Keen to start off the new year with a vision of the future of television? You could do a lot worse than read John Seabrook’s Streaming dreams for The New Yorker. Seabrook casts a somewhat sceptical eye over the plans for YouTube Original Channels and along the way raises a host of interesting questions about what how our media experiences may change over the coming months and years. I was particularly taken by his sense of the disconnect in the planning between ‘information people’ and ‘entertainment people’. This is encapsulated by the riposte of one executive to a question about definitions: “‘What do you mean, “What do I mean by ‘a show’?” ‘ ” (The New Yorker, of course, is immaculate about the placing of quotation marks, and I hope I’ve carried that concern across here.) Below, more links to more interesting stuff, with quite a bit of essential ‘digital’ reading this week.
• Simple thoughts about fair use: a post from Seth Godin that is exactly what it is says it is (it’s short too).
• The internet is the best place for dissent to start: as always, you need to read Cory Doctorow in the Guardian.
• The digital humanities and the transcending of humanity: in a blog for The New York Times, Stanley Fish does a great turn as a great old academic – at the same time as being thoughtful and provocative.
• 6 filmmakers talk about documentary filming in the digital age: really good round-up of issues, courtesy of PBS’s Mediashift (thanks to @filmdrblog)
• War Horse – saving Mr Ed: Richard Brody at The New Yorker skewers Stephen Spielberg.
• Edward Hall on Propeller’s Henry V and The Winter’s Tale: I’m a big fan of Ed Hall’s all-male theatre company (off to see these new shows at The Rose Theatre in March), and this is a useful What’s On Stage interview.
• Will Cunningham’s works survive?: Robert Gresgovic for Wall Street Journal.
Image: Employees in a television factory in Chicago in 1951; detail of a photograph by Thomas D. Mcavoy for LIFE.