"Most media platforms of both the macro and micro variety are seeing big drop offs in social media traffic, as the platforms decide they don’t want people following links offsite anymore."

This at least as much goes the other way when it comes to legacy news media outlets. That is, they've lobbied to force platforms to somehow compensate them for even showing their headlines. If that were the case, obviously there is less of an incentive for the platform to show their content at all.

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Extremely interesting; good critique of Gioia.

Douthat had a thought-provoking analysis last year, predicting that "the movies" we're on their way out as a macroculture, and if "cinema" survives, it would be much more like local performing arts groups (theater, classical music) that no one expects to be profitable.


Of course, that very model is having an overdetermined crisis (COVID? Wokeness? Generational change?) causing a decline that means the viability of that particular "microculture" model is open to question.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/23/theater/regional-theater-crisis.html https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/05/theater/new-york-theater.html

Perhaps in the future people will do nothing but state at AI-generated entertainment on their phones all evening.

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Even when Macroculture was good, it wasn't good for us. Macroculture, mass media, etc destroys local community and culture, creates obsession with national politics, etc. I don't pretend to know the right economic model to use so micro culture can thrive, but culturally, morally, I believe we'll be better off when we own a large portion of our own culture and creations, rather than be fans of IP, no matter how "based" it is.

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The ongoing development function of macromedia is often ignored. Thanks for pointing it out.

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The Substack model of every person paying individual creators for content was never sustainable-- for most, it can only function as an arbitrage where legacy institutions are either not serving a niche or have mis-priced a particular contributor's worth. They cannot be the long term solution which will grow up in the place of these dying institutions.

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A lot of things I've been thinking about covered in this piece. Thanks Aaron.

This discussion reminds me of LeRoy Ashby's Amusement For All, where he describes American popular culture as functioning on a circus model; freakier, edgier entertainment percolate in the side shows, and the best slowly get cleaned up and eventually become the main circus attraction in a way that's both new but also still palatable to the mainstream. But maybe with the rise of current platforms and social media that old content cycle is breaking down, where the main tent leadership is becoming too sclerotic, and the best sideshows are too distant from opportunities to rise up. Maybe that will change as more millennials and zoomers get into positions of leadership in the old institutions-- they might be more ready to graft in their favorite online microcelebrities.

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