A Typical American

May 23, 2009

Making it Rain

Filed under: Uncategorized — Thomas Michalski @ 12:05 pm
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I had a conversation yesterday and the topic of wealth came up. Essentially it has been my experience that there are(generally speaking of course) two types of wealthy people in this world. Now we can define wealthy in whatever terms we want, but lets just call it, above what the average American makes in a year. If you can afford to not receive an income for one full calendar year, you’re wealthy. You may not be Warren Buffet wealthy, but to everyone else, you’re still wealthy.

Let me just preface this by saying, that generally, I don’t mix well with people who have money. I don’t know why but I never have. Maybe part of it is because I grew up in a solidly working class family, am working class myself, and most likely will be until the day I die, and that imbues some jealousy on my part. I honestly don’t know if that is or is not the case. Perhaps its because I’ve had conversations with wealthy individuals who can’t even fathom how i can live without a car, as if life is impossible without an automobile even though more people in the world are living and breathing without one, but generally, this is just one example of how most wealthy individuals seem to have a staggering disconnect with the rest of the world.  Perhaps not due to ignorance but because a) those who are born into wealth simply cannot imagine their lives being different or b) those who made their wealth, seem to have developed this disconnect at some point in their lives, as lacking that disconnect would pit them into a moral conundrum of reminding themselves that their wealth is a byproduct of denied opportunity or exploitation of other parties.

Anyone who is intelligent enough to amass wealth, certainly understands economics, whose first rule is that resources are finite, ergo; in order to have more resources, it means depriving resources to others. Some people would see moral failings in that, and other people can read Atlas Shrugged and actually finish it without wanting to vomit.

But in the end I see two types of wealthy people:

Example 1: Those who understand their position in the world, understand the fragility of life, society, and their place in it, and feel a sense of responsibility or at least obligation to acknowledge their fortunate position and may even try to help others, or at the very least, respect the lower classes.

Example 2: Those who take everything for granted, believe their life is foretold or deserved without any sense of obligation or responsibility to the rest of the world, and when they look in the mirror, this is what they see: 42-16881646

But this is what I see: happyfathersdaybirdman

Now what does any of this mean?  Well nothing really.  But, the last thing that should be forgiveable is an ignorant person of wealth.  It’s easy for us to say, it’s ok to be a snob, they may generally not know any better, butI believe, with privliege comes responsiblity.  So perhaps what i’d like to see, is simply a few more people of wealth like this: warrenandbillAnd a few less like this: MonopolyMan


May 18, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — Thomas Michalski @ 9:50 pm



May 12, 2009

Journalism 2.1

I was originally going to call this post Journalism 2.0, but decided that a) most major media outlets have already embraced new means of delivering content to its audience and b) someone else probably already used that title, because let’s face it, most people aren’t very original.

To be honest, I’m pretty slow at coming around to blogging, Facebook,  Twitter, videos, audio pod-casts,  providing a sample of my DNA, disclosing my sexual orientation, and providing written directions to my home and how the psycho Internet stalker out there  should proceed to kill me(gunshot directly to head please!).

The idea of utilizing  micro-payments for internet newspapers is nothing new.  I remember watching Walter Isssacson propose the idea months ago on Charlie Rose, and since then, many people have thrown out their ideas on how paying for Internet editions of newspapers should work. I could post links from all sorts of publications on the issue, but frankly, I’m too lazy to do that, and you know how to use a search engine.

While a micro payment system for newspaper content is a great idea , I would think credit card processing fees may be  a practical  problem. The way it has been described so far is on its face: you want to see an article online, you have pay 1 cent, or 5 cents, or whatever.  But  say for example you have individual transactions at 1 cent or 5 cents each. Well, if you tried to charge a credit card for 1 cent, that one cent would go right in the pocket of the credit card processor.  Merchant agreements between processors have fee schedules and 1 cent transactions will cost them 1 cent to process. So simply speaking, that doesn’t work.

What the newspaper will have to do instead, is have an internal credit system, where say you buy packs of 100 article credits for x dollars, are charged x dollars for that credit, and then the credits are deducted as you view articles.   I’d also suggest charging different rates for printing or emailing an article, and simply viewing an article. You always could charge different rates for video or audio content.

Convincing Consumers of all of this: paying for tokens, for something used to be free, is going to be, well, next to impossible.  Newspapers and others, will have to provide enough value added services to make this proposistion digestable for the average consumer.  Something tells me no matter how many newspapers go the micropayment route, at least one or two will push the idea of staying free to compete with the others.

Of course, a payment system is  going to cause a great deal of trouble for the blogging world, which relies on linking to content from newspapers and other journalism outlets.  How will payments affect them?  Depending on context and purpose, people have certain rights to reproduce copyrighted material of course, but how will blogging be affected by having to pay for the the content its linking to, and what steps will newspapers take to protect their property rights that(in the world of mircopayments) now have a more concrete, and specific, value?

I would not be suprised to see this paradigm shift require legislative action. Perhaps not in the short term, as most of the first of things goes uncontested, but when enough of the market goes to a payment model, legal intervention will follow with the possibility of  trips to the supreme court before any new model can really become established and a societal afterthought

What do you think? Please let me know by commenting.

September 17, 2007

Welcome to A Typical American

Filed under: General,Uncategorized — Thomas Michalski @ 6:13 am

Welcome to “A Typical American”.

Here you can read, and respond to, the point of view of a typical American.

I also intend to add photos, music, short films, works of fiction & non-fiction, and have the participation of guest writers/thinkers/artists. I want as much as possible, to create a community, that will grow overtime and eventually be self-sustaining.

If you would like to have your work posted on this blog, leave a comment with your email address and I will respond to you personally.

I open the discussion threads to any and all who wish to respond. However I do have two ground rules:
1) Hate Speech will NOT be tolerated under any circumstances, unless, it is in the manner of a quotation, and that quotation is cited, and is only used in demonstration of your argument. Also, if it is a character in a work of art, that is fine as well. I’m not a communist.
2) No Personal Attacks. Criticizing others P.O.V/line of thinking is absolutely acceptable. Criticizing others personally is not, and such comments will be deleted.

I hope you enjoy this blog/community and I look forward to hearing your comments!

Best to All,

Thomas Michalski

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