Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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User-generated discontent

April 6th, 2006 · 1 Comment

This is a barge full of coal, one of many each day that float down the Ohio River.

See the train tracks in this photo’s lower left? They carry multiple freight trains–gypsum and phone poles and sulfuric acid, going to market on rattling rails of steel.
At night, in my comfortable hotel bed, I sometimes wake up a little to hear them go by.

Pittsburgh is a constant reminder that our lives depend on more than bits and pixels and dollars. So, let this photo be my small contribution to the debate among Nicholas Carr, Doc Searls, and others on “Business as Morality.”

Commerce as well-requited generosity works for only some people, and for them only some of the time. People need a reliable way to exchange some of their work for somebody else’s money–because coal and flour and steel and gasoline are produced by people who want to get paid for their work.

Meanwhile, in another part of the bloggy forest, Derek Powazek hates the term “user-generated content”, and so do

I agree “user-generated content” is ugly, but its ugliness reflects an ugly truth we might otherwise forget. There really are lots of people who see our “content” as something they hope to loot for their own benefit–and I don’t see why we “users” should try to forget that.

Tags: Metablogging

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