Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

AmazonThere’s this guy named Panos Mourdoukoutas, a regular contributor to Forbes magazine, who recently suggested in a now-deleted post that Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money. This is one of the most asinine ideas I’ve ever read.

He begins: “Amazon should open their own bookstores in all local communities. They can replace local libraries and save taxpayers lots of money, while enhancing the value of their stock.” There’s so much wrong with his first paragraph.

Communities pick library locations largely based on need, businesses on profits. That less lucrative part of town, the one that needs the library the most, may very well do without. Well, unless taxpayers are going to somehow subsidize Amazon to build in certain neighbors; there goes those taxpayer savings. So replacing a public library with a private, unaccountable business makes no sense.

And why would we want to enhance the value of Amazon stock? What is the social good of that? Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is currently considered THE richest person in the world. Many news outlets suggest Amazon employees are treated poorly and paid dismally. If Amazon started compensating its workers with a livable wage and decent benefits, THAT would save taxpayers money.

Panos correctly notes that “libraries served as a place where residents could hold their community events,” and this remains true. That “there’s no shortage of places to hold community events” is patently false.

He’s also right that “libraries… introduced video rentals and free internet access.” He argues that these services “don’t have the same value they used to” because of “the rise of ‘third places’ such as Starbucks.” But based on the line waiting for the local library branch to open, for many, the public library IS their “third place,” along with home and work. Not everyone has access to high speed Internet or can afford it!

Then he says, “Technology has turned physical books into collector’s items, effectively eliminating the need for library borrowing services.” That is preposterous. In spite of, or perhaps BECAUSE of, all of the technological changes of the last quarter century, public library usage is skyrocketing.

My guess is that Panos hasn’t visited a library in years, or accessed it remotely. Libraries help people with their taxes for free, offer classes for a variety of community members, catalog local history, utilize maker spaces, and even provide added benefits like community-accessible bike pumps and tools for on-the-spot repairs.

Panos Mourdoukoutas is also the guy who thinks Starbucks baristas should be paid by the number of drinks they serve, not an hourly wage. Yuck.

My bias, I should note, is as a librarian, on the boards of the in-the-process-of-merging Friends of the Albany Public Library and the Albany Public Library Foundation. But my participation on these boards is a function of recognizing since I was a child the vital function libraries have in serving their communities.

Here’s another rebuttal.

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50 years after the Wahine Disaster (New Zealand)

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The Crime-Fraud Exception in the Michael Cohen Case

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The Real Story of the Hawaiian Missile Crisis

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Congress, Not Amazon, Messed Up the Post Office

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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOUR

Steven Bochco, RIP; a retrospective – I loved many of these shows

Remembering Winnie Mandela

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Lin-Manuel Miranda and Oprah’s Full Chat from SUPER SOUL SUNDAY

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Mark Waid tells a new Captain America story with original artwork from Jack Kirby!

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SNL: Black Jeopardy with Chadwick Boseman

Seth Meyers’ great “desk story”

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MUSIC

Found Tonight – Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt

Listen to the Music – Playing for Change

Catch Me If You Can -John Williams score

She’s A Rockin’ Machine – Archie and the Bunkers

Coverville 1212: Cover Stories for Jimmy Cliff and Pharrell Williams

Oriental Rhapsody – Alexander Glazunov

Stephen Hawking Picks the Music (and One Novel) He’d Spend Eternity With: Stream the Playlist Online

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Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Sonny Vande Putte

Never tell someone they can’t sing – it is brutal, damaging and untrue

colbyjones

Sharp Little Pencil: The Man Who Mistook Jesus For An A.T.M..

What Happens Now That We Know Gravitational Waves Are Real? Compare with Introduction to the flat earth, how it works, and why we believe it.

The Latter Days of a Better Nation. For instance Read the rest of this entry »

In the course of my job, I’m on the Internet. A LOT. And invariably, I find items that are incorrect. Whether I bother to correct them depends on whether I think it’s substantial enough that someone else might assume it’s correct and restate it as fact.

I’ve only fixed two thing on the Wikipedia, as far as I can recall. One, which I did with Steve Bissette, was a major overhaul of the FantaCo post; still imperfect. The other was back in 2006, when someone indicated that the next Presidential campaign was in 2007, rather than 2008. But I do not find the need to add Read the rest of this entry »

I used to occasionally buy music from Amazon. But since I cancelled my Amazon credit card – because the issuing bank was going to slap on some minimum payment every month even if I had no balance – thus denying me access to some Amazon points I’d get from purchasing from them, I’ve been less inclined.

Still, I occasionally need new music. Or music that is new again to me. I have a bunch of LPs in the attic I cannot access because the area is under a long-delayed refurbishing, including insulating.

The thing to do: go to the library, take out albums I already have on vinyl, copy them, then listen to them. Understand that I have absolutely no guilt about doing this. Read the rest of this entry »

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