Tuesday, March 30, 2004


Hot off the headlines, another magical prediction from You Are Dumb Dot Net: The RIAA will be DUMB.
I guarantee you that the RIAA will, over the next few days, participate in what I like to think of as the Great American Pastime. Not baseball, no. The devaluing of the fact.
I'd hate to be a fact these days. You think the Bill in Schoolhouse Rock had a shitty life? Try being a fact in 2004. I mean, even assuming you're a LUCKY fact, and don't get pissed on by people with an agenda, the best fate you can hope for is just to be ignored, disbelieved, and occasionally brought up in Internet arguments.
How horrible it must be, then, to be born into this world as a fact. Like today, when the largest ever statistical study comparing illegal file downloading and record sales showed that there's no connection whatsoever between illegal downloading and diminished record sales.
This isn't market research. This isn't asking 300 people whether they're "more likely" or "less likely" to purchase the music they downloaded. This is fucking SCIENCE. This is counting how many times songs from an album were downloaded, then counting how many sales that album had during that time, and looking at the numbers.
And when they looked at the numbers, for six hundred and eighty different albums, guess what? Really popular albums saw an increase in sales as their downloads increased. Most albums saw no change in sales. A few of the least popular albums saw a slight decrease in sales. Sounds mighty different from what a certain recording industry association in America would like you to believe, doesn't it?
You would think that a reasonable organization, when presented with scientific evidence that their viewpoint might be wrong, would take that evidence and adjust their viewpoint accordingly, but they won't. I'm sure the RIAA will go on making the same claims and suing the same 12-year-old girls and such. Because what good are facts?
"Downloading doesn't hurt music sales" can just join the rest of them in the gutter. Oh, look, there's "National security advisors have testified under oath before" right next to "John Kerry didn't vote to raise taxes three hundred and fifty times". They look only a bit worse for wear now, but just give them a few months, and they'll look as abused and bedraggled as "No connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein".
Oh, we're just the facts,
Yes, we're only some facts
And because you keep your head up your ass
It's been a long, long time since
I've been believed by any,
It's been a long, long time since
I've been said by Dick Cheney
And unless you all grow brains somedaaaaay
I'll be stuck down here, smoking crack
While you hear, PR flacks
Lacking facts
Yes, that was an excerpt from "Dumbfuck Rock!", appearing on your televisions about five minutes after my election or apotheosis, whichever comes first.