The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Well That's Tempting


The Institute for the Future of the Book has the run-down: Marjane Satrapi is blogging in pseudo-comics format… for the NYT’s subscription-only service!

All together, like Darth Vader: NOOOOOOO!

Satrapi wrote the great and illuminating Persepolis. If the NYT puts all the comics journalism behind the subscription wall I just might… gulp… have to subscribe.


What do you mean like Darth Vader? That’s Empire Strikes Back, right there. . Damn.

Robin, do you ever ponder the eccentricities of pricing and value? What makes a ring-tone worth $2.50 but an Iranian graphic blogger nothing? If you’d told me as a young man in the 70s that people would one day pay $60 or $80 a month for television, I’d have laughed. In those days, a cup of coffee and a newspaper each cost about a quarter; who knew that 30 years later, a 50-cent newspaper would be considered expensive and a $4.00 coffee standard fare?

Obviously, these phenomena are a measure of consumer preferences; but what rests beneath these behaviors?

I do often ponder the eccentricites of pricing and value, Howard! One of the things I often flip-flop on is subscription vs. a la carte pricing.

In this case, the work of an Iranian graphic blogger is definitely NOT worth nothing — in fact if the NYT was willing to sell it to me for 99 cents, like an iTunes single, I would definitely go for it. But it is not enough to motivate me to drop the $50 for a year-long TimesSelect pass.

(Different story if there was a lot more stuff like it, perhaps.)

More generally though, I agree — the world of pricing is a weird one.

I remember in a college class on ‘transition economies,’ I heard about a series of surveys researchers did all across the former Soviet Union in the early ’90s. They asked people about their attitudes towards things like prices, and the rules of buying and selling — and those ideas were, as you might expect after decades under the Soviet system, totally bizarre & different.

But of course the implication is that our own ‘common sense’ notions about what things are worth, and how and how much we should pay for them, must be quite irrational & culturally-influenced as well.

The snarkmatrix awaits you

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