I wrote something once that I would support Topaz, but now I will add something from a different angle.
Topaz Labs is a small company, which is why we all, developers, customers and amateurs, should support it instead of complaining about the new pricing policy.
I don’t like many things, either. For example, the fact that Topaz no longer supports older products. For example, I can download Studio 1, but I can no longer buy modules for it, including AI Remix, so Studio 1 is worthless to me.
But, I will support them.
Do you know why?
Because you always have to support small businesses. There was once communism and dictatorship in my country, Poland. It was difficult to live here. Currently there is pseudo-capitalism. Sucks too. But in the US and Western Europe there is no real capitalism or free market that my favorite visionary Milton Friedman wrote so nicely about.
There is only an oligopoly of a dozen or so big corporations that, thanks to patents, lawyers and the appropriation of other people’s ideas, earn more and more, because they have a monopoly on everything that they can enforce. When you go to the store, you don’t realize that many of the things you buy are made by the same corporation that has several thousand different brands and daughter companies registered. I once talked about this with a policeman who specializes in analyzing the topology of such companies to detect tax evasion and other frauds.
And thanks to them you earn less and less (because they earn more and more). And the gap between the richest and the poorest is still growing, as even Pope Francis spoke. Just as human egoism is increasing. This situation and social inequality are strange if we think we have the 21st century and so many wise people, scholars, and young people are also increasingly aware of how the world works.
After all, women only gained voting rights recently. Equality between women and men also arose. Before, women meant nothing. Slavery ended, then racial segregation. I still can’t imagine that in the 1960s there were separate entrances for white and colored people in buses!
People are smarter and smarter, although it happens extremely slowly. They hardly get rid of their privileges and superstitions, and unjust laws. Perhaps soon something will also change in terms of ownership and money. For example, instead of capitalism or communism, a different social system will be created, based more on the cooperative model, Holons and other goods distribution model than appropriating other people’s ideas in a zero-sum game.
If you want to read something interesting about it, I recommend two items:
Novel, two volumes, author: Daniel Suarez, titles: “Daemon”, “Freedom”. The model based on holons is described in the second volume, but both books form one whole, so read both items.
Popular science book, author: Harari Y.N., title: “Homo Deus”. Cross-section through human history and reflection on the future.
Maybe this Coronavirus, after killing 1/100 of the Earth’s population, will change something, improve something, because people will come to their senses and be better for each other? I do not know. I am not a futurologist. 100 years ago, Europe fell by 50 million people (some sources estimate 200 million) because it killed people with another virus, it was a Spanish flu. Every tenth person died. But people have not become significantly better after this epidemic. Then we had two world wars, including Hitler’s utopia, right?
In general, however, the speculations of futurologists are unsuccessful due to the butterfly effect and the phenomenon of deterministic chaos, which is affected by entropy - a next phenomenon as mysterious as time. Also, as I wrote earlier, people are getting better educated, so maybe the world will be better.
But I know that one way or another you always need to support small family businesses and startups, and other small businesses of all types, to help balance the market and give people, now and in the future, a chance for positive change and a hope.