Bill Quick,in the evolving comments to one of his own posts, provides a startling moment of clarity concerning one of the switching stations of the emerging Information Age, the "profession" of journalism.
The post itself dealt with Paul Krugman of the New York Times being caught out in yet another lie, seemingly abetted by his editors. Bill then hearkens back to a previous post dealing with how journalists view their jobs as opposed to the reality of the situation.
In this confluence, comments fly fast and hard, but eventually in the course of the exchange with Jay Rosen, Bill posts this little gem, which I dearly hope he expands upon.
Bill Quick, for those of you don't know, is a writer; an author of numerous science fiction short stories and books. As such, Bill has what I view as the visionary tools to provide a reader with a plausible glimpse of the future. The science fiction I enjoy the most happens in the near future and tends to have to do with the extrapolation of current events and technological trends. I think the reason I like it is that I just might live long enough to see if the story emerges as reality. In the last 20 years, this has happened a number of times. It's a bit of a rush, actually.
Bill has this perspective, I believe, and in one comment fleshes out the future of news as an information commodity whose very nature wipes out the concept of journalism as we know it in this day and age.
What I know about technology is this: it
destroys centralized systems. It doesn't just do away with gatekeepers
- or, more accurately, the way it does so is the item of interest -
since it destroy the very gates themselves. What will remain is the
talents and expertise of individuals, and the intelligent systems that
will be developed to aggregate them and provide options for "trust
products" to those who will consume news-based product. Yes, trust will
be a product, and you will pay depending on what sort and level of
trust you require.
We are seeing this emerge before our eyes. This is the hard reality of the Information Age. Like any means of production, the ideal usually varies greatly from reality.
Look. Can we agree that there are enough things in the DC area named after Ronald Reagan? Is naming 16th Street Ronald Reagan Boulevard really that necessary? Other than to show folks around the nation what a shallow little grandstanding prick a congressman from south Texas can be?
Once you understand the concept of the naming of streets in DC, it's one of the easiest cities to navigate. L'Enfant designed DC with north/south streets numbered, east/west streets alphabetized and diagonal streets named for states. Add to that the feature that the original DC was a big square of land with the points aligned to the compass, so you could divide the city into directional quadrants. It's a good system. Why screw with it?
Four little words: Avenue of the Americas. One of the truly great laughingstocks of city planning.
Stephen Green over at Vodkapundit wraps it all up in a nice, neat package:
Abortion. I support a woman's right to choose, for whatever reason, right up until the natural
viability of the fetus. That's a variable, but generally around the
start of the third trimester. After that point, I am still pro-choice,
but only if the mother's life or health is endangered. End of rant, end
of debate. You will not change my mind, so don't even try.
Gun Control. "Gun control" means having the skill required to
put steel on target. The Founders wanted an armed populous, and they
got one. Cool. My position, naturally, extends to issues like
must-issue laws for concealed weapons permits. End of rant, end of
debate. You will not change my mind, so don't even try.
Evolution. Evolution is a fact – species change over time. The fossil record demonstrates this beyond debate. Evolutionary theories attempt to explain how the fact
of evolution occurs. Like all theories, they are subject to scrutiny,
falsification, and peer review. No "theory" requiring a god or
invisible intelligence or burning sage or nineteen-teated mythical bear
can be falsified – and is therefore not science. It also therefore has
no place in a science class. End of rant, end of debate. You will not
change my mind, so don't even try.