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The exploitation of Hollywood’s writers is just another symptom of digital feudalism

The writers strike lays bare all the ills of working on one of the lowest rungs of the entertainment industry.



Striking workers picket outside of Warner Bros. Studios on the second day of the Hollywood writers strike on May 3, 2023, in Burbank, Calif. David McNew/Getty Images

The current Hollywood writers strike has drawn international attention to the plight of TV and film writers in the streaming era.

Much has been made of television’s golden age, during which streaming platforms have offered audiences an abundance of well-written, highly produced television shows, often called “prestige TV.”

Whereas older television shows tended to be formulaic sitcoms or crime dramas, newer shows more closely mimic the serialized novels of the 19th century, with cliff-hangers that encourage binge-watching.

But not everyone in the industry has equally reaped the rewards. While there are certainly more writing jobs to go around, these roles often pay less and place writers on short-order contracts.

Furthermore, the unyielding demand for content, as more and more platforms compete for subscriptions, has trapped writers in what I call “digital feudalism.”

Echoes from medieval Europe

I use the phrase digital feudalism because today’s version of capitalism increasingly mirrors the transition from feudalism to capitalism in 16th-century England.

Beginning in the 16th century, the English Parliament passed a number of enclosure acts, which abolished common land and defined it as private property that the government reallocated to the elites.

These laws kicked peasants, known as serfs, off the land where they had lived and worked for generations. Many of them ended up heading to cities in order to find work. The ensuing oversupply of workers drove down wages, and many ex-serfs couldn’t find jobs or housing, becoming vagabonds.

In other words, serfs lost stability in their everyday lives as they were thrust into a new economic system.

Precarity, debt and a lack of stability are again the dominant themes in today’s digital economy.

The gig economy, in which people can juggle two or three part-time roles to make ends meet, is largely to blame. These jobs usually don’t offer full-time benefits, livable wages or job security. The roles – whether they’re working as an Uber driver, delivering food for DoorDash or cleaning homes through Task Rabbit – are often managed through digital platforms owned by powerful corporations that give their workers a pittance in exchange for their labor.

The serfs of Hollywood

So, why are TV writers feeling the pinch of digital feudalism if this is the golden age of television?

Streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu and HBO Max brought about the golden age. But the gold prospecting has slowed, as the number of prestige TV shows seems to have hit a saturation point.

Starting in the 2010s, streaming platforms began hiring more and more writers. To lure customers, platforms needed quality content – otherwise, viewers wouldn’t continue paying the US$8 to $15 monthly cost of a subscription.

Platforms couldn’t market their content like network sitcoms, so they had to constantly develop new ideas for shows. Large stables of creative writers ended up forming the core of studio strategy.

Yet, as TV writers flocked to Los Angeles and New York City, entertainment companies took a page from the gig economy playbook in ways that worked against writers’ livelihoods.

The contracts were short and the pay lower. The formats of streaming shows – more one-off miniseries rather than sitcoms that could run for as long as a decade – rarely guaranteed work for any lengthy period of time.

Furthermore, streaming shows tend to have fewer episodes per season, with larger gaps between seasons, known as “short order.” An eight-episode season of a popular show that has a two-year gap between seasons leaves TV writers scrambling to figure out ways to pay the bills in between seasons.

Then came COVID-19. While people were stuck at home binge-watching TV, it became difficult to produce television. There was a major backlog in TV production because of the difficulties shooting TV shows in studios while complying with COVID-19 health regulations.

This created a major slowdown in TV production. At the height of the pandemic, TV studios closed to limit the number of people inside. With the slowdown of production, there wasn’t the demand for writers. As a result, many of the TV writers who had recently moved to Log Angeles and other big cities with high costs of living were faced with challenges finding jobs.

Core demands

Writers want to fix this by raising their minimum wage; they want writers for streaming platforms to receive the same royalties that theatrical film writers get; and they want to end the practice of mini rooms, where small groups of writers hash out scripts but often receive less compensation for a series that may not even get ordered.

Another key demand is to limit the use of artificial intelligence in television production.

Writers fear that studios will use AI to hire workers, select which shows to produce and, in the worst-case scenario, replace writers altogether. Interestingly, limits on AI have been the one point of contention that studios have been unwilling to even discuss.

It will be interesting to see whether the writers will be able to claw back some of the financial security that’s vanished across many industries, or if the larger economic forces that have powered the gig economy will work in studio executives’ favor.

David Arditi does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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IceCure Medical’s (NASDAQ: ICCM) ProSense: A 96.8% Success Rate Revolutionizing Breast Cancer Treatment

On October 2nd, 2023, IceCure Medical (NASDAQ: ICCM) shares surged by over 50% following exciting news presented at a major medical event, the European…



On October 2nd, 2023, IceCure Medical (NASDAQ: ICCM) shares surged by over 50% following exciting news presented at a major medical event, the European Society of Breast Imaging. Their cutting-edge ProSense® System, designed for minimally invasive cryoablation, is marketed and sold worldwide for its cleared indications in the U.S., Europe, and China. More recently they gained approvals in India, and Brazil and have additional distribution through MC Medical to continue expanding in Europe. More importantly, the latest independent study confirms that the technology is a safe & effective outpatient procedure for breast cancer, with 96.8% success rate.

More Background:

Their system has the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment not only for breast cancer, but also for kidney, bone, and lung cancers. To date, the system is marketed and sold worldwide for the indications cleared and approved to date including in the U.S., Europe, and China.

During the event, Dr. Lucía Graña-López, a radiologist specializing in breast and women’s imaging, led an independent study. The study explored cryoablation as a viable alternative to surgery for early-stage breast cancer in patients who preferred a non-surgical route. The results were promising, suggesting that cryoablation could be a successful treatment option, particularly for patients hesitant about traditional surgery.

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Clinical Study:

The study involved 31 patients with early-stage breast cancer who opted out of surgery, and the outcomes showed that cryoablation was well-tolerated with no major complications. This alternative approach could potentially be a game-changer, especially for breast cancer, which is one of the most prevalent cancers globally. Many patients, particularly older individuals, are seeking less invasive alternatives to surgery, making cryoablation an appealing option.

Dr. Graña-López envisions cryoablation becoming a significant alternative to surgery, particularly for early-stage breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Moreover she believes this technology could reshape how we approach treatment in other indications, particularly for kidney, lung, and thyroid gland cancers.

These results from this independent study are are in line with the ongoing ICE3 study, the largest of its kind in the U.S., set to conclude in early 2024.

We will update you on ICCM when more details emerge, subscribe to Microcapdaily to follow along!

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Disclosure: We have not been compensated for this article/video. MicroCap Daily is not an investment advisor; this article/video does not provide investment advice. Always do your research, make your own investment decisions, or consult with your nearest financial advisor. This article/video is not a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell, or hold securities. This article/video is our opinion, is meant for informational and educational purposes only, and does not provide investment advice. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Picture by marijana1 from Pixabay

The post IceCure Medical’s (NASDAQ: ICCM) ProSense: A 96.8% Success Rate Revolutionizing Breast Cancer Treatment first appeared on Micro Cap Daily.

The post IceCure Medical’s (NASDAQ: ICCM) ProSense: A 96.8% Success Rate Revolutionizing Breast Cancer Treatment appeared first on Micro Cap Daily.

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DAX – PMIs paint a bleak picture for manufacturing but China offers hope

Manufacturing remains in trouble China seeing some growth but unconvincing Bearish confirmation for DE30 index Manufacturing PMIs released throughout the…



  • Manufacturing remains in trouble
  • China seeing some growth but unconvincing
  • Bearish confirmation for DE30 index

Manufacturing PMIs released throughout the day have made for pretty miserable reading and even those in China barely registered any growth after a lengthy period of contraction.

The Chinese data did offer some cause for hope at least, despite ultimately barely sitting in growth territory. The trajectory is positive and boosted by targeted stimulus measures that are seemingly working. External demand remains a problem but a bump in domestic demand is promising.

The sector in Europe is looking particularly grim with demand remaining extremely weak, backlogs falling and layoffs expected to accelerate over the months ahead. That’s unless we can see a rebound in activity which is looking very unlikely at this stage with the global economy struggling for any positive momentum against the backdrop of high interest rates.

The PMIs from the US were a little better, particularly the ISM reading which significantly beat expectations but even here, it remains below 50 and therefore in contraction territory. With interest rates set to remain “higher for longer”, things aren’t likely to dramatically improve for the sector.

A very bearish signal for the DAX

The DE30 turned lower again today after staging a mild recovery in recent sessions and the move could reinforce bearish views on the index.

DE30 Daily

Source – OANDA on Trading View

The reason is that the move lower came after a retest of the 200/233-day simple moving average band, following the breakout last week. The rotation lower now could be viewed as confirmation of the breakout and therefore a bearish signal.

The next potential area of support could be seen around 15,000 where prior support and resistance falls around the bottom of the descending channel.

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Can An ‘Independent’ Kennedy Destroy “The Whole Left-Right Demon-Driven Pyschodrama”

Can An ‘Independent’ Kennedy Destroy "The Whole Left-Right Demon-Driven Pyschodrama"

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via,





Can An 'Independent' Kennedy Destroy "The Whole Left-Right Demon-Driven Pyschodrama"

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via,


“Intents have been overtaken by events.”

- Jacob Dreizin

You have to wonder what took Bobby Kennedy, Jr. so long to recognize that the Democratic Party was a home that he had long ago been turned out of, like a dog that has peed on the carpet too many times.

At the end of last week, Mr. Kennedy intimated that he might run for president on an independent line.

If he manages to get that line on the state ballots - and you can easily imagine New York and California trying to thwart him - it will change all the current calculations about the 2024 election.

As of right now, the Party of Chaos is living up to its name. They continue to present an obviously false and ridiculous consensus among themselves that “Joe Biden” is running for reelection. In fact, “the Big Guy” is about to get run through a wringer of the most abject public disgrace as his already-well-known crimes of bribery and treason get conscientiously laid out for all to see with cold and implacable decorum. Even the mind-fucked spawn of the Ivy League, toiling away on their CIA-owned newspapers and cable news networks, might find themselves forced to spin their narrative in a new direction.

“Joe Biden” is now a monumental embarrassment and a liability to our country, let alone to the degenerate party that owns him. Sub rosa efforts must be in motion to persuade him to resign before the impeachment inquiry spotlights all those telltale bank records, but they will fail to overcome his demented pride. He’ll ride this thing out to the bitter end, when he can use the last tool at his disposal to officially pardon everyone involved in his family’s racketeering operation. The longer the party pretends to support him, the closer the party itself skates toward self-destruction. Also consider: if allowed to play out, the impeachment inquiry will implicate the DOJ and the FBI in obstruction of justice — exposing many Deep State blob players to danger of prosecution.

Gov Gavin Newsom dangles himself above the fray as the deus ex machina who can touch down in DC and make all the Democrat’s problems go away. Such an attractive fellow! Great teeth and hair! Tall as a sequoia! And such a smooth talker! The woked-up suburban ladies who comprise the party’s main voting bloc grow moist in anticipation of Gov. Newsom landing on-stage like a demigod out of a Mozart opera.

But how do you think he’ll make out in an election when the airwaves are filled with oppo ads showing his toothy and hairy visage inset against scenes of homeless junkies and looting flash mobs? Try blaming that on climate change.

What else does he stand for? Censorship? Forced vaccinations? Child sex mutilations? Open borders? News-flash: these are increasingly unpopular, except among an easily-identified depraved elite.

Indeed, the whole Left-Right demon-driven psychodrama is proving impossible to live in as it throbs and pulsates toward something like civil war. And it has obscured the truly potent idea that the nation might actually be capable of solving its problems by facing up to them and changing how we act. That potent idea might be what voters will see in Bobby Kennedy if he can get their attention. Mr. Kennedy would dismantle the heinous partnerships between private corporations and the US government that loosed the Covid-19 op on the world and asset-strips the middle-class. He favors closing the border and a reevalution of immigration policy. He aims to negotiate an end to the ignoble Ukraine war project. He’s determined to disassemble the security state apparatus that’s destroying the US Constitution and citizens natural rights with it.

Mr. Kennedy says he can bring divided Americans together on these dire matters. It’s conceivable that his message might go over with enough rancor-weary voters to pull off a tour-de-force plurality in a three-way race, where nobody wins enough electoral votes to settle the contest, which then moves to the House, like in the old days of Jefferson and Burr. The rest is election mechanics, some of it very sinister when you consider all the election-rigging booby-traps already in-place such as mass mail-in ballot harvesting, no voter ID requirements, and the still-mysterious hookups of vote-counting machines to the Internet. But, at least, Mr. Kennedy running on an independent line will be a hard whap upside the Democratic Party’s thick skull, maybe even a death-blow to the party. They made a big mistake trying to un-person him. He’s on a hero’s journey at a moment in history when America dearly needs a hero.

*  *  *

Support his blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page

Tyler Durden Mon, 10/02/2023 - 16:20

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