04
Apr
08

KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Welcome to the Digital Era

Em Brownlowe
Last weekend, I went up to Seattle to learn more about MINI LIFE. MINI LIFE is a new music/video/game website being launched by Carlos Rodela. In a nutshell, MINI LIFE was built to provide a space for independent musicians, game programmers and (soon) filmmakers to release their creations as a free medium while being supported directly by their fans. The idea supports the power of the Internet for artists to support their creations. MINI LIFE also supports the transfer of power from the corporate giants of the entertainment industry and gives it back to the people: those who are passionate about using technology as a vessel to access a wealth of information and entertainment. In the coming months, MINI LIFE will be offering fans of these artists a subscription program where for a low cost they can get up to date and special material from the artists they love.
[for more info on MINI LIFE check out our interview with Carlos Rodela ]

However, after my trip to Seattle, I realized the issue of the digital format being more prevalent is bigger than MINI LIFE itself and has the power to transform society and the ways in which we perceive culture. We are in a social media revolution. Technology is advancing so quickly and becoming more readily available to the common person. Culture is also related to this techno-revolution. People can now access films, music, news, art, and written word all over the world and immerse themselves in information we had previously been denied of or charged for due to mass media oppression of the consumer.

“The mission of the Free Culture movement is to build a bottom-up, participatory structure to society and culture, rather than a top-down, closed, proprietary structure. Through the democratizing power of digital technology and the Internet, we can place the tools of creation and distribution, communication and collaboration, teaching and learning into the hands of the common person — and with a truly active, connected, informed citizenry, injustice and oppression will slowly but surely vanish from the earth” – Free Culture Manifesto

The digital era is the future and we are already on the path NOW. There is no turning back from the technological advancements we have made as a culture. Peer to peer file sharing happens and it is not going to go away. The media conglomerates are freaking out but the overall worry is really is no different than when the printing press liberated the written word or when VCR came along or cassette tapes or when more people began to read their newspapers online. What is the worry? These multi-billion dollar industries are going to lose money. They are so committed to their old business model and they see the Internet’s users as a threat. If they were smart, they would dry their tears and think of a new way to work with the techno-advancements. However, to do this, they would have to abandon their “old way” of thinking and progress with society. This is unknown to them and they are scared.

This is why it is so important for younger generations to embrace the digital era and use it to it’s full potential. By doing this we are not only gaining a wealth of information while supporting and learning about independent media endeavors, we are also rebelling against the capitalistic system that limits us to being dependent consumers.

Besides being a technology or social issue, digital accessibility can be considered an environmental issue. By supporting digital technologies (and accepting that it IS the way of the future and we are NOT going to revert back to outdated models of the past) we are advancing beyond detrimental effects to our great Earth. For example: If standard jewel cased CDs were obsolete we would not need to produce or consume plastic or paper in order to listen to music. Or if the majority newspapers were exclusively available online or phone books weren’t made any more we could save thousands and thousands of acres of trees. Not to mention all of the fuel it takes to transport these products.

(((I feel the need to address that I realize these ideas may come across as a privileged “I have a computer w/ Internet” or “I have an I-Pod”. I know some people do not have as much access to technological advancements in comparison to others. However, I do know that when the companies that supply these machines and materials to access this information accept the future, it will be more affordable to the common person. It also has gone down in cost already. Consider Less than $20 MP3 players or computers on Craig’s List or the public library.)))

Watch one of my references, STEAL THIS FILM: PART II. It is about 45 minutes long but is definitely enlightening.

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1 Response to “KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Welcome to the Digital Era”


  1. 1 dr. digital
    April 4, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    brilliant.


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