Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

The future of media

Air America Radio was bereft of Ron Reagan last week, and in his place for most of the week was Lisa Birnbach, an esteemed co-author of such cultural treasures as ‘The Preppy Handbook’. At one point, she was talking about buying newspapers as some kind of patriotic duty. At another, she slandered the Wikipedia as ‘unchecked’ and so forth. That latter event was of the sort that causes my DataHand to click on the close button of my stream player.

Let’s get this straight: If you think Wikipedia is ‘unchecked’, Lisa Birnbach, then start checking it. It would seem to be your ‘patriotic duty’, if you want to look at things that way. I am reminded of Randi Rhodes complaining on air that someone had written her name incorrectly in the entry for her; Randi Rhodes, if your name is wrong in the Wikipedia, then you fix it. Because ‘open media’ is part of the future.

(Aside for technerds: Do not look to Bill Gates for your model of the future; look to Richard Stallman.)

The cheap newspaper was made possible by such inventions as the Linotype machine. We no longer live in an era of Linotype machines; the NYT stopped using them in the 1970s, I think it was, and good riddance, if only because the metals used were toxic. We no longer live in the era of phototype, either. The era in which we live is one in which the great technological advances are in copying of media objects by ordinary persons and enhancement of media objects by ordinary persons, plus all that goes along with these activities. It is our ‘patriotic duty’, if you want to look at it that way, to make that technology work – current day newspaper makers included.

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