Monday, August 31, 2009

James Murdoch : Our Bananas Are Doomed

Forget about the looming immolation of the worldwide Murdoch media empire, James Murdoch has some stunning news about bananas :
"Witness the international banana market. In the 1950s the banana export industry faced a problem: the then dominant Gros Michel – or ‘Big Mike’ - variety was being wiped out by a fungus called Panama Disease. The industry took the decision to replace the entire world export crop with a supposedly disease-resistant variety called the Cavendish banana – the one we eat today. Unfortunately it now appears that these bananas may themselves be vulnerable to a different kind of Panama Disease. Since Cavendish bananas are genetically identical sterile clones, they cannot build up any resistance."
Wait, we're going to lose all bananas? Why didn't I read about that in The Australian? I might have even paid for it.

James Murdoch used the example of doomed bananas to illustrate some difficult parallels he tries to draw between Darwinism and the free market. You can read the speech here. It's actually chock full of first class conspiracy theories and bizarre proclamations about how you can only have free speech if people are forced to pay for the news. Something like that. You try and make sense of it.

On any scale of rankings for Paranoid & Desperate Ramblings, it's right out there. Then again, you must remember that James, like his dad, Rupert, is now facing severe pressure from shareholders about why they should both be collecting eight figure salaries when hundreds of Murdoch journalists and sub-editors will be canned across the US, the UK and Australia, in the next few months.

Two decades ago, Rupert Murdoch made the following prediction in a speech :
....television sets would be “linked by fibre-optic cable to a global cornucopia of programming and nearly infinite libraries of data, education and entertainment”....
So Murdoch knew what was coming, but didn't prepare for it. He didn't understand, back then, and only really gets it now, that that the rise of Free Information would mean the loss of monopoly, of control, of vast profits, of influence and relevancy.

As Rupert Murdoch himself said back in 1989 :
"If someone goes bust, too bad."