Facing the Future

It’s not often that I get to see the same argument (against another party’s argument) being made by observers of both the Publishing Industry and the Stock Market (vast oversimplification). And yet, waiting for me to catch up with them in my reading lists were both of these:

Book Square’s Kassia Krozser responds to the backwards business logic of “protecting” the book by restricting formats.
And Infectious Greed’s Paul Kedrosky argues against an argument blaming new technology for the dearth of IPOs. Both address arguments that somehow the decline, stifling, or death of an industry is defined by the emergence of new technology and new ways of doing things – not those industries abilities to define themselves and their functions in terms of the new ways of doing things.

It’s the argument to “protect” that both Krozser and Kedrosky address in their responses. The idea that somehow, the old way of doing things needs to be preserved because it’s the old way of doing things.

For myself, I can’t see how it’s ever a good idea to mistake the form of something for its function. That way lies messiness, madness, and cliffs we should have seen coming.

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