Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Revisiting Disintermediation - #Sony 's #TheInterview

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Earlier tonight, I had the opportunity to do my patriotic duty and support Sony by renting (via GooglePlay) The Interview. Isn't it amazing that spending money and being patriotic come together so perfectly? Of course, that's an old tradition, isn't it? I have to agree with this Google Blog entry:
But after discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be). can rent or buy "The Interview" on Google Play and YouTube Movies. It will also be available to Xbox Video customers and via
To be blunt, I found the movie to be silly, potty-mouthed, and totally inappropriate (BTW, this isn't a family Night at the Museum 3 or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). As usual when watching Seth Rogen movies, I found myself cringing at the language and humor. And, to be completely honest, I'm grateful that I only spent less than $7 instead of what I would have paid for this at the theater for myself and others. Ok, now that you know what I thought of the movie, which takes front-n-center stage in spite of the murders that have occurred in the last few months of Americans of African descent,

What is really incredible, aside from the unbelievable Sony hack, is the fact that this movie has been released mostly online, bypassing theaters.
The film's release across a variety of viewing platforms will no doubt be followed closely by many in Hollywood, as the industry has never had a film of this magnitude open online, on demand and in theaters simultaneously. (Read more)
It makes sense that movies be released online at the same time, bypassing theaters. Isn't this, at least, a partial example of disintermediation? It's been awhile since I've reflected on this term:
Disintermediation is a process in which a middle player poised between service or product providers and their consumers is weakened or removed from the value chain. Disintermediation is driven by the fact that middle players consume resources and in removing them from the chain, these resources are recovered to enable either lower cost for the consumer, better value from the provider, or both. Disintermediation can be total, in which case a middle player is removed entirely. It can also be partial, in which case an intermediary is carved up and the different ways in which they formerly added value are segmented, replaced, or done away with as circumstances permit. 
I'm still not sure if disintermediation in education will yield the results we hope for. But, like in this situation with The Interview, changes will occur as a result of unexpected events.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has a great piece on a self-appointed teacher who runs a one-man "academy" on YouTube: "The most popular educator on YouTube does not have a Ph.D. He has never taught at a college or university. And he delivers all of his lectures from a bedroom closet." (Read More)

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