Thursday, August 31, 2006

Anti Extinction Mode and why its pointless

I’m a big fan of Blog Maverick. In one of his recent posts he hits on a topic that infuriates me about the world. In it he takes the example of the Cinema industry and argues that instead of spending money to stop pirated films and downloading the industry should spend the money on improving and extolling the positive experience of going to a movie theatre. You see this attitude everywhere, from Politicians “Don’t vote for the other guy he’s crap”, to software companies “I’m patenting every syllable in the English Language so I can sue anyone who might ever make a complimentary product to me” to advertisers “Use our product its got a very tenuous link to a hot topic even though we can only suggest this rather than stating it overtly because then our ad will get banned”. I have to admit that I don’t go to the cinema as much as I used to and have missed several movies in the theatre recently that a few years ago I would have seen. My rationale is to wait for DVD release but if I wanted to I could just as easily pick up a dodgy download. Some of my cinema experiences recently have not been good, with dirty theatres, surly staff and audience members who seem to think its ok to chat during the movie.

It’s all rubbish really isn’t it. Everyone running around in anti extinction mode instead of evolving into a positive force for the future. It probably wouldn’t take too much to turn me and many others back into a regular cinema goer again, but the industry seems to be uninterested in doing these things.

I remember reading recently that climate change has had such an effect on the habitat of polar bears that there are now documented cases of male polar bears becoming so hungry the they have attacked, killed and eaten their smaller female counterparts. To my mind this is exactly the same response as the examples above, but we as human beings really should be able to reason our way to the correct conclusion that this kind of response has no real benefits beyond immediate gratification and is actually counter productive in the long run. Unfortunately for Polar bears they do not have our capacity to reason in this way, but politicians, corporations and advertisers have no excuses.

It will be very sad to live in a world without polar bears, and equally sad to wander through Leicester Square without seeing a cinema, but unless both entities wise up and develop effective responses which actually address their problems, both of these outcomes could become reality before long.

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