @7 “That’s like saying that while I worked at Microsoft I shouldn’t care what the parent company does and only should care about what my group does.”

    Seriously. Stop trying to draw analogies because you are horrible at it. What it would be like is when MS owned Slate you agreed with everything printed in Slate when you were there. Or you agreed with every commentator on PMSNBC. Just as ridiculous as associating Ethan with everything Warner does.

  45. LayZ: if I saw Slate distributing evil I’d have spoken up against it. Slate did fire someone named Michael Savage for doing just that when I was there.

    Ethan. “Immediacy and transparency is NOT always good.”

    I agree, but it’s far better than any other alternative I’ve seen.

  46. LayZ: if I saw Slate distributing evil I’d have spoken up against it. Slate did fire someone named Michael Savage for doing just that when I was there.

    Ethan. “Immediacy and transparency is NOT always good.”

    I agree, but it’s far better than any other alternative I’ve seen.

  47. Sooo…lemme see if I understand this, Scoble. Rather than respond intelligently to Ethan’s well thought out and insightful blog post regarding Gnomedex and the self important attitude the majority of bloggers have, you choose to attack him on a totally unrelated issue. Brilliant! Another, “Yeah! Well, your mother wears combat boots!” post.

  48. Sooo…lemme see if I understand this, Scoble. Rather than respond intelligently to Ethan’s well thought out and insightful blog post regarding Gnomedex and the self important attitude the majority of bloggers have, you choose to attack him on a totally unrelated issue. Brilliant! Another, “Yeah! Well, your mother wears combat boots!” post.

  49. LayZ: well, if you’re going to talk about “self important” let’s talk about you. You keep showing up here and keep telling us how to run the blogosphere without doing one yourself and without even telling us who you really are. So what right do YOU have to speak up here? And if you DO have a right (I think you do, which is why my comments are open) what makes you think we should listen to you since you obviously have no experience in this matter. I’d rather listen to Ethan since he DOES have a blog. Thanks for trying so hard.

    Heck, over on Ethan’s blog he moderates comments. At least you can spout whatever crap you want here.

  50. LayZ: well, if you’re going to talk about “self important” let’s talk about you. You keep showing up here and keep telling us how to run the blogosphere without doing one yourself and without even telling us who you really are. So what right do YOU have to speak up here? And if you DO have a right (I think you do, which is why my comments are open) what makes you think we should listen to you since you obviously have no experience in this matter. I’d rather listen to Ethan since he DOES have a blog. Thanks for trying so hard.

    Heck, over on Ethan’s blog he moderates comments. At least you can spout whatever crap you want here.

  51. With all respect but; A kid who tells on another kid is a dead kid! No one talks with the cops! That’s the first thing one need to know, and the first thing any kids learns. No mather if you’re black or white, or if you live in USA or Europe. ACAB – All Cops Are Bastards. Snitching and telling on your neighbours might make sense in an white american middle class environment — but from a working class perspective (und much of us true hackers are struggling working class) it’s a form of suicide. Cops never done anything for us, and never will!

  52. With all respect but; A kid who tells on another kid is a dead kid! No one talks with the cops! That’s the first thing one need to know, and the first thing any kids learns. No mather if you’re black or white, or if you live in USA or Europe. ACAB – All Cops Are Bastards. Snitching and telling on your neighbours might make sense in an white american middle class environment — but from a working class perspective (und much of us true hackers are struggling working class) it’s a form of suicide. Cops never done anything for us, and never will!

  53. @36 Well, obviously you weren’t paying attention, because Savage never worked for Slate when you were at MS. He was fired by PMSNBC. However, PMSNBC apparently has no problem tolerating Olbermann’s continued use of the Nazi salute on his show. But, we digress.

  54. @36 Well, obviously you weren’t paying attention, because Savage never worked for Slate when you were at MS. He was fired by PMSNBC. However, PMSNBC apparently has no problem tolerating Olbermann’s continued use of the Nazi salute on his show. But, we digress.

  55. LayZ: and, again, I no longer work at Microsoft. That in itself is an editorial statement. I find it fascinating that you want us to listen to you while not using your real name and while not letting us know your work relationships. Ethan is 1000% more valuable to the world BECAUSE he is honest about where he works and who he is. I’d far prefer listening to him than listen to you.

  56. LayZ: and, again, I no longer work at Microsoft. That in itself is an editorial statement. I find it fascinating that you want us to listen to you while not using your real name and while not letting us know your work relationships. Ethan is 1000% more valuable to the world BECAUSE he is honest about where he works and who he is. I’d far prefer listening to him than listen to you.

  57. I have had this feelings for several weeks, and I think the chain of events starting with Jason being heckled and now Ethan being “thrown under the bus” have pushed it over the edge in my mind.

    Something is rotten in Denmark. The “A-list” bloggers (a term, incidentally that I detest) seem to be falling in on themselves and the level of the attacks keeps increasing.

    I should probably disclaim right now that I almost worked for Ethan, and I was very disappointed that it didn’t work out for me to join his team. I don’t believe that he is an official “face” of WBR, just that he is Blogs and is also the Head of Tech. For WBR, which is a very different BU than the BU that controls rap.

    From outside the “old media” world it can be very difficult to know that each group with in these big corporations are so isolated from one another that you have may have no knowledge that a practice is going on until you see it on the news.

    I think the “community” has a real problem. Discussions are not being held in a civil manner. Push back is increasingly being met not with conversation that could better us all, but accusations.

    It is my opinion that we are all taking ourselves very seriously, and that some of the joy is being beaten out of being part of what ever it is we are creating. Yes, there are business being formed, and yes money is on the line. Podtech is accused of something, Podshow is accused of something, DIGG is forced to post content b/c of user revolt.

    Here is my point – why did we all get into this to start with?

    I have met Ethan and know it is b/c of his love of music and musicians. I know that his work on Murmurs lead him to where he is now.

    I know that I am a one time actor, wanna be writer, who sees this medium as a chance to finally have a platform where I don’t have to get a green light to see my work come to fruition.

    This is not to say that intimidation practices that were reported in the 60 min segment are acceptable. They aren’t. They are deplorable. What it does mean, is that when we arrive at positions where we can affect change, we have to pick our battles. This is a lesson that my wife continues to try to teach me in regards to being a parent, but it is hard to learn.

    If that is getting a major media company to use Open Source, that is a great accomplishment. If it is helping to create some transparency at a previously closed company, great.

    Ethan’s point about bringing a tech conference to the street to change non-tech peoples lives is an incredible idea. Imagine the social progress that could be made by the brilliant minds in our industry. Should it be the only goal of a conference like Gnomedex? Maybe not. Is it an interesting thought to throw in the ring, absolutely. I think we all need to step outside of the echo chamber and see where we stand in relationship to the rest of the world.

  58. I have had this feelings for several weeks, and I think the chain of events starting with Jason being heckled and now Ethan being “thrown under the bus” have pushed it over the edge in my mind.

    Something is rotten in Denmark. The “A-list” bloggers (a term, incidentally that I detest) seem to be falling in on themselves and the level of the attacks keeps increasing.

    I should probably disclaim right now that I almost worked for Ethan, and I was very disappointed that it didn’t work out for me to join his team. I don’t believe that he is an official “face” of WBR, just that he is Blogs and is also the Head of Tech. For WBR, which is a very different BU than the BU that controls rap.

    From outside the “old media” world it can be very difficult to know that each group with in these big corporations are so isolated from one another that you have may have no knowledge that a practice is going on until you see it on the news.

    I think the “community” has a real problem. Discussions are not being held in a civil manner. Push back is increasingly being met not with conversation that could better us all, but accusations.

    It is my opinion that we are all taking ourselves very seriously, and that some of the joy is being beaten out of being part of what ever it is we are creating. Yes, there are business being formed, and yes money is on the line. Podtech is accused of something, Podshow is accused of something, DIGG is forced to post content b/c of user revolt.

    Here is my point – why did we all get into this to start with?

    I have met Ethan and know it is b/c of his love of music and musicians. I know that his work on Murmurs lead him to where he is now.

    I know that I am a one time actor, wanna be writer, who sees this medium as a chance to finally have a platform where I don’t have to get a green light to see my work come to fruition.

    This is not to say that intimidation practices that were reported in the 60 min segment are acceptable. They aren’t. They are deplorable. What it does mean, is that when we arrive at positions where we can affect change, we have to pick our battles. This is a lesson that my wife continues to try to teach me in regards to being a parent, but it is hard to learn.

    If that is getting a major media company to use Open Source, that is a great accomplishment. If it is helping to create some transparency at a previously closed company, great.

    Ethan’s point about bringing a tech conference to the street to change non-tech peoples lives is an incredible idea. Imagine the social progress that could be made by the brilliant minds in our industry. Should it be the only goal of a conference like Gnomedex? Maybe not. Is it an interesting thought to throw in the ring, absolutely. I think we all need to step outside of the echo chamber and see where we stand in relationship to the rest of the world.

  59. Nick, Ethan: I’m sorry but I have to agree with Scoble on this. I believe there is a separation between what you do and what your employer does, but there’s a line. Robert, while at Microsoft, saught to change people’s view of MS, and to call attention to both MS’s good and bad actions. I may be jumping in too deep, but it seems like you’re busy attacking, but not being a voice in either direction for your company.

    WBR,WMG, Sony, Universal, or whatever, there are serious corruption, and moral issues at all of those companies. If it is under the RIAA umbrella, I wouldn’t be okay working for it, or supporting it in any way. If you are so gung ho about music, but have any sort of soul, why aren’t you working for a truely innovative company like Amie Street, eMusic, or Magnatune?

    It’s like the old poem that talks about the Nazi’s coming for one group, and the reader doing nothing. Finally in the end, the Nazi’s came for him, and there was no one. If you aren’t helping to change the company, your part of the problem at the company .

  60. Nick, Ethan: I’m sorry but I have to agree with Scoble on this. I believe there is a separation between what you do and what your employer does, but there’s a line. Robert, while at Microsoft, saught to change people’s view of MS, and to call attention to both MS’s good and bad actions. I may be jumping in too deep, but it seems like you’re busy attacking, but not being a voice in either direction for your company.

    WBR,WMG, Sony, Universal, or whatever, there are serious corruption, and moral issues at all of those companies. If it is under the RIAA umbrella, I wouldn’t be okay working for it, or supporting it in any way. If you are so gung ho about music, but have any sort of soul, why aren’t you working for a truely innovative company like Amie Street, eMusic, or Magnatune?

    It’s like the old poem that talks about the Nazi’s coming for one group, and the reader doing nothing. Finally in the end, the Nazi’s came for him, and there was no one. If you aren’t helping to change the company, your part of the problem at the company .

  61. >Discussions are not being held in a civil manner.

    Watch my videos. I don’t attack people on them. I ask questions.

    I agree that some parts of blogs have become more about attacks than enlightenment. Just this weekend people have written on blogs that I left PodTech, then that I was fired. I’ve been attacked and lied about on A-list blogs.

    Have you spoken up about that yet?

    And we wonder where this culture comes from…

  62. >Discussions are not being held in a civil manner.

    Watch my videos. I don’t attack people on them. I ask questions.

    I agree that some parts of blogs have become more about attacks than enlightenment. Just this weekend people have written on blogs that I left PodTech, then that I was fired. I’ve been attacked and lied about on A-list blogs.

    Have you spoken up about that yet?

    And we wonder where this culture comes from…

  63. @Robert – Didn’t mean to imply that you attack people in your show. This post felt very aggressive, especially since you had agreed with Ethan in a previous comment on his first post.

    And on the subject of the blog post about you being fired – yes I did read them. I had not written about them. They were part of the mountain that pushed me to write that original comment.

    I believe that the culture comes from people who are very passionate about what they believe and will defend their points of view vigorously. I think we are sitting in the midst of a second renaissance where the Salons have been replaced by online discussions. Strong personalities that captivate large numbers of audience, such as your self, will alway have detractors taking potshots. It is one of the reasons I gave up acting, b/c I knew I would not be able to handle that kind of scrutiny.

    One more point, and it is something that I just thought of. This “discussions are not being held in a civil manner” statement. I think it was unfair to just put that on our slice of the world. Across the board the “conversation” has turned to a black/white agreement, and I would put forth that it has to do with the shrinking time that stories in MSM are given. The cable news channels have done more to harm this than any other entity, and I think that may be where my concern lies. I have seen too many online arguments end with neither side really listening to the other.

    So I will do something to change that, at least for my self.

    —–

    Just finished watching the video link you provided, and I must say that the point about the cell phone as tool and not as the end was exactly what I was reaching for. Blogs, podcasts, twitter, are all tools that we use, not the end of the road.

    Robert, I may not agree with you on your thinking that Ethan was being hypocritical, but I must take back my comment about the echo chamber.

  64. @Robert – Didn’t mean to imply that you attack people in your show. This post felt very aggressive, especially since you had agreed with Ethan in a previous comment on his first post.

    And on the subject of the blog post about you being fired – yes I did read them. I had not written about them. They were part of the mountain that pushed me to write that original comment.

    I believe that the culture comes from people who are very passionate about what they believe and will defend their points of view vigorously. I think we are sitting in the midst of a second renaissance where the Salons have been replaced by online discussions. Strong personalities that captivate large numbers of audience, such as your self, will alway have detractors taking potshots. It is one of the reasons I gave up acting, b/c I knew I would not be able to handle that kind of scrutiny.

    One more point, and it is something that I just thought of. This “discussions are not being held in a civil manner” statement. I think it was unfair to just put that on our slice of the world. Across the board the “conversation” has turned to a black/white agreement, and I would put forth that it has to do with the shrinking time that stories in MSM are given. The cable news channels have done more to harm this than any other entity, and I think that may be where my concern lies. I have seen too many online arguments end with neither side really listening to the other.

    So I will do something to change that, at least for my self.

    —–

    Just finished watching the video link you provided, and I must say that the point about the cell phone as tool and not as the end was exactly what I was reaching for. Blogs, podcasts, twitter, are all tools that we use, not the end of the road.

    Robert, I may not agree with you on your thinking that Ethan was being hypocritical, but I must take back my comment about the echo chamber.

  65. Scoble-

    I have to say… this post in particular drew my attention. Not having made it to Gnomedex, and not particularly caring about the latest Winer/Calicanis dust-up (we have Valleywag for that), I headed over to see the blog of the evil person from Warner Music that was explicitly (or implicitly) approving of a “no-snitch” policy that had lead to murders and rapes not being solved. What a jerk! Let’s gather our torches and pitchforks! Heck, you even note: “This kind of thinking is what brought us Hitler.”

    That is a pretty damn serious claim to make.

    And so I read Ethan’s post. A post that had nothing to do with Warner Music. Or snitching. Or the police. Heck… according to Ethan’s comments, he hasn’t even heard the artists in question. His post had some ideas on ways that the geeks attending Gnomedex could use their energies for the greater good. Seems admirable to me, reading as a complete outsider.

    So why the blindside? This kind of personal attack, accusing a person (“you guys”) of funding an anti-snitch campaign, mentioning Hitler… And yet you didn’t take the time to find out if he has any involvement in these corporate policies, whether or not he has even seen the 60 minutes story, you just made assumptions and attacked him based off of seemingly flawed assumptions (what company does he work for? who is a division of who? what is his role there? does he filter comments on his blog?)

    So… I’ll end with a suggestion. Instead of making assumptions, be curious. Ask Ethan what he thinks. You are more than entitled to take exception to any answer he gives you, but you didn’t give him a chance to even state a position. I think you really threw him under the bus here…

    Just my 2 cents…

    Sean

  66. Scoble-

    I have to say… this post in particular drew my attention. Not having made it to Gnomedex, and not particularly caring about the latest Winer/Calicanis dust-up (we have Valleywag for that), I headed over to see the blog of the evil person from Warner Music that was explicitly (or implicitly) approving of a “no-snitch” policy that had lead to murders and rapes not being solved. What a jerk! Let’s gather our torches and pitchforks! Heck, you even note: “This kind of thinking is what brought us Hitler.”

    That is a pretty damn serious claim to make.

    And so I read Ethan’s post. A post that had nothing to do with Warner Music. Or snitching. Or the police. Heck… according to Ethan’s comments, he hasn’t even heard the artists in question. His post had some ideas on ways that the geeks attending Gnomedex could use their energies for the greater good. Seems admirable to me, reading as a complete outsider.

    So why the blindside? This kind of personal attack, accusing a person (“you guys”) of funding an anti-snitch campaign, mentioning Hitler… And yet you didn’t take the time to find out if he has any involvement in these corporate policies, whether or not he has even seen the 60 minutes story, you just made assumptions and attacked him based off of seemingly flawed assumptions (what company does he work for? who is a division of who? what is his role there? does he filter comments on his blog?)

    So… I’ll end with a suggestion. Instead of making assumptions, be curious. Ask Ethan what he thinks. You are more than entitled to take exception to any answer he gives you, but you didn’t give him a chance to even state a position. I think you really threw him under the bus here…

    Just my 2 cents…

    Sean

  67. @sean,

    Thank you for saving me the time. I was gathering my thoughts to say pretty much what you said more clearly and eloquently than me. I was startled at the ferocity of Robert’s post here. I didn’t see any hypocrisy in Ethan’s post.

    Where is the requirement that before you can critique anything you must first critique your own employer and denounce any practices that seem harmful?

    Why would Ethan get a free pass over the RIAA harrassment of customers on downloading, but only get called when 60 Minutes runs a “stop snitchin’” piece?

    Snitching will soon be obsolete anyway as we move rapidly to a total surveillance society.

    BTW, Hip-hop is proto-blogging. Commercial exploitation of hip-hop is proto-spamming.

    Something to ponder and investigate: Anderson Cooper, who reported the story on CBS also works for Time Warner subsidiary CNN. Did he run this story on CNN? Is he a hypocrite, or a ratings or whore?

    Ethan raised some legit questions about Gnomedex. Rather than advance the conversation and engage Ethan on either Gnomedex or TW, Robert went into attack mode. I wonder why?

  68. @sean,

    Thank you for saving me the time. I was gathering my thoughts to say pretty much what you said more clearly and eloquently than me. I was startled at the ferocity of Robert’s post here. I didn’t see any hypocrisy in Ethan’s post.

    Where is the requirement that before you can critique anything you must first critique your own employer and denounce any practices that seem harmful?

    Why would Ethan get a free pass over the RIAA harrassment of customers on downloading, but only get called when 60 Minutes runs a “stop snitchin’” piece?

    Snitching will soon be obsolete anyway as we move rapidly to a total surveillance society.

    BTW, Hip-hop is proto-blogging. Commercial exploitation of hip-hop is proto-spamming.

    Something to ponder and investigate: Anderson Cooper, who reported the story on CBS also works for Time Warner subsidiary CNN. Did he run this story on CNN? Is he a hypocrite, or a ratings or whore?

    Ethan raised some legit questions about Gnomedex. Rather than advance the conversation and engage Ethan on either Gnomedex or TW, Robert went into attack mode. I wonder why?

  69. @51 Sorry Ethan, gotta pull the bs card on this one..
    http://tinyurl.com/2ze8yr

    that being said, let’s stop and give ethan some credit for being the kid on the titanic with a bucket and the know-how to use it.

    and for the record this post is scored
    Ethan 1 / Scoble 0

  70. @51 Sorry Ethan, gotta pull the bs card on this one..
    http://tinyurl.com/2ze8yr

    that being said, let’s stop and give ethan some credit for being the kid on the titanic with a bucket and the know-how to use it.

    and for the record this post is scored
    Ethan 1 / Scoble 0

  71. Robert, I think the basic conflict between you and Ethan is one of shallowness versus substance. He sees through the typical blogosphere persona, heavy on self-importance, but lightweight on everything else. You represent that persona, so of course you feel offended when someone criticizes it. Ethan is still very young so he hasn’t conformed to expectations. . .yet.

    As for the ‘no snitching’ campaign, I’m ambivalent. As the fellow from Sweden said relations between the police and the poor are often adversarial. It makes sense to inform regarding crime only if doing so is likely to have a beneficial effect. But, if the police and the justice system consider a class or race of people ‘the enemy’ and are eager to degrade, even kill, them, cooperation is not a good idea. Besides, most people have common sense and can judge for themselves whether to inform or keep mum.

    Ironically, I was reading about the case in Louisiana in which a racist power structure is terrorizing black teenagers as if it were the 1950s earlier today:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20218937/site/newsweek/

    What rappers say is the least of their problems.

    Furthermore, reading this incoherent entry was painful for someone who cares about writing. It was a pleasure to read Ethan’s literate entry afterward.

  72. Robert, I think the basic conflict between you and Ethan is one of shallowness versus substance. He sees through the typical blogosphere persona, heavy on self-importance, but lightweight on everything else. You represent that persona, so of course you feel offended when someone criticizes it. Ethan is still very young so he hasn’t conformed to expectations. . .yet.

    As for the ‘no snitching’ campaign, I’m ambivalent. As the fellow from Sweden said relations between the police and the poor are often adversarial. It makes sense to inform regarding crime only if doing so is likely to have a beneficial effect. But, if the police and the justice system consider a class or race of people ‘the enemy’ and are eager to degrade, even kill, them, cooperation is not a good idea. Besides, most people have common sense and can judge for themselves whether to inform or keep mum.

    Ironically, I was reading about the case in Louisiana in which a racist power structure is terrorizing black teenagers as if it were the 1950s earlier today:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20218937/site/newsweek/

    What rappers say is the least of their problems.

    Furthermore, reading this incoherent entry was painful for someone who cares about writing. It was a pleasure to read Ethan’s literate entry afterward.

  73. Podesta: the problem is your attack on me lacks its own depth.

    Since Gnomedex began I’ve put up 40 minute interview with one of the world’s top computer science professors, a long discussion about the beginnings of the personal computer operating system business, and tonight I put up a lengthy interview with IBM’s top intellectual property lawyer. All in the past few days.

    If that’s “superficiality” then please show me some depth out there that I can consume.

    And I won’t even bring up all the blogs I just put on my link blog that come to a high bar.

    Maybe the thing that got me mad is that Ethan is pointing his gun at blogs without looking at himself first.

  74. Podesta: the problem is your attack on me lacks its own depth.

    Since Gnomedex began I’ve put up 40 minute interview with one of the world’s top computer science professors, a long discussion about the beginnings of the personal computer operating system business, and tonight I put up a lengthy interview with IBM’s top intellectual property lawyer. All in the past few days.

    If that’s “superficiality” then please show me some depth out there that I can consume.

    And I won’t even bring up all the blogs I just put on my link blog that come to a high bar.

    Maybe the thing that got me mad is that Ethan is pointing his gun at blogs without looking at himself first.

  75. “Bullshit. Everyone in society has a responsibility to speak up against evil. This kind of thinking is what brought us Hitler.”

    That’s a bit harsh Robert and I appreciate you feel strongly about it but consider this.

    IBM supplied the computers to Hitler that provided the way of keeping records in the concentration camps. Irving is on record as questioning that premise yet the New York originated contracts are available to view. The profits on which supplies were collected after WWII.

  76. “Bullshit. Everyone in society has a responsibility to speak up against evil. This kind of thinking is what brought us Hitler.”

    That’s a bit harsh Robert and I appreciate you feel strongly about it but consider this.

    IBM supplied the computers to Hitler that provided the way of keeping records in the concentration camps. Irving is on record as questioning that premise yet the New York originated contracts are available to view. The profits on which supplies were collected after WWII.

  77. Dennis: and is that right? Should someone have spoken up about it back then?

    I hope I would have if I were there.

    My mom’s mom spoke up against Hitler at great risk to her own family.

  78. Dennis: and is that right? Should someone have spoken up about it back then?

    I hope I would have if I were there.

    My mom’s mom spoke up against Hitler at great risk to her own family.

  79. I’m too tired to be intellectual right now and I’ve already engaged in Twitter battles tonight.

    Short version: two different topics being merged into one; yes I agree fully with Ethan on the ego chamber issue; no I haven’t read the Warner issue in full, but probably because it’s an entirely different subject that keeps getting dragged into another conversation. And please, enough with the comparing of a media company INFINITELY older than Microsoft. You’re acting like he’s the CEO. What next? Blame him for locking the Animaniacs in the water tower?

    This is EXACTLY the problem. Talking ’round in circles, and then cap off with your own accomplishments. I can set the clock on my iPhoneiPhoneiPhone by this. Over and over and over it’s the EXACT SAME THING DUDE.

    This is why the shine on the A-list is tarnishing and more than likely why the subconscious defensive position is predictably taken. I swear if it’s not Dave crawling up on the cross, Jason taking -any- mention of Mahalo and spinning it in his PR, or the 3428934728374 references to video you’ve done (and throw in the Valleywag/TechCrunch rags for being the peanut gallery), then auugghh I don’t know.

    Bottom line. The Warner story is another issue and you know it.

    The ones who have 34829048 friends and read 2380472348907 blogs and invented the internet 387429387 times are being accused of being blowhards. ADDRESS IT. I mean ANSWER THE QUESTION.

    Which, sadly, I don’t believe will every happen. And as a veteran blogger, podcaster, vlogger, metaverser, doer, thinker, futurist, whatever you want to call me, the problem is simple.

    As a blogger for the time and you’ll get the history of the watch.

    You’ll help big media become stronger if you don’t get there yourself first.

    This, I believe.

  80. I’m too tired to be intellectual right now and I’ve already engaged in Twitter battles tonight.

    Short version: two different topics being merged into one; yes I agree fully with Ethan on the ego chamber issue; no I haven’t read the Warner issue in full, but probably because it’s an entirely different subject that keeps getting dragged into another conversation. And please, enough with the comparing of a media company INFINITELY older than Microsoft. You’re acting like he’s the CEO. What next? Blame him for locking the Animaniacs in the water tower?

    This is EXACTLY the problem. Talking ’round in circles, and then cap off with your own accomplishments. I can set the clock on my iPhoneiPhoneiPhone by this. Over and over and over it’s the EXACT SAME THING DUDE.

    This is why the shine on the A-list is tarnishing and more than likely why the subconscious defensive position is predictably taken. I swear if it’s not Dave crawling up on the cross, Jason taking -any- mention of Mahalo and spinning it in his PR, or the 3428934728374 references to video you’ve done (and throw in the Valleywag/TechCrunch rags for being the peanut gallery), then auugghh I don’t know.

    Bottom line. The Warner story is another issue and you know it.

    The ones who have 34829048 friends and read 2380472348907 blogs and invented the internet 387429387 times are being accused of being blowhards. ADDRESS IT. I mean ANSWER THE QUESTION.

    Which, sadly, I don’t believe will every happen. And as a veteran blogger, podcaster, vlogger, metaverser, doer, thinker, futurist, whatever you want to call me, the problem is simple.

    As a blogger for the time and you’ll get the history of the watch.

    You’ll help big media become stronger if you don’t get there yourself first.

    This, I believe.

  81. Robert says: “This kind of thinking is what brought us Hitler.”

    Dammit, Eric beat me to invoking Godwin’s Law :)

    But the fundamental point he makes is correct: whether you are right about Ethan’s need to examine how he feels about the “no snitching” issue makes absolutely no difference to whether he’s correct about what’s happening at Gnomedex. None at all. The two are completely separate arguments. You can argue that Ethan’s not being consistent, but again, this doesn’t make his argument any less right on its own merits.

    Robert, when you combine looking at someone’s argument with an attack on them, then you make your own case look weaker. Please, address Ethan’s arguments instead of trying to score points on him. I think you have something interesting to say on his arguments – unfortunately, this post doesn’t contain it.

  82. Robert says: “This kind of thinking is what brought us Hitler.”

    Dammit, Eric beat me to invoking Godwin’s Law :)

    But the fundamental point he makes is correct: whether you are right about Ethan’s need to examine how he feels about the “no snitching” issue makes absolutely no difference to whether he’s correct about what’s happening at Gnomedex. None at all. The two are completely separate arguments. You can argue that Ethan’s not being consistent, but again, this doesn’t make his argument any less right on its own merits.

    Robert, when you combine looking at someone’s argument with an attack on them, then you make your own case look weaker. Please, address Ethan’s arguments instead of trying to score points on him. I think you have something interesting to say on his arguments – unfortunately, this post doesn’t contain it.

  83. Ian and Eric,

    I believe the two ARE joined. I’m going to keep the reason they are joined to myself for a second. Instead, let’s look at Ethan’s post.

    **I just hate the fact that you have these blowhard hacks who suck the life of the room with their own sense of self important.**

    And yet did Ethan solve anything other than sucking us down his OWN self-important blast on other people?

    I agree with the premise that Ethan has here. That other people don’t always bring light. They don’t seek truth. They aren’t nice. They don’t teach. Jason, for instance, pushed his product to a captive audience. At least when CEOs do it on my show you can close the video if you aren’t feeling receptive. It’s hard to walk out of a room, especially when you’ve paid to be there.

    But, did Ethan elevate us through his post? Did he demonstrate a way to behave better than those “self-important morons?”

    No.

    OK, let’s go on.

    **Make part of it on the streets of Seattle, coming up with technological solutions to the povery, drugs and lack of health-care that exists on the very streets outside the conference hall.**

    Ethan, you missed that Sunday there was a Gnomedex un-conference and a Mesh Walk where attendees of Gnomedex DID get out on the street. I believe even Pirillo was part of that.

    **We pay attention to some stupid fight between overweight white guys inside a conference hall.**

    Is this a way to elevate Ethan’s argument? First of all Jason weighs about 190, which for his height is NOT overweight. It sounds like Ethan just is here to tear down other people. Why? Why does Ethan do that? I find that people who have to make their points like that are usually wrong.

    **The area that makes us question our motives and understanding of our world THROUGH technology rather than using technology as a means to validate our own insecurities with unneeded self-import.**

    I agree with this. But I don’t think Ethan has been paying attention to what a whole lot of us have been doing. Maybe he’s just reading too much Valleywag or something. But, let’s say his point is good. Why not just DO SOMETHING about it instead of ripping everyone else a new asshole about our weaknesses?

    **that we forget the real power granted through every glowing screen in the room.**

    Right. But most human beings aren’t even willing to do what those “blowhard” bloggers are doing. Most humans would rather watch Paris Hilton or whatever the metaphorical equivilent is.

    **We yield dangerous tools. They can and have been used against us, and our loved ones.**

    Yes, and the reason I wielded this tool against Ethan is because he loves aiming his writing at other people and not DOING anything. I +hate+ this “tear down the other guy” shit that’s been happening on the blogosphere lately.

    People make shit up about me and my employer and post it without care to the consequences. I don’t see people standing up against the personal attacks. Everyone sobbed about Kathy Sierra and then went right back to the same shit.

    **If we continue to get caught up in playground fights over who’s dick is bigger, we’re just holding the gun to our foot and pulling the trigger.**

    OK, I buy into this. It’s why over the past few days I’ve uploaded tons of videos by people who are trying to improve the world. No attacks. Just lots of doing.

    Can we move to a world where we DO instead of ATTACK?

    I doubt it. Ethan didn’t get us closer, that’s for sure.

    Back to the joining. I don’t think Ethan attacked the right issues. I didn’t attack the right issue either.

    Ethan attacked something that mostly happened on blogs and not on stage. Well, OK, Jason gave a salespitch on stage. So did other speakers (I heard that on Twitter from other attendees). And Dave Winer and at least one other voice I heard interrupted Jason to point that out. I didn’t speak up in the session, but I said the same thing on Twitter.

    But that whole incident took, what, one hour if you count Jason’s entire speech? Out of about a dozen sessions? That HARDLY defined Gnomedex.

    I’d rather be constructive and give Chris Pirillo some real, actionable, items. The one thing Ethan told Chris to do is already being done as part of the Mesh Walk. So, let’s throw that one out.

    The rest of it seemed more of an attack on me and other people with no real justification behind it.

    He attacked me for speaking at the end of a session. Well, sorry, my SMS was going nuts because of the false rumors being made about me on a variety of sights. Did Ethan care about that? No. Did Ethan care about the feelings of people he aims his abuse gun at? No.

    So, I turned the bullet around and asked him why he isn’t cleaning up his own house first. It’s a legitimate question to ask someone who isn’t ADDING anything to our community and is just taking pot shots from behind his screen and keyboard.

  84. Ian and Eric,

    I believe the two ARE joined. I’m going to keep the reason they are joined to myself for a second. Instead, let’s look at Ethan’s post.

    **I just hate the fact that you have these blowhard hacks who suck the life of the room with their own sense of self important.**

    And yet did Ethan solve anything other than sucking us down his OWN self-important blast on other people?

    I agree with the premise that Ethan has here. That other people don’t always bring light. They don’t seek truth. They aren’t nice. They don’t teach. Jason, for instance, pushed his product to a captive audience. At least when CEOs do it on my show you can close the video if you aren’t feeling receptive. It’s hard to walk out of a room, especially when you’ve paid to be there.

    But, did Ethan elevate us through his post? Did he demonstrate a way to behave better than those “self-important morons?”

    No.

    OK, let’s go on.

    **Make part of it on the streets of Seattle, coming up with technological solutions to the povery, drugs and lack of health-care that exists on the very streets outside the conference hall.**

    Ethan, you missed that Sunday there was a Gnomedex un-conference and a Mesh Walk where attendees of Gnomedex DID get out on the street. I believe even Pirillo was part of that.

    **We pay attention to some stupid fight between overweight white guys inside a conference hall.**

    Is this a way to elevate Ethan’s argument? First of all Jason weighs about 190, which for his height is NOT overweight. It sounds like Ethan just is here to tear down other people. Why? Why does Ethan do that? I find that people who have to make their points like that are usually wrong.

    **The area that makes us question our motives and understanding of our world THROUGH technology rather than using technology as a means to validate our own insecurities with unneeded self-import.**

    I agree with this. But I don’t think Ethan has been paying attention to what a whole lot of us have been doing. Maybe he’s just reading too much Valleywag or something. But, let’s say his point is good. Why not just DO SOMETHING about it instead of ripping everyone else a new asshole about our weaknesses?

    **that we forget the real power granted through every glowing screen in the room.**

    Right. But most human beings aren’t even willing to do what those “blowhard” bloggers are doing. Most humans would rather watch Paris Hilton or whatever the metaphorical equivilent is.

    **We yield dangerous tools. They can and have been used against us, and our loved ones.**

    Yes, and the reason I wielded this tool against Ethan is because he loves aiming his writing at other people and not DOING anything. I +hate+ this “tear down the other guy” shit that’s been happening on the blogosphere lately.

    People make shit up about me and my employer and post it without care to the consequences. I don’t see people standing up against the personal attacks. Everyone sobbed about Kathy Sierra and then went right back to the same shit.

    **If we continue to get caught up in playground fights over who’s dick is bigger, we’re just holding the gun to our foot and pulling the trigger.**

    OK, I buy into this. It’s why over the past few days I’ve uploaded tons of videos by people who are trying to improve the world. No attacks. Just lots of doing.

    Can we move to a world where we DO instead of ATTACK?

    I doubt it. Ethan didn’t get us closer, that’s for sure.

    Back to the joining. I don’t think Ethan attacked the right issues. I didn’t attack the right issue either.

    Ethan attacked something that mostly happened on blogs and not on stage. Well, OK, Jason gave a salespitch on stage. So did other speakers (I heard that on Twitter from other attendees). And Dave Winer and at least one other voice I heard interrupted Jason to point that out. I didn’t speak up in the session, but I said the same thing on Twitter.

    But that whole incident took, what, one hour if you count Jason’s entire speech? Out of about a dozen sessions? That HARDLY defined Gnomedex.

    I’d rather be constructive and give Chris Pirillo some real, actionable, items. The one thing Ethan told Chris to do is already being done as part of the Mesh Walk. So, let’s throw that one out.

    The rest of it seemed more of an attack on me and other people with no real justification behind it.

    He attacked me for speaking at the end of a session. Well, sorry, my SMS was going nuts because of the false rumors being made about me on a variety of sights. Did Ethan care about that? No. Did Ethan care about the feelings of people he aims his abuse gun at? No.

    So, I turned the bullet around and asked him why he isn’t cleaning up his own house first. It’s a legitimate question to ask someone who isn’t ADDING anything to our community and is just taking pot shots from behind his screen and keyboard.

  85. @63 No, it frankly wasn’t good for anyone. I don’t know if it was painful to write, but it was certainly painful to read.

    More and more I’m having a hard time understanding who Scoble’s audience is…who he’s talking to with ScobleShow and this blog. It’s not me, that’s for sure…not Joe Blow internet consumer. I expect to see this level of dialog from middle-schoolers, not adult technology pundits (my momma? YOUR MOMMA! WTF?)

    Is he aiming this all at money-men, CEOs, etc.? Makes lots of sense – if you want to influence the tech industry aim for the decision makers. However, assuming this blog then acts as a CV/resume what the hell kind of statement do posts like this make? There’s no credibility being built here…quite the opposite.

    Between this unrelated retort, his recent “What are A-List Bloggers Good For” reply (http://tinyurl.com/2cbkaf) and approval of Pirillo’s monkey boy response to Loren Feldman (http://tinyurl.com/392tfc) what I’m getting is Scoble’s idea of conversation being less about dialog and more about sophomoric ego-strikes.

    So Scoble…who is your audience, man? Who do you want most to read this blog and this post, and just what response were you expecting to replies of this nature?

  86. @63 No, it frankly wasn’t good for anyone. I don’t know if it was painful to write, but it was certainly painful to read.

    More and more I’m having a hard time understanding who Scoble’s audience is…who he’s talking to with ScobleShow and this blog. It’s not me, that’s for sure…not Joe Blow internet consumer. I expect to see this level of dialog from middle-schoolers, not adult technology pundits (my momma? YOUR MOMMA! WTF?)

    Is he aiming this all at money-men, CEOs, etc.? Makes lots of sense – if you want to influence the tech industry aim for the decision makers. However, assuming this blog then acts as a CV/resume what the hell kind of statement do posts like this make? There’s no credibility being built here…quite the opposite.

    Between this unrelated retort, his recent “What are A-List Bloggers Good For” reply (http://tinyurl.com/2cbkaf) and approval of Pirillo’s monkey boy response to Loren Feldman (http://tinyurl.com/392tfc) what I’m getting is Scoble’s idea of conversation being less about dialog and more about sophomoric ego-strikes.

    So Scoble…who is your audience, man? Who do you want most to read this blog and this post, and just what response were you expecting to replies of this nature?

  87. Jim: http://scobleizer.com/2007/08/13/things-on-my-mind/ is my answer for now.

    I think you nailed it.

    It also is why I like my video work better than my blogging work lately. I don’t do “ego strikes” in my videos. Of course my interviewees don’t try that crap in them either where on the blogosphere that stuff comes into my trackbacks and other places regularly. Heck, I was getting SMS’s at Gnomedex from people who were asking me about Valleywag’s latest claims during sessions there.

  88. Jim: http://scobleizer.com/2007/08/13/things-on-my-mind/ is my answer for now.

    I think you nailed it.

    It also is why I like my video work better than my blogging work lately. I don’t do “ego strikes” in my videos. Of course my interviewees don’t try that crap in them either where on the blogosphere that stuff comes into my trackbacks and other places regularly. Heck, I was getting SMS’s at Gnomedex from people who were asking me about Valleywag’s latest claims during sessions there.

  89. Let’s see..you are angry because some else is using their technology to distribute something evil?

    —————————
    PODTECH: why do you fund this crap?

    I just saw a very disturbing set of video podcasts on 1938 Media that pushes a racist campaign. It impugned Podtech. That’s the company that Robert Scoble works for (as head of content). Now, admittedly, he’s a geek there but is directly involved in choosing the content strategies of PODTECH, so let’s start there.

    Robert: why do you guys fund this kind of crap?

    You talk about vile things at Warner.

    What you are doing and funding (and supporting through your technology) is FAR worse for the human race than any arguing we’re doing about Warner.

    What do you say about this Robert?

    How can you write hypocritical posts like this one about Warner and go to work for the company you work for who are spreading the kind of obvious racist vile that 1938media is?
    ———

    COMMENTS OF NOTE:

    LayZ: if I saw Slate distributing evil I’d have spoken up against it. Slate did fire someone named Michael Savage for doing just that when I was there.
    (Why not PODTECH then? oh…they sign your paycheck and afer my call with John where he completely defended such speech and his intent to continue to distribute it and a large byline on the 1938Media that thanks PODTECH for somehow supporting artists’ rights)

    Nick: and when you work for a company that is intellectually corrupt your very presence mirrors the emptiness in your soul and Warner, by profiting by this type of music, which is souless and without merit and which speaks to the basest elements of our society, reflects a moral bankruptcy that we should not tolerate. (well said..read it again with the whole TechNigga issue in mind…change the word “music” to “video podcasting” and tell me how this racist hate speech against black people should be different.)

    As I said on the phone with you, Character can only be measured when there are consequences to demonstrating it. Time to do some inward reflection, Robert.

    Kind of sucks to be on the other side of the issue, huh?

    T

  90. Let’s see..you are angry because some else is using their technology to distribute something evil?

    —————————
    PODTECH: why do you fund this crap?

    I just saw a very disturbing set of video podcasts on 1938 Media that pushes a racist campaign. It impugned Podtech. That’s the company that Robert Scoble works for (as head of content). Now, admittedly, he’s a geek there but is directly involved in choosing the content strategies of PODTECH, so let’s start there.

    Robert: why do you guys fund this kind of crap?

    You talk about vile things at Warner.

    What you are doing and funding (and supporting through your technology) is FAR worse for the human race than any arguing we’re doing about Warner.

    What do you say about this Robert?

    How can you write hypocritical posts like this one about Warner and go to work for the company you work for who are spreading the kind of obvious racist vile that 1938media is?
    ———

    COMMENTS OF NOTE:

    LayZ: if I saw Slate distributing evil I’d have spoken up against it. Slate did fire someone named Michael Savage for doing just that when I was there.
    (Why not PODTECH then? oh…they sign your paycheck and afer my call with John where he completely defended such speech and his intent to continue to distribute it and a large byline on the 1938Media that thanks PODTECH for somehow supporting artists’ rights)

    Nick: and when you work for a company that is intellectually corrupt your very presence mirrors the emptiness in your soul and Warner, by profiting by this type of music, which is souless and without merit and which speaks to the basest elements of our society, reflects a moral bankruptcy that we should not tolerate. (well said..read it again with the whole TechNigga issue in mind…change the word “music” to “video podcasting” and tell me how this racist hate speech against black people should be different.)

    As I said on the phone with you, Character can only be measured when there are consequences to demonstrating it. Time to do some inward reflection, Robert.

    Kind of sucks to be on the other side of the issue, huh?

    T

  91. Tony,

    Excellent example!

    I spoke out about my beliefs about Loren on the Yahoo newsgroup which was against my company’s interests (hint: that represents career risk).

    And now Podtech won’t be distributing future Loren Feldman work and our logo is off of his Web site and you’ll notice that his latest video is on YouTube.

    So, no, I am NOT on the other side of the issue.

    This is EXACTLY the point.

    I can control what PodTech is involved with. When I see the company I am involved in doing something wrong I speak up and take action BOTH internally and externally. And quickly, I might add.

    Maybe you should have listened to what I told you when you called. You didn’t seem willing to listen when you called but glad I got the chance to explain my position once more to you.

  92. Tony,

    Excellent example!

    I spoke out about my beliefs about Loren on the Yahoo newsgroup which was against my company’s interests (hint: that represents career risk).

    And now Podtech won’t be distributing future Loren Feldman work and our logo is off of his Web site and you’ll notice that his latest video is on YouTube.

    So, no, I am NOT on the other side of the issue.

    This is EXACTLY the point.

    I can control what PodTech is involved with. When I see the company I am involved in doing something wrong I speak up and take action BOTH internally and externally. And quickly, I might add.

    Maybe you should have listened to what I told you when you called. You didn’t seem willing to listen when you called but glad I got the chance to explain my position once more to you.

  93. Then I stand corrected. I was unaware that Podtech had severed its relationship with Loren since I no longer hang out in places online where such behavior is tolerated.

    Thank you for doing the right thing.

    T

  94. Then I stand corrected. I was unaware that Podtech had severed its relationship with Loren since I no longer hang out in places online where such behavior is tolerated.

    Thank you for doing the right thing.

    T

  95. ” I’d rather listen to Ethan since he DOES have a blog. Thanks for trying so hard.”

    I think this is where Ethan is talking about the self-importance displayed by many bloggers. Since when did having a blog make anyone smarter than everyone else? Some of the smartest people I know DON’T blog.

    After reading Ethan’s post, I think the main point is that technology still has a great potential (not being fully utilized) to help change the lives of people that need help. Does our having technology help us understand these issues? Yes. Will it change it directly in the developing countries, countries that have more dire concerns (food, water) than internet access? Not right now.

    And while the music industry certainly does have issues, I would actually argue that music is much more of a universal item than a blog…which means it has more potential to create the changes he was talking about.

    Note: I have a blog. I’ not under the delusion that I am going to change the world because of it. If you want to focus on some companies that are trying to change the world, I would recommend checking out sites like kiva.org or unitus.com (micro finance). Perhaps that could be the focus of one of your shows? You could also encourage your fans/readers to join some of the organizations found in Facebook causes. Is 10.00 donation to a cause a lot of money to either one of us? Not really. But 1000 people donating that much money to a cause will actually help someone…

  96. ” I’d rather listen to Ethan since he DOES have a blog. Thanks for trying so hard.”

    I think this is where Ethan is talking about the self-importance displayed by many bloggers. Since when did having a blog make anyone smarter than everyone else? Some of the smartest people I know DON’T blog.

    After reading Ethan’s post, I think the main point is that technology still has a great potential (not being fully utilized) to help change the lives of people that need help. Does our having technology help us understand these issues? Yes. Will it change it directly in the developing countries, countries that have more dire concerns (food, water) than internet access? Not right now.

    And while the music industry certainly does have issues, I would actually argue that music is much more of a universal item than a blog…which means it has more potential to create the changes he was talking about.

    Note: I have a blog. I’ not under the delusion that I am going to change the world because of it. If you want to focus on some companies that are trying to change the world, I would recommend checking out sites like kiva.org or unitus.com (micro finance). Perhaps that could be the focus of one of your shows? You could also encourage your fans/readers to join some of the organizations found in Facebook causes. Is 10.00 donation to a cause a lot of money to either one of us? Not really. But 1000 people donating that much money to a cause will actually help someone…

  97. Anybody who wants to know what people like Ethan who are “passionate” about the record business are really all about should decipher this URL and go and read this article:

    victoryarticle [dot] tumblr [dot] com

    Suffice it to say that there are no clean hands anywhere at this business – not at the “independent” labels, nor at the “major” labels like WB.

    I saw this controversy mentioned on Twitter, and out of curiosity, I went over to Ethan’s blog to have a look around. I was so repulsed by what I saw that I left some acerbic comments, which is something that I seldom bother to do. But his blog was such an obvious example, in microcosm (or perhaps nanocosm) of everything that is wrong with the world, that I couldn’t resist the opportunity to let him have it.

  98. Anybody who wants to know what people like Ethan who are “passionate” about the record business are really all about should decipher this URL and go and read this article:

    victoryarticle [dot] tumblr [dot] com

    Suffice it to say that there are no clean hands anywhere at this business – not at the “independent” labels, nor at the “major” labels like WB.

    I saw this controversy mentioned on Twitter, and out of curiosity, I went over to Ethan’s blog to have a look around. I was so repulsed by what I saw that I left some acerbic comments, which is something that I seldom bother to do. But his blog was such an obvious example, in microcosm (or perhaps nanocosm) of everything that is wrong with the world, that I couldn’t resist the opportunity to let him have it.

  99. Excellent point Robert. The report should have taken the questions a little further. Here’s how it should have gone:

    Q: So, as a rapper, with your street cred and all that, you wouldn’t tell the police about the serial killer, you would move?

    A: Yep…

    Q: Okay, now let’s assume that that serial killer is a child predator…and let’s assume that the child predator abused your daughter and you have 100% credible evidence proving the neighbor did it…do you tell the police?

    A: Nah.

    Q: Are you going to move now?

    A: Nah.

    Q: If you don’t tell the police and you don’t move, what do you do?

    We all know what would happen, but the sad reality is, no one is talking about it. As the guy on the show said, “we’ve lost the rule of law in some of these communities.” And big companies love that they are making money off of it.

  100. Excellent point Robert. The report should have taken the questions a little further. Here’s how it should have gone:

    Q: So, as a rapper, with your street cred and all that, you wouldn’t tell the police about the serial killer, you would move?

    A: Yep…

    Q: Okay, now let’s assume that that serial killer is a child predator…and let’s assume that the child predator abused your daughter and you have 100% credible evidence proving the neighbor did it…do you tell the police?

    A: Nah.

    Q: Are you going to move now?

    A: Nah.

    Q: If you don’t tell the police and you don’t move, what do you do?

    We all know what would happen, but the sad reality is, no one is talking about it. As the guy on the show said, “we’ve lost the rule of law in some of these communities.” And big companies love that they are making money off of it.

  101. just one question how many of you people have grown up in the inner city and know what goes on there and how many options people are limited to and the things we have to do to feed out families and how the cops treat us when they show up. if we call the cops the first thing they start doing is questioning us like we are the suspects, so i dont talk to cops about anything a cop asks me a question i have not seen anything. this music sells because this is freedom of speech and this is the way we feel about law enforcement in general

  102. just one question how many of you people have grown up in the inner city and know what goes on there and how many options people are limited to and the things we have to do to feed out families and how the cops treat us when they show up. if we call the cops the first thing they start doing is questioning us like we are the suspects, so i dont talk to cops about anything a cop asks me a question i have not seen anything. this music sells because this is freedom of speech and this is the way we feel about law enforcement in general

  103. @62 “I +hate+ this “tear down the other guy” shit that’s been happening on the blogosphere lately.”

    And yet that’s what you do whenever you disagree with someone’s argument or whenever someone writes something you disagree with. You resort to name calling and ad-hominem responses rather than address the core argument. Physician! Heal thyself!

  104. @62 “I +hate+ this “tear down the other guy” shit that’s been happening on the blogosphere lately.”

    And yet that’s what you do whenever you disagree with someone’s argument or whenever someone writes something you disagree with. You resort to name calling and ad-hominem responses rather than address the core argument. Physician! Heal thyself!

  105. And since you are in the self-righteous mood, Scoble, how do you feel about Seagate being reincorporated in the Cayman Islands for tax haven purposes? How long will you remain silent on that issue? As long as they are your sponsor, I’m assuming? For someone with the social beliefs you have I would think you would outraged being associated with a company that is not paying its fair share of corporate taxes.

  106. And since you are in the self-righteous mood, Scoble, how do you feel about Seagate being reincorporated in the Cayman Islands for tax haven purposes? How long will you remain silent on that issue? As long as they are your sponsor, I’m assuming? For someone with the social beliefs you have I would think you would outraged being associated with a company that is not paying its fair share of corporate taxes.

  107. Robert,

    Here’s the problem– working for the music industry has always been about taking the hypocritical path. It’s accepted as part of the job, and people move on. From the Sony machinations in the mid 90s, to nearly every single desktop in the cubes of Warner Music Group running Napster, to the inability of Universal to sell music online at a time when it really would have revolutionized the industry, the technical/online arms of the industry have always been an exercise in bailing out a sinking ship with a thimble.

    You need to get to the core of what Ethan is saying. It is a paycheck, pure and simple. Now, why someone in the online department is attempting to speak for the company is beyond me– only a few short years ago he would have been crucified for that, but who knows, maybe the business really is getting better. (Or it’s even worse than we thought.)

    Keep this in mind, though. Ethan has about as much connection to that 60 Minutes story as you have to the direction of the War in Iraq. Asking him why he works for a corporate behemoth that behaves like that is like asking you why you’re still a US citizen. In his role he has the ability to decide what software WBR runs, but not a whole lot more. You didn’t have influence over Microsoft’s OEM deals, why would you take him to task for this?

  108. Robert,

    Here’s the problem– working for the music industry has always been about taking the hypocritical path. It’s accepted as part of the job, and people move on. From the Sony machinations in the mid 90s, to nearly every single desktop in the cubes of Warner Music Group running Napster, to the inability of Universal to sell music online at a time when it really would have revolutionized the industry, the technical/online arms of the industry have always been an exercise in bailing out a sinking ship with a thimble.

    You need to get to the core of what Ethan is saying. It is a paycheck, pure and simple. Now, why someone in the online department is attempting to speak for the company is beyond me– only a few short years ago he would have been crucified for that, but who knows, maybe the business really is getting better. (Or it’s even worse than we thought.)

    Keep this in mind, though. Ethan has about as much connection to that 60 Minutes story as you have to the direction of the War in Iraq. Asking him why he works for a corporate behemoth that behaves like that is like asking you why you’re still a US citizen. In his role he has the ability to decide what software WBR runs, but not a whole lot more. You didn’t have influence over Microsoft’s OEM deals, why would you take him to task for this?

  109. LayZ: look into why hundreds of companies are incorporated in Nevada or Ireland.

    But I didn’t even know about it until you mentioned it. I’ll do some research and see if it’s something I will comment on more.

  110. LayZ: look into why hundreds of companies are incorporated in Nevada or Ireland.

    But I didn’t even know about it until you mentioned it. I’ll do some research and see if it’s something I will comment on more.

  111. @27 billsayzthis

    “But wouldn’t other, less ethically questionable companies jump at the chance to hire someone of his talent and experience?”

    Haven’t you been around long enough to know that NEARLY EVERY LARGE COMPANY IS AMORAL? It is their nature. There aren’t enough mom & pop businesses around for everyone to leave their corporate jobs.

    Even so, if you have qualms about what your employer is doing, look for a replacement job. It does not mean that you’ll find a suitable replacement job in a more moral or ethical company, but you should still be looking. It may take you years to break free, but keep looking.

  112. @27 billsayzthis

    “But wouldn’t other, less ethically questionable companies jump at the chance to hire someone of his talent and experience?”

    Haven’t you been around long enough to know that NEARLY EVERY LARGE COMPANY IS AMORAL? It is their nature. There aren’t enough mom & pop businesses around for everyone to leave their corporate jobs.

    Even so, if you have qualms about what your employer is doing, look for a replacement job. It does not mean that you’ll find a suitable replacement job in a more moral or ethical company, but you should still be looking. It may take you years to break free, but keep looking.

  113. @78 Dude, again! Do so research before responding so you don’t look ill informed. Being incorporated in Nevada or Delaware doesn’t give you the same type of tax haven being incorporated in the Cayman’s does. Incorporating in those states for the most part saves companies on STATE corporate taxes, not FEDERAL. Seagate is ducking FEDERAL taxes. And generally it’s LLC’s that get most of the advantages.

    And being incorporated in Ireland doesn’t get you out of paying taxes; the tax rate is just lower. Whereas in the Caymans there is no income, corporation or capital gains tax and no estate duty, inheritance tax or gift tax.

    Nevertheless, I wasn’t talking about other corporations, I was talking about Seagate. What other corporations may or may not be doing is not relevant to the Seagate topic. You do understand how to debate a topic, right?

    Look, I congratulate Seagate on figuring out a way to avoid taxes. Good for them. Then again, unlike you, I don’t think the Fed Govt is responsible for creating federal charities, so the less money they get from us, the better. But because you think the Fed Govt should be our Mommy, I thought you might want to know Seagate is not contributing its fair share to the welfare state.

  114. @78 Dude, again! Do so research before responding so you don’t look ill informed. Being incorporated in Nevada or Delaware doesn’t give you the same type of tax haven being incorporated in the Cayman’s does. Incorporating in those states for the most part saves companies on STATE corporate taxes, not FEDERAL. Seagate is ducking FEDERAL taxes. And generally it’s LLC’s that get most of the advantages.

    And being incorporated in Ireland doesn’t get you out of paying taxes; the tax rate is just lower. Whereas in the Caymans there is no income, corporation or capital gains tax and no estate duty, inheritance tax or gift tax.

    Nevertheless, I wasn’t talking about other corporations, I was talking about Seagate. What other corporations may or may not be doing is not relevant to the Seagate topic. You do understand how to debate a topic, right?

    Look, I congratulate Seagate on figuring out a way to avoid taxes. Good for them. Then again, unlike you, I don’t think the Fed Govt is responsible for creating federal charities, so the less money they get from us, the better. But because you think the Fed Govt should be our Mommy, I thought you might want to know Seagate is not contributing its fair share to the welfare state.

  115. @Robert: Microsoft puts a significant proportion of its business through Ireland. The net effect last time I checked is a $400 million tax ‘saving’ each year. It is unclear whether they are manipulating what is known as the ‘transfer pricing’ rules in order to achieve this but either way, it doesn’t reflect the economic reality of how they do business. It is a common tactic employed by large international companies and is a significant drain on available tax resources for the countries in which they were originally located.

    People will argue the ‘goodness’ or otherwise of tax saving in this manner but the reality is that it creates economic distortions on a global scale. It is one of the most serious corporate abuses and contributes to what the US government already know represents a $300 billion ‘tax gap.’ In the UK, the tax gap is about $50 billion though I’m waiting for an update on the number.

    The tax gap is the difference between taxes that would normally apply on the basis of declared profit and the tax government is able to collect.

    This is not evasion but it is an abuse of global systems. Some of us think it has a significant effect on large parts of the world because it creates tax competition. That means poor countries, desperate to get inward investment will offer all sorts of crazy tax incentives. That happened in Ireland and has led to chronic house price inflation. The same is true in the Channel Islands.

    I can give you all sorts of theories as to why this is happening and the consequences but they boil down to one thing – governments have effectively passed over economic control to business which, while enjoying the benefits of being ‘human’ have no concept of monetary ethics. Their argument is always the same – anything goes when it comes to maximizing shareholder value.

    People like myself who talk about this are not popular but we don’t care. We see it as a race to the bottom that fosters inequality.

  116. @Robert: Microsoft puts a significant proportion of its business through Ireland. The net effect last time I checked is a $400 million tax ‘saving’ each year. It is unclear whether they are manipulating what is known as the ‘transfer pricing’ rules in order to achieve this but either way, it doesn’t reflect the economic reality of how they do business. It is a common tactic employed by large international companies and is a significant drain on available tax resources for the countries in which they were originally located.

    People will argue the ‘goodness’ or otherwise of tax saving in this manner but the reality is that it creates economic distortions on a global scale. It is one of the most serious corporate abuses and contributes to what the US government already know represents a $300 billion ‘tax gap.’ In the UK, the tax gap is about $50 billion though I’m waiting for an update on the number.

    The tax gap is the difference between taxes that would normally apply on the basis of declared profit and the tax government is able to collect.

    This is not evasion but it is an abuse of global systems. Some of us think it has a significant effect on large parts of the world because it creates tax competition. That means poor countries, desperate to get inward investment will offer all sorts of crazy tax incentives. That happened in Ireland and has led to chronic house price inflation. The same is true in the Channel Islands.

    I can give you all sorts of theories as to why this is happening and the consequences but they boil down to one thing – governments have effectively passed over economic control to business which, while enjoying the benefits of being ‘human’ have no concept of monetary ethics. Their argument is always the same – anything goes when it comes to maximizing shareholder value.

    People like myself who talk about this are not popular but we don’t care. We see it as a race to the bottom that fosters inequality.

  117. Reading through these exchanges, I actually forgot what the original argument was all about. It’s like a tribal war that continues for so many centuries no one can recall the original sin, which probably involved a goat from one tribe that ate some crop on the other tribe’s territory.

    I like both players, Ethan and Scoble, and I think they both help to make the world a better (more interesting, technologically advanced, communicative) place. Thanks, guys, and now I hope we can get back to doing what you do best.

  118. Reading through these exchanges, I actually forgot what the original argument was all about. It’s like a tribal war that continues for so many centuries no one can recall the original sin, which probably involved a goat from one tribe that ate some crop on the other tribe’s territory.

    I like both players, Ethan and Scoble, and I think they both help to make the world a better (more interesting, technologically advanced, communicative) place. Thanks, guys, and now I hope we can get back to doing what you do best.

  119. Robert, I typically read the Scobleizer, but this is one of the first times I have seen you deliberately antagonize for the sake of antagonizing and introducing a bunch of bs rhetoric in your responses. I found so many logic flaws in your responses to Ethan that I just didn’t know where to start. Maybe you need to go back and read this thread. No-one gains and I sure as heck didn’t learn anything from this interaction.

  120. Robert, I typically read the Scobleizer, but this is one of the first times I have seen you deliberately antagonize for the sake of antagonizing and introducing a bunch of bs rhetoric in your responses. I found so many logic flaws in your responses to Ethan that I just didn’t know where to start. Maybe you need to go back and read this thread. No-one gains and I sure as heck didn’t learn anything from this interaction.

  121. robert, it’s a shame to see your sharp eye applies only to the online world.

    what percentage of how many inmates are African American? Is it any surprise that their culture reflects an antagonism towards police?

    and yet you blame this serious social problem on Warner music? are video games responsible for columbine too?

  122. robert, it’s a shame to see your sharp eye applies only to the online world.

    what percentage of how many inmates are African American? Is it any surprise that their culture reflects an antagonism towards police?

    and yet you blame this serious social problem on Warner music? are video games responsible for columbine too?

  123. [...] Warner Music: why do you fund this crap? « Scobleizer So this shows why bloggers can get in trouble – lots of emotions into a public conversation can cause some serious misunderstandings between even the best of people… (tags: drama socialmedia gnomedex changingworld changetheworld transparency immediacy toblog) [...]

  124. @82 “This is not evasion but it is an abuse of global systems.”

    By the letter of the law, agreed it is not “evasion”. But let’s be honest..by the spirit of what they are doing, they are indeed evading taxes.

  125. @82 “This is not evasion but it is an abuse of global systems.”

    By the letter of the law, agreed it is not “evasion”. But let’s be honest..by the spirit of what they are doing, they are indeed evading taxes.

  126. So many of you are such a buncha white-bread honkies that it would be amusing if it weren’t so pathetic. Much like 60 Minutes it’s easy to take a stance on this piece without acknowledging and understanding the culture complexities that drive this behaviour. As was mentioned before the relations between the police and those in poor neighborhoods is less than optimal. Unless Robert is going to lay out his street cred growing up in Compton then perhap he shouldn’t get so self-righteous about this. Of course if he did have that cred, he likely would be approaching this in a more reasonable manner.

    By the way Robert, snitching was one of the greatest tools of the Nazis since fear drove people to hand over others as a way to protect themselves.

  127. So many of you are such a buncha white-bread honkies that it would be amusing if it weren’t so pathetic. Much like 60 Minutes it’s easy to take a stance on this piece without acknowledging and understanding the culture complexities that drive this behaviour. As was mentioned before the relations between the police and those in poor neighborhoods is less than optimal. Unless Robert is going to lay out his street cred growing up in Compton then perhap he shouldn’t get so self-righteous about this. Of course if he did have that cred, he likely would be approaching this in a more reasonable manner.

    By the way Robert, snitching was one of the greatest tools of the Nazis since fear drove people to hand over others as a way to protect themselves.

  128. I was robbed at gunpoint once, in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn.

    I did not go to the police. I did not tell them a damn thing. I wasn’t about to have a bunch of white, asian, and latin police officers tearing through the ghetto harassing every black man on a bicycle they spotted, creating even more hatred.

    I only lost what amounts to two hour’s worth of wages. The fellow who robbed me will likely be trapped in that run down corner of Hell for the rest of his life.

    I heartily encourage *EVERYONE* to avoid working with the police, too. You’ll be much happier for it.

  129. I was robbed at gunpoint once, in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn.

    I did not go to the police. I did not tell them a damn thing. I wasn’t about to have a bunch of white, asian, and latin police officers tearing through the ghetto harassing every black man on a bicycle they spotted, creating even more hatred.

    I only lost what amounts to two hour’s worth of wages. The fellow who robbed me will likely be trapped in that run down corner of Hell for the rest of his life.

    I heartily encourage *EVERYONE* to avoid working with the police, too. You’ll be much happier for it.