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Readers sounds off about alternative models for digital music, the phrase “paradigm shift,” and whether CRTs should be dumped or recycled.

I think James Mathewson is on to something in his description of an alternative model for digital music content (“Steal this column!”). What we’re seeing is a reverse of what happened in the 1940s, when the greater part of live theater was replaced by film. Instead of money flowing in to Mom-and-Pop playhouses all around the country, it began to flow directly to Hollywood. How many lawsuits and activists did we see fighting for the right of the stage actor (not to mention Mom and Pop) against the big bullies of the film industry? Well, now the shoe is on the other foot.

Technology has come through and made it possible not only for Jane Doe to make a home-studio recording that sounds every bit as good as those by the industry-backed megastars, but we can also now make bit-accurate copies of that music and share it lightning-fast on the Internet. If I’m Jane Doe, I have to rethink how I’m going to play my cards. Do I take a one-in-a-million shot with the mainstream music industry, or embrace the new technology to pay my rent? If I’m good and get enough Internet play, I should be able to make money playing clubs. If I’m really good, I might make even more money playing larger venues, or by selling memberships to my Web page.

In a couple of weeks I’m going to pay $45 to go see a Devo concert. Why should I lay out the cash when I can download everything they’ve ever recorded off KaZaa in about an hour? Because I can’t get a bit-accurate copy of the experience!

The entertainment industry spent millions and delayed the launch of DVD technology several years while coming up with a suitable DVD copy-protection scheme. A 15-year-old, Jon Lech Johanson, took a couple of weeks to break it. The technology dam is breaking! Put down your sand bags and learn to swim! — Dennis Gates

I just read the article “That’s Computainment” and noticed the reference to “Dumpsters of Zenith sets and mock funerals for the cathode-ray tube…”

I hope that you are aware of the disposal problem of CRTs. They can be recycled. Putting them into Dumpsters is actually illegal–they are a hazardous waste because of their lead content. While I am sure that writer Elizabeth Millard doesn’t advocate this, such comments make me wonder. The CRT disposal/recycling problem (as well as CPU and electronics waste) is big and growing. With consumer awareness and demand, we can help tackle this problem. — Mike Fagan, [email protected]

In the interesting set of observations in “Dr. Livingstone, I Prosume,” Michael Finley attributes the coinage of the much-overworked phrase paradigm shift to Don Tapscott. In fact, although there are earlier uses of paradigm in similar phrases, paradigm shift entered the popular vocabulary following its debut as the central theme of Thomas Kuhn’s book, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” published in 1952.

The book and the term caused no great stir among natural scientists, with whom the book is mainly concerned–it told them little about their own fields they didn’t already know. However, the term was seized on with alacrity by social and political scientists, who passed it on to politicians, business management gurus, and then, I suppose, to IT professionals. — Alexander H. Flax

Correction: In “PC games rule”, we indicated that “The Sims” will “soon be available on console.” In fact, the game has been available for PlayStation 2 since January.

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