There’s a pair of signs on my route to work which say ‘cyclists in road’. They’re self-supporting A-frame type ones, positioned neatly in the part of the road nearest the pavement – i.e. the bike lane. While there is some scaffolding going up to the edge of pavement, I’m convinced there wouldn’t be any cyclists in the road (in so far as the bike lane is not ‘in the road’) if it wasn’t for the signs warning drivers about them being there.
Any creative sector abounds with this sort of essentially unjustified causality loop – from artists who create for the benefit of critics not publics because prizes are more remunerative than audiences, to musicians playing for free because gigs are run that only offer free drinks and ‘exposure’ and people organising gigs with no pay because musicians will play for free (by way of illustration that this isn’t inevitable, while it’s very widespread in the UK and I think the US as well, it’s apparently rare at the least in continental Europe, where the circle has evidently never got started).
The thing is that creative workers are by nature small players in very large games, and rarely players that can be successfully organised into coherent groupings of any size. So railing about these illogical fixtures is rarely worthwhile – you simply can’t create enough momentum to, for instance, produce a national boycott of pay-to-play gigs leading to the model becoming unviable. Instead, you just have to choose whether to personally go with the trends where they can work for you or buck them where they clearly don’t work to your advantage, and accept the situation more or less as you find it even if you believe it to be unjust.
This is not behaviour very thoroughly in character for me! I find it frustrating to light a candle and live in the general darkness – but not as frustrating as trying to slow down the spinning of the world with my shoulder so that it stays light for longer.