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2. Everyone of those lists is singularly awful, The martial arts film one has the distinction of being the worst of the lot. The Grauniad usually has piss poor best of lists, but this whole lot comes across as one by a current film student who has never actually watched many movies.

Oh come on. The list is not that bad. It could be much worse. If you were going to draw up such a list, some of those films would have to be there. You would have to pick at least one Bruce Lee film. If only for historic reasons. He didn't pick such a bad one although he does not show a great deal of interest or understanding in Bruce Lee's work. You would have to pick a Jackie Chan one. Any Westerner is going to pick Hidden Dragon - for its break through technology if nothing else.

The problem is that the guy picking does not seem to know much about kung-fu films - or care. Far too much of his commentary is not about the films, but about the West. Except when talking about Bruce Lee when far more should have been said about Western racism and Lee's role in giving Asians pride. Jackie Chan, for instance, has made a lot of films. I don't think he has been pining for Hollywood.

Yojimbo belongs to a completely different genre of film and does not belong there.

And the Matrix? Please. fAr too hung up on what the West is doing.

I have always thought that Hidden Dragon is hugely overrated.

As for the lists, I'm not impressed, though the one on Westerns was okay. Mixed feelings about the top ten Action movie list: Hitchcock is no.1, which is good, but which tells you a lot about the Guardian critics' mindsets when it comes to action.

No Terminator? Maybe it is considered sci fi?

2. Wong Kar-Wai's The Grandmaster continues being criminally under-appreciated.

Isn't the Cards Against Humanity "upward sloping demand curve" really just a case of a successful (if counter-intuitive) marketing campaign causing the demand curve to shift right?

There is no spoon.

+1 a shift vs a movement along the curve. Thought that was econ101

Maybe that card game is a Giffen good

1. "Two books I read recently that informed my decision were Malcom Gladwell’s David and Goliath and Marty Neumeier’s Zag, which are both kind of shitty business/science books that make the somewhat-obvious point that being small and nimble can give you advantages that huge lumbering opponents don’t have."

Dave Winer (foundational blogger) used to give "zig when they zag" advice to small developers. Dave's a funny guy, but probably deserves a mention. (I presume Neumeier's book is a long form on the same.)

Sword of Doom? Samurai Rebellion? Harakiri? Throne of Blood?

Musicians have been saying exactly that about the streaming services since the beginning, but nobody listens. For 10+ years now, most people have decided that they deserve to get music for free or nearly-free, and anytime anyone tries to tell them that the entire enterprise is only sustainable if someone is actually paying, they got hostile. The streaming services are the worst yet -- they're free or nearly-free for consumers, but they have to pay out royalties that are both more than they can afford and also far too insubstantial to help musicians much. It's not sustainable for anybody. But hell, I use Spotify and Pandora too, so I get it.

That article was a bitter polemic and I don't understand your comment either. What's not sustainable? I don't see musicians leaving for other careers en masse? Yes they complain they don't get paid enough, but then again who doesn't? And it's not as if in the pre-streaming era things were all rosy for an average musician either.

Sure Pandora and Spotify might die, but so what? Pioneers of a novel delivery model are rarely a guaranteed success, often the first movers die out and a latter entrant makes the model work.

Streaming's hear to stay. What will get tweaked is the business model and who gets how much of the royalties. I don't see the cause for your pessimism at all.

Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it isn't happening. Do you know enough about the business that you would see it? Because I do, and I have seen it. The industry is eating its seed corn. With rare exceptions like the Arcade Fire or fun, virtually no young bands are making any money at this point. A lot of them eventually quit altogether, or get day jobs and only do occasional tours and albums. To anticipate a common objection, yes, this was always true to some extent, but it's gotten worse. I think we are increasingly seeing a model of the industry that is extremely high-turnover, where a young inexperienced band gets hyped up for an album or two and then disappears, and given that the overwhelming majority of the best records of the modern popular music era (lets say late 50s onward) were not debuts, I really don't see that as a good thing.

As far as the second point, the model needs much more than a tweaking. Pandora has been trying to force people onto subscriptions for years already with the cap on monthly free listening, and all that seems to happen is that their customers have gone to Spotify or YouTube or whoever else is currently offering them streaming music for free. I really would like someone to explain to me what exactly they think is going to break that cycle.

Whatever. The last 5-10 years have been a golden era for heavy metal and I suspect cheap downloads (legal, not quite legal and flat out illegal) actually HELPED that. I could not care less for pop, TBH.

Speaking as someone with a fair amount of knowledge of the subject a) it is a highly debatable proposition whether recent years have in fact been "a golden era for heavy metal", and I would say that assertion depends almost entirely on what kind of metal one enjoys; and b) to the extent that it is true, it seems largely driven by the fact that we are in another era, similar to points in the 80s, where metal is fashionable again, which doesn't really have anything to do with downloads as best I can tell.

"And is music streaming going to die?"

My guess it will just morph into a higher price range. $10 per month will probably support the model long term, free will not. The services will tend to be pushed upward to the $10 per month range.

True. As it is, so many people play Netflix $10 a month for all-you-can-watch movies.

I cannot predict what price point streaming will stabilize at but it seems impossible that music streaming will just die. What we are seeing is just carving out of the pie.

This only works if somebody isn't offering consumers essentially whatever they want for free, which so far has not been the case for music at any point in the post-Napster era. The film and television industries benefit from a situation where, to date, the (possibly) sustainable Netflix model has offered clear advantages over free-to-consumers alternatives (better video quality, more reliable streams, etc.). This is not the case in music, where there have been free-to-consumers options that offer the quality demanded by most consumers pretty consistently for over a decade.

I too can picture a version of this model that is sustainable, but I have yet to see anything that suggests we are approaching it.

The interesting question will be if and when this new distribution mode will usurp the traditional dominant role of the record label (BMG etc.). If you see the music revenue pie chart almost $65 of every $100 goes to the label. If there emerges a band-to-Pandora etc. distribution mode surely there's lots of spare money to go around and keep both licensor and licensee happy?

I pay for Google All Acces (and before that, Spotify Premium) - because of convience. I might not have done that during highschool or university, but now it is definitely worth it.

Netflix isn't available where I live (not without jumping through hoops, anyway( and I would not pay for it because the quality just flat out sucks compared to what I can get for free.

7. Beginner's question: does Nudging work (or work as well) when the subjects know that they are being nudged?

1) Yes. 2) the worst that should happen is a null, but as the article states, we have entered a perverse domain in the USA, where good suggestions are opposed on ideological grounds.

" we have entered a perverse domain in the USA, where good suggestions are opposed on ideological grounds."

Indeed, delaying the implementation of Obamacare was delayed on purely ideological grounds, even though in retrospect, it's clear that it wasn't ready for deployment.

That was pretty much a non sequitur. Which don't you understand, the ACA or nudges or both?

He didn't quote you on nudges.

#3: The streaming services should start their own labels. They could dramatically reduce the label-induced overhead and increase the returns to the artists, while also increasing their profit.

1.) Pleasantly surprised to find The Raid on the list but WTF happened to Hero and Yip Man?

#7 is very good. I approve of government framing to produce better outcomes. God knows companies have been using psychological strategies to influence behavior for decades, with arguably more nefarious motives.

True, but when does the nudge turn into a push, or shove?

Personally, I think we should oppose dangerous "push or shove" proposals, but not good "nudges."

Slippery slope arguments are sometimes offered because they are the "best available" opposition even without them being actually reasonable or rational fears.

Or they are offered because the slippery slope often does happen.
How many of today's current policies started out as large as they are now?

My problem with slippery slope arguments is when they are used in pure, almost abstract, form. As in, let's not do this good thing, because something unspecified and bad might happen.

Surely a reasonable and likely path should be named. Otherwise it is only a generic argument against good things.

#1. This reminded me of greeting cards. It always seemed odd to me that greeting cards have the price shown clearly on the back, considering they are meant to be gifts. Normally we hide prices on gifts. I suspect they are there because the buyers know the receivers will see it, and the fact that it is there pushes the marginal buyer to a higher price point. Greeting cards with prices printed on them might have an upward sloping demand curve.

Or NōKA chocolate, famous for being (while they lasted) the world's most expensive chocolate. But not much else.ōKA_Chocolate

A local blogger did a little investigation and discovered that they were just remelting chocolate from another company and casting it into their own molds. At a huge mark-up, of course.

It's fine to be seen spending big on high quality, but not fine to be seen as a fool.

3. Fit the drones with anti-bird devices...maybe a high pitched sound that activates when a bird comes too close. Birds have ears, right?

Give it fake wings and a tail so it looks like a hawk.

Or better yet, encourage real falcons to move back into the cities and keep those vile pigeons down.

The drone could be equipped with decoys. When a bird attacks, it could pop out a feathery object that falls away, perhaps making distressed bird noises as it goes. These could be quite small (in their compressed state), so the drone could carry several of them.

@ So Much for Subtlety
Groups of small birds often gang up and attack predatory birds. One of the song birds flies into the rotary blades and bye bye drone. Dressing the drone as a hawk might be counterproductive.

@ Mark
A bait bird may distract from a predatory attack but in an attack to defend territory, it may not be as successful.

Many birds navigate by the earth's magnetic field. I wonder if strong electromagnets might disorient the bird and prevent it from attacking.

Bill, birds have ears. But ultrasound stunners are considered cruel where I am so it may have to be shown that they are better than any alternative before they can be used. Of course deliveries could always be made at night as owls and bats are unlikely to cause drones much grief and night deliveries also reduce the risk of hitting a human if a drone drops out of the sky. But I don't think bird attacks will stop too many drone deliveries during the day. Most deliveries will take place in cities and suburbs where wedge tailed eagles are rare and a drone large enough to make deliveries could probably be made sturdy enough to survive occasional attacks by small birds. And even here in Australia where our magpies go all Alfred Hitchcock on us in their nesting season, birds can become habituated to regular events. As drones will probably follow regular flight paths, designed for human safety, birds may become used to their presence. Also drones can fly in formation which may provide extra deterence. As for making deliveries in areas were birds of prey live, well, these birds have large territories so spying on them could avoid attacks. For example, a camera could be focused on their nesting sites letting drones stay out of the sky when birds of prey are on the wing.

1) "0% of the proceeds will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation"


Musicians and composers, arrangers, and everyone else in the music enterprise should only do what they do for the love of THE MUSIC. They should offer their labor and talent for free. From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs, and so on. Obviously this applies to economists, bankers, hookers, mafia hit men, and everyone else.

Speaking of martial arts movies: It defies comprehension how anyone could not think Enter the Dragon is # 1, followed by Return of the Dragon (the one in Rome), and The Chinese Connection (with the Japanese mafia).

Kung fu isn't a martial art, as such. Even ordinary Chinese people know Jackie Chan isn't a martial artist (although he is great). Unless you don't think martial arts has anything to do what, you know, physical fighting, and such (which many people don't, it seems).

Undercover Brother should not be neglected.

I didn't read the list.

David, for me I think the difference between people in the music industry and those other professionals you mentioned is if people in the music industry weren't reimbursed I know I could still get all the music I personally wanted. However, I probably wouldn't be able to get all the contract killering (pest control), economist (sensible public policy), or football player (hooker) services that I desire. I suspect I'd still be offered plenty of banking services though, but I don't think the people involved would be entirely unreimbursed.

#4: that picture looks awful: Corbusier meets Salvador Dali, complete with lots of random concrete and cracks in the ground. Just the sort of thing an over-schooled "world class" architect would design. Hope the rest of the city is less bad.

OK I went right ahead and read the list. About what I expected, except they got Enter the Dragon right.

Jackie Chan made is debut as an extra in that movie. His in the underground fight scene.

It escapes me why people think the music business is different from any other, or why musicians should be expected to work for free, or don't need money to live. I will work for free if everyone else does too. Until then give me the money.

Musicians will get paid less or none at all. This is possible, because people will still want to be musicians and many will pay for the priviledge of having an audience for their music. It's like choirs. Singing in a choir is rarely an occupation and most choirs I have listened to haven't paid their singers. Still we have a lot of adequate quality choirs, because people want to sing. Similarly people will want to make music and will record and distribute it using their own money. Maybe we could have better choirs if we were ready to pay more for concerts and recordings, but we are not and no one seems to mind.

I think some musicians mistakenly believe that they might be able to make a living doing it. I do NOT think the vast majority would pay for the priviledge of having an audience. Some will - but most expect at the end of the road they might be able to make a living doing music. Being a musician in a band is a lot of work. Only after all the effort (and investment) is put forth do musicians often realize there is no financial future. Music is so pervasive in culture it "seems" like there should be money for the artist in it - but for most it's not going to be the case. My bet is there is significant information asymmetry at work - young artists simply don't know to odds.

(2.) Expected a lot more blowback in the comments, so here goes: The list is self-disqualifying by including The Matrix. I like that movie, and its sequels, but it has no place in the list. Crouching Tiger is fine, but also has no place in the list because it is an Americanized version of wuxia.

Obvious missing titles: Swordsman II , one of the old Tsui Hark flicks ; one of the bonkers 90s titles like The Bride with White Hair (fabulously bonkers wuxia); and of course as TC points out, Drunken Master II. Much more could be said by someone with more knowledge of wuxia than I have.

OK, just realized, they said "martial arts", not the same as wuxia. Okay, my bad. I guess I had my own blinders on.

3. The primary issue is that recorded music is not a scarce good anymore.

Red Belt

HT:Reihan Salam

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