I was hanging out with a 12 year old today. I did some improvising on the piano. He liked it but said he didn't know it. I told him it was my own creation. He seemed amazed, then said I need to copyright it so I can make money from it.

So sad this market logic has penetrated so deeply into even kids brains like this.

And the amazement I don't think was that it was so amazing in itself, but that people can even create things like that.

We have a truly detached way of being over here.


That may be one of the more tragic things I've heard from a child.

@RussSharek @nicksellen

alas: it is not surprising if you monitor discourse of younger people on social media/ music such as rap where lyrics are all about money and bling - even on YouTube you see youths mentioning how they won't use adblockers etc as they accept adverts (with all the surveillance etc) as how the creators are paid and there are whole ecosystems built on buying and selling consumer tat...

@vfrmedia I don't *think* this kid even has much access/connection to all that, and this "you could make money from that" thinking is deeply in all the adults too. I think it's so pervasive, it's in the air with breathe. Almost.

Horrifying to see how it's reinforced so actively as you describe though! Would at least hope for *some* youth backlash.

Once we get to the play park though it's all fine again. Swings! Roundabouts! Slides! Yay!



I think the young people will realise soon enough when the bottom falls out of adtech and YouTube gains all the same gatekeeping of linear TV (more control over content, and regulation by the Communications Ministry in each country it is viewed) which is already starting to happen..


@vfrmedia @nicksellen

Agreed. It's part of what led me to trying to release my creativity in more open ways.

@nicksellen @vfrmedia

Maybe we could release 'works' like this, the silly playful ones that started the kid thinking, into the public domain or creative commons right in front of them in order to model how easy it is to simply choose to set the good stuff free.

@nicksellen @vfrmedia

and yes, get anyone who thinks like this to a playground quickly!

@RussSharek to my mind it already was put in the public domain. An improvised live performed exists only in the moment. No bureaucracy needed!

I used to study composition more "properly" and produce scores, recordings, and scheduled performances, but now the casual Impromptu improvised performance, with others if around, suits me much better.

I wish music was generally more like this. Very easy to participate in and feels alive.


@nicksellen @vfrmedia

Sometimes the little ritual of demonstration is an excellent teacher. As a semi-improvisational entertainer, I share your love for the ephemeral 'now' of live performance.

@nicksellen Would have been a great opportunity to explain copyleft licenses :D

Kinda reminds me of
"That tower? It was certainly built by the ghosts. There's no way a human would be able to build such a thing"


I remember thinking that way as a child and I don't think its that unusual in capitalist society. They are using money as a metric for value. Giving them good counter examples will help as will showing them that they can learn to make stuff they like.

@nicksellen Interestingly from what I've seen of kids' TV little of it seems to have an overt capitalist message. It's often about learning, cooperation, looking after your friends etc.

And I presume (hope!) it's not being taught in primary school.

Wonder where that thinking comes from?

@neil I have a feeling parents say stuff like that all the time "oh you could make money from that", and kids seem to echo phrases from the adults around them as the process of learning language.

And adults get that from years of compulsory education and work.

Even if they watch nice co-operative cartoons it probably just seems like a fantasy world if it's not embodied in the physical world around them.

@nicksellen I see a pretty direct line between this and Illich's talk of "oppressive monopolies" and Hebert's talk of bad automation and Joy Harjo's talk of Rabbit's clay men.

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