We begin a series of posts looking at what was along Park Blvd between El Cajon and Meade in San Diego neighborhood University Heights and what replaces it. On most Friday afternoons, New Vision Christian Fellowship opened its doors to give away food. Long lines formed, with recipients largely making up two disparate demographic groups: The elderly and Hispanic families.
If we lived somewhere else, I would have brought home this rocker, today. But like the giver, we live in an apartment too small (772 square feet) to take on another piece of furniture. How grand and—by my wife’s estimation—”antique” is this fine piece of craftsmanship and upholstery.
Surely giving up something sentimental—”My G’ma’s”—makes the freebee all the more poignantly placed. May the new owner treasure, rather than resell, the chair, in which Annie sat and proclaimed its comfort and sturdiness. Location: Adams Avenue, just East of Park Blvd, in San Diego neighborhood University Heights.
We turn back the clock to the early days of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns—to when flatten-the-curve meant about two weeks of home confinement and business closures. Instead, some states served up seemingly never-ending mandates; yes, California among them.
The Featured Image is a reminder and portender of future events, should food shortages become commonplace. What interests me here, though, when reviewing my archive tonight, is the juxtaposition of free lemons set inside a Beyond Burger box.
Composition-wise, the Featured Image is not as appealing as the angled shot that I considered sharing instead. But the single pair of bundled socks—shoved into an empty drawer-space—makes the moment for me. I wonder what is their story? Why are they there? I will never know.
The discarded desk waits for a new owner in one of the University Heights East alleys between Adams and Monroe. My apologies but I don’t offhand recall which one. I can attest to passing by the thing—perhaps too tucked away in flowering vines to be easily seen by San Diego rummagers—several times over many days. Maybe missing drawers dissuade scavengers, who miss out. That’s solid wood, not pressboard. If I needed a desk…but do not.
The followup to yesterday’s Gnome greeters isn’t as interesting, and I regret not taking time to shoot the entire setup. Instead, the Featured Image shows the house where the welcomers would go if truly able to enter the tree.
Lovely and inviting, this outdoor decor escapade leads to yet something else to stimulate your imagination. Behind the closed doors are books and another of San Diego’s many little lending libraries. (Some others: One, Two, Three, Four.)
Somewhere in my San Diego neighborhood, I passed by these giveaways that aren’t for just anyone. Read the sign. Does your residence rise to the high bar set by “Good Homes” with an exclamation? I couldn’t take anything being among the many unworthy.
There are the makings of a good home, singular, for someone starting out in a first rental, particularly a studio. That’s who would be most worthy recipient. What first furnishings: Sofa, storage rack, pillows, VHS player, cleaning supplies, and more.
Today ends tight-integration between Google Drive and Photos, which when working on Chromebooks I earnestly depended for the fluidity of my imaging workflow. As expressed about three weeks ago, the change contributed to my decision to abandon all things Google. I have lost trust in the company’s commitment to treating users as customers; they are instead beta testers for products and commodities to be profited from. That’s the price paid for free.
I have waffled about Alphabet for more than a decade—delighting in beneficial innovation and ignoring even my own analysis about Google’s profiting from—no, exploiting—content created by others. As I have written before: “Google is a leech that feeds off the intellectual property of legitimate content producers. The search giant profits from your good work, reducing its value in the process. Stated differently, ‘You create it, we sell it, and you must give it away for free’. How convenient that Google assigns such value, free, to someone else’s good work, while producing little content of its own”.
Last month, I read frighteningly insightful analysis “How the Internet Killed Profit“. Ah yeah. Facilitated in part by the Google free economy, many things that were profitable suddenly aren’t. There’s little financial gain giving away valuable content. Free isn’t necessarily bad, just a myth—the great Internet lie that reinforces the justification no one needs to pay for anything.
But as I explained five years ago in post “The Problem with Free“: “Free and the Internet go oddly together, and not necessarily well together…People will pay for anything for which there is perceived or actual value. Free is an acceptable price when there is perceived or actual value”. Pay or free are the same because value matters more. The 2009 analysis responded to Chris Anderson’s assertion that on the Internet “free really can be free”. He is misguided.
As a content creator my feelings about Google are mixed. Philosophically, I believe in the openness of information and non-restrictive copyrights that let the producer profit from his or her good work in the present but benefit everyone later on. Last-Century revisions ruin the latter ethic. Life plus 70 years is a ridiculously long copyright that rapes the very concept of public domain.
Google’s business model enables free spread of information, which supports my other ethic. But there’s rot at the core—the free-content economy that search demands. As I explain in my new ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers, “the search giant profits from your good work, reducing its value in the process”. Google produces no content, while its whole business model is about profiting from others’ content.
Paywall is suddenly a hot topic as free content turns many longstanding businesses—news among—to apparent ruin. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch is mad as hell, and he’s not going to take this anymore. This week Murdoch repeats his call for paid services during a U.S. Federal Trade Commission public workshop.
“We need to do a better job of persuading consumers that high-quality, reliable news and information does not come free,” he says. “Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”
Damn, I must read Chris Anderson’s book Free: The Past and Future of a Radical Price. Based on the WNYC video (below) and Q&A—”The Gift Economist”—in the July 19, 2009 the New York Times Magazine, I must disagree with Chris’ concept of free as applied to digital products. Free and the Internet go oddly together, and not necessarily well together.
Chris may be right, but for other reasons than he presents here. In the video above, Chris asserts that on the Internet “free really can be free.” Nobody has to pay. He presents his view, which does allow for combo free and paid models, by way of marketing and economic history and theory.
It’s disruptive now as ever. New York Times has two great stories on this disruptive quality: One, “Death by Smiley Face: When Rivals Disdain Profit“, about companies giving away stuff and hurting established profit mongers; […]