Thursday, December 15, 2011

MooJuice: Moron?

I've been tweaking the nose of Farhad MooJuice for years -- and now, everyone else wants to get in on the act.

A few days ago, he wrote a piece advising readers to shop for books at Amazon, not in bookshops, which (he says) deserve to die. This article soon became the single most widely reviled internet artifact of recent times, with the possible exception of Rick Perry's anti-gay "War on Christmas" ad.

No less a personage than Salman Rushdie called MooJuice a "moron."

Usually, MooJuice writes about tech stuff -- and usually, he is dead wrong. For example, he has called for an end to broadband plans offering unlimited data, even though an increasing number of people have been forced by our rotten economy to give up cable -- they rely on Hulu and other internet sites for televised entertainment, and those sites depend on unlimited broadband. MooJuice has also applauded the push to move away from traditional computing to cloud computing. That transition would, of course, give Uncle access to a vast amount of new terrain for their dataminers to mine.

And he embraces Facebook. In his view, only paranoids worry about the privacy issues.

During the 2008 campaign, he insisted that McCain was a big fat liar while Obama was (more or less) a truth teller. I challenged him: If MooJuice could come up with three important issues on which Obama had neither lied nor changed positions, I would fork over $100.

No response. Neither did I get any germane responses from other Obots. None of them even tried to grab that C-note. (Nevertheless, a number of Obots offered angry commentary, which now makes for hilarious reading.)
Oh, please....give us some examples that those Obots emailed in. I need some comic relief as the diehards are gearing up to campaign fervor level again. One was screeching at me recently how Obama "saved" citizens from "McCain's" battlefield bill...
I think MooJuice is wrong about most things (esp Obama), but right about this. Amazon has done more to bring life back into the experience of reading than anyone else. They've made books and ebooks accessible, affordable and have allowed independent authors a platform to publish and promote their work (without the snobby literary gatekeeping that has burdened authors for years) and earn more money from their work than they ever have before. They've turned the publishing industry on it's head. Sorry, but sometimes old institutions need to be turned on their heads. I don't think Indie bookstores are sacred cows. Amazon is innovative, and yes ruthless at times, but they're winning the game for a reason.
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