If we are going to have a civilized society, we need to pay our professional culture producers. We have to consider the merits of subsidies, of providing money that we'll never get back. We need to rethink what provides us with the grounds of creativity—the perpetual search for a bit job, or a job with integrity that allows for the freedom to think and reflect. We can continue to believe that culture is something that will magically crystallize out of thin air, that people will still write books and essays and teach the next generation no matter what they're paid. We can continue to expect free culture on demand and ignore the arguments of the producers of The Hurt Locker. We can remain like the adolescent I once was and demand that culture be free without thinking about the consequences. But we'll be poorer if we do, poorer in ways that are more difficult to measure than the stock ticker.