I was going to spend the weekend reading Wired editor Chris Anderson’s hot new airport tome Free, so as to go deeper into his explications of the future of business. I might learn something! (Sincerely.) But I did not! Instead I spent the weekend exchanging sums of money for products and services. But Janet Maslin at the Times has read it for me (us) and has come away unhappy.
Here is what he means by “Free”: If you want to know what he really thinks, you’re going to have to pay for more than his book. He acknowledges that he is giving his book away online, as well as selling it at the not-free price of $26.99, so he can be hired for much more lucrative speaking and consulting jobs.
“I’ve got a lot of kids, and college isn’t getting any cheaper,” he writes. He is sufficiently crass, reckless and lazy to have had someone else read the science-fiction books he uses to illustrate the perils of scarcity and abundance.
Still, Mr. Anderson has come up with a lively conversation piece….But after beating the drum for giveaways throughout most of his book, Mr. Anderson eventually acknowledges that his idea is in fact not viable. Such are the perils of his sloppily constructed sweeping argument.
Looking forward to seeing which fallacious bit of snark he uses to brush this one off on his Twitter. I’d go look now, but I unsubscribed, permanently, because it was making the internet a worse place for me.