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You can clean houses for twice that, and the shit you have to deal with is far easier to handle.

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Um, sometimes? HN is big, and there are crossover populations.

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No... that's not true at all. Books like Lolita, Catch-22, Animal Farm, and To Kill a Mockingbird are all considered literary fiction.

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There's never really been any money in poetry for people who were just published poets. "Great" poets were all subsidized by patrons, worked in odd jobs or other mediums, or died in penury (sometimes all three)! The same is true now as it was 200 years ago.

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“I am his Highness' dog at Kew; Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?”

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There are some exceptions, of course. Lord Byron's poets regularly sold out and were very profitable. As was Tennyson and Robert Browning's poetry.

If we had perpetual copyright, I suspect Shakespeare's estate would be worth several billion dollars.

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If we had perpetual copyright, Shakespeare would have been sued out of existence.

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To expand on this, if we had perpetual copyright, we wouldn't have culture.

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Love that somebody raised this. :-) Same applies to Disney.

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Leonard Cohen managed to monetize his poetry through his music.

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And even now we have spoken word and slam poets that sell out clubs & college gigs, and make ends meet on that. They are profound exceptions. And, also, Shakespeare's profits would be almost entirely due to his plays.

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We can make a comparison with stand-up comedians. The majority don't make anything from it and a very large number don't even have any professional aspirations.

Yet, professional comedians make good money. The best are multimillionaires.

The developments the author points out aren't exactly new or exclusive to this century. You can trace them back to the Industrial Revolution. The 19th century English novelists I read seemed to populate their novels with characters who did nothing but drink tea, read books, make smart quips and over the summer, play a game or two of cricket (hallmarks of the quintessential Victorian gentleman, I was told). You had people who read as a hobby, and people who 'read' (and write about their reading) as a vocation (Matthew Arnold comes to mind, as do an unending list of independent lexicographers, researchers, and scientists).

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The power curve in the arts is brutal. You're either in a handful of extreme successes, or you're making close to the nothing.

And extreme success isn't stable. You can fall from the top into nowhere-land at any time.

It's ironic that many engineers believe the arts are a soft career option.

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Would anybody be teaching Shakespeare if you had to pay for it?

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Plenty of courses get taught on literature recent enough that it is not yet in the public domain. Here's one:

http://www.openculture.com/2013/02/david_foster_wallaces_199...

So yes, Shakespeare would probably still be taught, though the plays would cost a bit more.

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Yes, but those are taught because they have a modern perspective which you won't get from Shakespeare. And it is hard to say that contemporary classics will last 300 years if you keep them locked under copy-write the whole time.

My point is that a world with Shakespeare under perpetual copy-write is different enough from this world that it would be very difficult to predict whether or not it would retain its status as a teaching necessity. It could very well be the case that we would be teaching modern renditions of folk tales instead. Or that someone else would write Shakespeare-style archetypes in a more accessible format, and we'd use that instead.

Everybody knows Shakespeare because everybody knows Shakespeare. Its hard to say exactly how much of that is undone by copy-write.

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I'm not sure I buy this argument. By his criterion, porn is more or less the major art.

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I'm not quite sure you can make that leap. While it certainly fits his criterion of a large non-practicing audience, you forget that it actually lacks art (99% of the time). It's as workman-like as accounting or perhaps more akin to a sport.

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that would require the audience to consist of people who make porn

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No, his argument is that "major art" is widely consumed by people who do not practice it. He uses poetry -- consumed by a small audience of people who almost entirely consider themselves poets -- as an example of "craft." I disagree with his definitions here. They aren't meaningful.

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oops, yes, i misread your argument. agreed, porn would definitely be a "major art" by that criterion. (and really, who's to say it isn't? it's an orthogonal classification to good/bad art.)

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No one has anything else to do tonight, I guess.

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I'm an actual woman in computing WITH kids, and I found the article offensive, as well. There's something in there for all of us to dislike.

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The stuff about child support is actively gross and totally incorrect. Median child support in the US is ~$500/mo; vanishingly few people have the kind of money he's talking about.

http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p60-246.pdf

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That the average person who pursues a job is not very successful economically does not mean that the job is not worth pursuing for someone who is thoughtful and talented. As noted above, if the median child support is only $6000 tax-free dollars per year that suggests that high-income potential fathers are an underutilized resource.

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/c... shows that the median computer programmer gets paid $75,000 per year. That doesn't stop thoughtful and talented programmers from earning a lot more (though collusion by employers, e.g., Apple, has interfered with what would have been a market).

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Yep, and that's where this thread went.

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Which favorable game reviews? Can you link one where she slept with the reviewer and got a better review than you think she deserved?

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