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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/there-may-be-doubt-if-those-new-jobs-will-be-27442305.aspx

Subject:  Re: OT: Man in the White Suit Date:  2/15/2009  12:48 PM
Author:  Lokicious Number:  25977 of 35276

There may be doubt if those new jobs will be better, but there is no doubt that they will be different. And "better" is in the eye of the beholder - is sitting in a small cubicle better than working with ones muscles outdoors? Sure it is in some respects, but it is worse in other respects.

I think the basic definition is about pay/benefits/hours. I tend to romanticize working outdoors, but that's because I do it for fun and on a limited basis.

I don't understand where you are going with this argument about 35mm cameras.

I'm probably ahead of the curve on this one, and maybe I'll be wrong. It is true that an initial phase with digital cameras involved people printing out pictures, making written scrap-books/albums, etc. (Before our camera died, every time we sent pictures to my mother-in-law, she would print them out on the very cheap printer that came free with the computer, now 10 years old, and she doesn't know how to change the cartridge.) But I think we are moving into the YouTube era, so whatever money is to be made will come from the internet revenue source, which I still believe is ultimately a "You show me yours, I'll show you mine" economic model (there just isn't enough off-line stuff to buy to support the monster).

I predicted the end of academic publishing back in the xerox machine era, when we could xerox articles and books (supposedly legal for personal use, but like, who cares) for a fraction to cost of subscriptions and arcane books (or even university press books). With word processing and email and then the internet, that we can share work with colleagues (and others) faster and for next to nothing in costs became obvious—the "peer review" quality control issue is a red herring. But the erosion of the power of the academic publishing industry (remember, academic authors don't get paid anything) is taking a long, long time. (There are cracks and in some scientific fields, where time is of the essence, what I like to call samizdat, a.k.a., pre-publication sharing, has become the norm—samizdat was the way censored writings were passed around during the Soviet era: the practice, though not the term, goes back to Tzarist Russia.)

I also predicted email would be the end of mail-box fillers (everything from secretaries who consider making birthday posters part of their job descriptions to administrators who produce tomes that never get past the recycling bin, or trash can before that). But from when we first started using Eudora and Word (the real revolution, before the internet, c. 1990), until 3-5 years ago, there was a proliferation of paper, basically both hard copy and digital copy, with even more silliness, because it had become easier to make birthday greetings and administrative tomes. But now, for most things, we need to request hard copy. We are now in the process of negotiating with students over posting course materials on line only and letting those who want to print them out. (There is also the dirty secret that course packs with copyright material cost an arm and a leg, but most articles and even some book chapters we might assign are available on line through the e-library subscription system.)

Anyway, there are a lot of vested interests in postponing the inevitable consequences of the internet (including the birthday poster secretary and the academic publisher, not to mention the film and music industries). But eventually, as we move completely from hard copy, the amount of labor needed to produce stuff for people to buy outside the digital domain will continue to be reduced. Which is why finding a way to pay people who produce the content, not the hard copy, is essential
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