January 3, 2008

Reason, Jan. 2008

Snippet lessons from this month's Reason:

+ Andrew Keen's new book is a work of "spectacular elitism." David Harsanyi's review of it is worth the read.
"Keen’s depressing book...laments techno-utopianism, free content, and the rise of citizen journalists, filmmakers, musicians, and critics as cultural arbiters...he ignores an otherwise promising tale of job creation, mass creativity, and the democratization of the media."

+ Guest workers need to be able to move fluidly. (Guests in the Machine)
+ Journalist Amity Shales is informed by Austrian economics.
+ Big Box music stores get trounced by Boston's indie hang-outs. The big boys don't get the local thing. (Big Box Panic)
"The inability to adapt to local tastes and the failure to anticipate technological market shifts have been the Achilles heel of many big box retailers. When Wal-Mart was forced to shutter its vast network of German stores, a mystified company spokesman told a reporter: “We thought everyone around the world loved Wal-Mart.” (The International Herald Tribune quoted a baffled Wal-Mart shopper in South Korea, where the company has also abandoned operations, wondering, “Why would you buy a box of shampoo bottles?”) The chain had made the mistake of assuming that full-spectrum retail dominance is achieved by virtue of size alone, without regard to cultural and regional difference."

+ Thomas Doherty can write with pizazz about Hollywood censorship. (A Code is Born)
+ Two new books recommend keeping government out of the "obseity epidemic."

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