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The Pirate's Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 8, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Music journalist Mason, a former pirate radio and club DJ in London, explores how open source culture is changing the distribution and control of information and harnessing the old system of punk capitalism to new market conditions governing society. According to Mason, this movement's creators operate according to piratical tactics and are changing the very nature of our economy. He charts the rise of the ideas and social experiments behind these latter-day pirates, citing the work of academics, historians and innovators across a multitude of fields. He also explores contributions by visionaries like Andy Warhol, 50 Cent and Dr. Yuref Hamied, who was called a pirate and a thief after producing anti-HIV drugs for Third World countries that cost as little as $1 a day to produce. Pirates, Mason states, sail uncharted waters where traditional rules don't apply. As a result, they offer great ways to service the public's best interests. According to Mason, how people, corporations and governments react to these changes is one of the most important economic and cultural questions of the 21st century. Well-written, entertaining and highly original, Mason offers a fascinating view of the revolutionary forces shaping the world as we know it. (Jan. 8)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Pirates bring choice and cause change. In this stunning book,Matt Mason forgets the parrots and the eye patches, but manages to teach us all a great deal. I learned a lot." -- Seth Godin, author of The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
"Through a tornado of hip-hop beats and remarkable stories, Matt Mason takes us on a riveting journey to the heart of innovation. In this explosive book, he shows us that companies face a stark choice: Will you allow yourself to be gutted by a pirate or will you actually become one?" -- Frans Johansson, author of The Medici Eeffect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts, and Cultures
"Matt Mason free runs over a half century of global popular culture to describe the shape of our possible future. The Pirate's Ddilemma is a series of leaps of imagination, and it always lands with style." -- Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Ggeneration and editor of Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop
"This entertaining survey introduces us [to] today's copyright scofflaws, who may be tomorrow's bold entrepreneurs. 9 out of 10 stars." --Wired
"Reading The Pirate's Dilemma is like stepping into a parallel universe [that is] vast and deep...Mason nimbly guides us through decades of the underground youth scene [in a] tour [that] is diverting and written in a pleasing patter...Something more...than a business book [and] more satisfying -- more authentic, as he might put it -- than most books that rave about the Web 2.0." -James Pressley, Newsday
"An attractive argument...A theory that's pro-technology, pro-money and pro-youth all at once [and Mason] does a good job of proving it...For once, someone is telling young people that we have power, and that we're not selfish and apathetic but demanding 'a more democratic strain of capitalism' while still looking out for our enlightened self-interest." --Nona Willis Aronowitz, The New York Observer
"Well-written, entertaining and highly original, Mason offers a fascinating view of the revolutionary forces shaping the world as we know it." --Publishers Weekly
"Smart and thought-provoking...Mason has crafted a fascinating primer on the intersection of piracy, youth culture, and business."--The Phoenix
"Mason, a writer for uber-hip magazine-cum-branding-effort VICE, offers up an entertaining thesis...For the executive's nightstand." --U.S. News and World Report
"Wacky and intriguing stories."--Fast Company, "Smart Books 2008"
Top customer reviews
Building on others' ideas is a part of the contemporary creative process. It could be said that there are no new ideas, but there are infinite new ways to do old things. Our culture is built on a combination of all our ideas, mixed and remixed, recut and served through mass media. Using other people's ideas is accepted, but is it right?
This is the Pirate's dilemma, a book on how youth culture is reinventing capitalism by Matt Mason. Piracy is less a word about a thieving enemy to guard against, but is now how business gets done, by individuals getting access to music and entrepreneurs remixing ideas to better serve customers.
The Pirate's Dilemma is a great read to examine how we got here, where here is and what is on the horizon of a remix culture. Entrepreneurial pirates create solutions to problems unanswered by existing businesses. Mainstream gives up market share with stubborn decisions to sell the status quo. Pirates are serving the consumers what they want, even when the intellectual property is not theirs. The book helps us understand the costs and benefits of this evolving culture shift to our society.
This is what this book is about. The author uses/describes the music scene mostly, for that is what he knows about, and also of course the PC scene, since the personal computer is the Music Liberation Front's first choice of Kalashnikov. For me the book is not a keeper, but it is definitely a must-read.
You should also read The Long Tail How Endless Choice Is Creating Unlimited Demand if you haven't already. You can download the original article for free if you go to Wired's homepage.
While I have been totally "open" since I published E3i in the Whole Earth Review (Fall 1992) and was called a lunatic by the spy world, and I have given a Gnomedex keytone on "Open Everything," this book--I am shaking my head trying to find the right words--has been an inspiration to me.
Bottom line: the pyramidal structure, the Weberian bureaucracy model that characterizes all governments and corporations, is DEAD. The circule model, the open network model, is kicking serious butt.
This author has in my view demonstrated world-class scholarship, given us gifted writing, and developed a story line that I can only call DAZZELING. This is an important story we all need to understand.
Here are my flyleaf notes:
+ Pirates are rocking the boat.
+ Information Age has hit puberty."
+ Citing Mark Ecko, a graffiti artist whose brand is now worth $1 billion: "The pirate has become the producer."
+ Punk capitalism."
+ Punk Plus equals creative destruction at hurricane force.
+ Purpose is everything.
+ Citing Shane Smith: In America there is no anti-status quo media--it's all the same four big companies...there is no voice.
+ Punk and green are converging on substance and style.
+ Citing Richard Florida, "Rise of the creative class"
+ 3d printing is here now, 3d product download is on the horizon (I envision FedEx Kinko's as a "one of" production facility, but the dumb ass at FedEx CEO blew me off when I proposed that he print books to lower their carbon footprint).
+ USA was founded on the basis of piracy of European technologies.
+ Three core punk ideas are 1) do it yourself; 2) resist authority; 3) combine altruism with self-interest.
+ Canal Street moves faster than Wall Street."
+ Pirate radio as musical petri dishes creating new spaces.
+ "Today a new generation is demanding more choice."
+ Net neutrality matters (FYI, Google has a programmable search engine that will let you see only what others pay to let you see. Google is now totally EVIL.
+ Lawsuits are a sign of corporate wekaness.
+ Monsanto is totally evil, and these morons have filed patents claiming they own all the pigs on the planet. Hard to believe. Time to close them down.
+ INSIGHT HALFWAY THROUGH THE BOOK: Punk and integral consciousness, pirates and creative commons, are converging.
+ 3 pirate hyabits: 1) look outside the market; 2) create a vehicle; 3) harness your audience.
+ Remix is HUGE.
+ Graffiti is explained brilliantly by this author.
+ Open Source is going physical, e.g. open source beer.
+ File sharing boosts sales and extends range of for-sale music.
+ Free education online (and my own idea, one cell call at a time) is the ultimate positive sharing experience.
+ 1.5 billion youth around the world waiting to explode in creativity or destruction--I ask myself, what are we doing to help them go creative?
+ Four pillar s of community: 1) Altruism, 2) Reputation; 3) Experience; 4) Pay them (revenue sharing with customers).
+ Authenticity is huge.
+ Weaker boundaries = stronger foundations."
+ Hip hop as "sustainable sell-out," a "powerful form of collective action."
+UN Secretary Gen3eral Kofi Annan recognized hip hop as an international language.
+ Flash mobs
+ Create a virus and feed it: 1) Audeince makes the rules, 2) Avoid limelight, speak only to the audience; 3) Feed the virus; 4) Let it die.
Conclusion: our youth have a new world view, empowered by global information technology, and they are the pinnacle of incredibly efficient networks.
I am just totally blown away by this book. The author has written a manifesto of enormous import.
Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter
Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
One from Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization
Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace
The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google
Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering (Information Revolution and Global Politics)
I have a number of books on Amazon, should you wish to know more, I would be glad to have you examine them.