Monday, July 21, 2008

Conspiracy Theories, Trust, Libertarians and Internet

Sometimes when I blog, I write the title first. It's a fun game to try and make some meaning of the title with the blog. Sometimes you write the blog first, but it's not as challenging to title the blog as it is to blog the title. I encourage you to try it.

I listen to a talk radio station most of the time on my commute to and from work. Recently I moved. My commute has shrunk from 40 minutes to 20 minutes which sounds good, but now I can't listen to the radio as much and my blogging material has likewise diminished. It's incredible how small changes can have unexpected and dramatic side affects. I believe in Chaos and common attractors.

I almost meandered off topic.

Last week my morning radio program was interviewing a comedian who had sold out shows in Dallas. I didn't like him to the point that I had to change the channel a few times. He was one of those people that believe that if he talked loud enough that it would make him right. It was very irritating. And not funny. He was all about the Kennedy cover up conspiracy single bullet thing and the fact that we never landed on the moon but simply had Hollywood make a film of it to fool the Russians.

I've heard about these conspiracies. I've never done any research one way or another. I find it very hard to care. Kennedy will remain dead and the Cold War will remain over. The next one will be called the Warming War. It's already started.

If I have to place myself in a political party, I lean Libertarian. I even ran for office once. It was enlightening. As a population we trust the government too much. I think for the Libertarian party to succeed, they have to replace that trust with something else. For some reason, unless we are conspiracy theory junkies, we believe that when we eat out, the food is good. It's not necessary to do too much research before we buy house insurance. The government regulates insurance companies and the government regulates eating establishments.

Libertarians believe that the free market will take care of itself. I'd like to see some good author write a fictional story about the result, if the government got out of our business. Would it be good? Would it be bad? I don't like laws protecting me from myself, but the government was created by the people for the people. The majority of people disagree with the way I think, so I'll never be 100% happy anywhere I go unless I can become the next dictator of Cuba or something.

If the government didn't regulate the airlines who would? It seems that you could end up with an Oligarchy of sorts. If the government doesn't regulate things for the majority, then who does?

Can we simply shrink the size and spending of the government, but still have a powerful voice in regulating the rich and powerful?

If you think back before the time of the Internet, this wasn't really possible. Now, ordinary citizens, for a few dollars can have a very loud voice. There is not much regulation of the Internet yet. We can write about the good, the bad and the ugly. As long as we have the Internet, we have the voice and the power to regulate. We don't need the government.


  1. If you think back before the time of the Internet, this wasn't really possible. Now, ordinary citizens, for a few dollars can have a very loud voice…. As long as we have the Internet, we have the voice and the power to regulate. We don't need the government.

    Nonsense! Have you heard the quote, "The power of the press belongs to those who own one." (variously attributed to Ben Franklin, Randolph Hearst, AJ Liebling, or HL Mencken)? There have always plenty of ways for people to broadcast their opinions for good or ill (from Thomas Paine’s pamphlets to The Watchtower, to that crazy lady on community cable access). True, it’s getting cheaper and cheaper to broadcast something, but the noise you have to overcome to be heard has gotten louder and louder. So, 400 years after King James commissioned the CoE’s version of the bible, it’s still the deep pockets that get to be heard. Just because you have something to say (even something very good!) doesn’t mean anyone will hear you, due to the shrieking din of millions of other clamoring voices. OTOH, a well-funded and coordinated public relations campaign can reach hundreds of millions of people, most of who may never know it was all part of a single message. The best propaganda is not easily traced to its source. Hell, they still haven’t proved that Cheney was involved with outing Valerie Plame, not that it matters now. The desired outcome was achieved: KBR, cost-plus contracts and big-oil were thoroughly entrenched in Iraq by the time anyone took Joe Wilson’s yelling seriously.

    If you depend on the market and public opinion (i.e., the interwebs) to regulate our behavior, I can promise you it will be coopted by those with power and money (in capitalism, these are ==). Any would-be oligarch worth his salt would just hire a good agency to wage a campaign of opinion to support his case. The hoped-for outcome in representational democracy is that this kind of thing is at least blunted somewhat, especially with the help of transparency. Internet utopia is as much a pipe dream as the ‘70s commune….

    Just my (overly?) cynical $0.02

  2. I love Ed.

    So what you are really saying is that now it's easy for anyone to have a voice, but that voice gets lost because "anyone can have a voice".

    And the really loud voices that are heard around the world are backed by the rich and powerful.

    There is no solution. I feel another blog coming on. Or maybe I just need to use the toilet.