Movie critic Roger Ebert says that if your interest is in using the Internet, not getting rich from it, then stock prices are insignificant.
October 6, 2001 4:51 AM   Subscribe

Movie critic Roger Ebert says that if your interest is in using the Internet, not getting rich from it, then stock prices are insignificant. "The Internet Bubble has been compared to the Tulip Craze, when 17th-century investors bid the price of Dutch bulbs to insane heights. Both bubbles burst. The collapse of the Internet economy was inevitable, and clears the way for sane and reasonable rebuilding. Good news: There are more tulips in the world than ever before."
posted by tranquileye (15 comments total)
sounds fair to me.

the web provides:
1. pornography
2. online gaming
3. online forums

all 'killer-apps', all 'free'.

people built it how they like it, not corporations.

can't find link to origin of this plagerised point, but i got the link from ntk.
posted by asok at 5:17 AM on October 6, 2001

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:23 AM on October 6, 2001

Like it or not, a lot of the technology based comfort that we enjoy on the net today was financed by the dot com boom. If it weren't for money hungry investors, we not not be enjoying steaming video, better browsers, high speed access, etc., etc., and most of the broadband content that goes along with it. And that includes the vast improvement in the delivery of pornorgraphy, online gaming, and online forums.

Sure, you can argue that the 'purity' of the net has been compromised by the influence of corporate greed, but can you really argue that it hasn't gotten better as a result?
posted by fakenamex at 8:08 AM on October 6, 2001

all 'killer-apps', all 'free'.

Online gaming is free? I know five Evercrack addicts who would dispute that claim.
posted by rcade at 8:15 AM on October 6, 2001

Thank god that Roger Ebert weighed in on this... I would like to see the press back off on the 'gloom and doom, the internet is dead' stories.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 8:17 AM on October 6, 2001

for sure
posted by h0ney at 8:39 AM on October 6, 2001

three caravals and ten pounds for Lapis for the lot...take it or leave it. (sorry, thought this was the Dutch trading center)
posted by newnameintown at 8:55 AM on October 6, 2001

Hey wait a sec! I thought 'newname' had been retired! (I know I know take it to MeTa...)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:57 AM on October 6, 2001

There are more tulips in the world than ever before

Yes but few of them are "broken" which results in the vivid colors and patterns that were so highly prized by the Dutch. The color comes from a virus which also weakens the tulips and so is considered nuisance these days.

We now return you to your post-bubble speculation.
posted by euphorb at 12:50 PM on October 6, 2001

asok: You forgot mp3s (and maybe short films).
posted by raysmj at 1:01 PM on October 6, 2001

When I read Daniel McFadden's The Tragedy Of The Commons in Forbes ASAP, I couldn't help thinking that he was missing something. He wrote the article speculating about how the internet should be rebuilt while ignoring the evidence that the reasons for dot com failure had nothing to do with the internet's technology and communication capabilities, and everything to do with the mismanagement of money, and unreasonable expectations. Ebert points out some of the successes of the internet, while McFadden ignores them completely. The killer apps mentioned in posts above have transformed the world. Government websites are finding ways to bring useful information and services to people that increase the effectiveness of those offices dramatically. Educational sites are similarly reaping the bounty of online communication and services. Small companies that target niche markets, develop good business plans, and follow sustainable growth patterns have done very well on the web.

More tulips? In the bricks and mortar world, many businesses fail daily. That failure should also happen on the net shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. But, as Ebert suggests, there are more opportunites for success now than ever before.
posted by bragadocchio at 5:16 PM on October 6, 2001

The dot-com model was closer to the South Sea Bubble, not the Tulip Mania. At least the Dutch got pretty flowers; the London speculators of 1720 got "Proposals to be of great benefit, but no-one to know what they are".
posted by holgate at 6:14 PM on October 6, 2001

holgate, the South Sea Company's story is an interesting one. I can see why you make the comparison.
posted by bragadocchio at 6:33 PM on October 6, 2001

4. email
posted by ArkIlloid at 9:45 PM on October 6, 2001

mp3s, short films and email, definately, 4 5 and 6.

fair point rcade that certainly sounds like it could be addictive, but it was a flat rate service they were addicted to playing on their playstations. potentially much cheaper than buying a new game every week, or even every month. sony may be playing the long game with everquest, and seeing the dividends.

'Sony Online has also taken the occasion to remind us just how successful EverQuest and its two successive expansion packs, Ruins of Kunark and Scars of Velious, have been over the last two years. The game averages 87,000 users online at peak hours and has 360,000 active subscribers who pay $10 monthly, which over these two years have reportedly made EverQuest the most profitable PC game in retail today.'

personally, it costs me about $45 per month for my internet connection, electricity bills and wear and tear on the machine also contribute. i am addicted to using the internet, just as i am to watching television, socialising, drinking coffee, drinking beer, having sex, showering in the morning, eating three regular meals a day, excercising, reading comics, playing computer games, whatever.
these are some of the things which define me. resticting myself to doing one thing only, although sometimes appealing, never seems to leave me as satisfied as mixing it up.

putting all the eggs in one basket, what did i hear about that? something relating to financial portfolios....could apply to anything i suppose.

euphorb, excellent tulip releated stuff!
posted by asok at 12:30 PM on October 7, 2001

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