TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Entrenched Interests Versus Disruptive Technology

Re: Entrenched Interests Versus Disruptive Technology

Tony P. (
Sun, 12 Dec 2004 21:07:45 -0500

In article <>, says:

> On Thu, 9 Dec 2004 23:38:11 -0500, Ron Chapman,
> <> wrote:

>> Books, by their very nature, are wrought from processes that distill
>> the crap out and leave hard-considered facts and opinions. But on the
>> net, all it takes is one crazy to set up a "the Holocaust was a fake"
>> blog -- and how does a ten year old know how to interpret that? He
>> doesn't. But he reads it on the net ... so does he just go ahead and
>> use that as "fact" to back up his assignment?

>> It's all about EDITING.

>> Now, maybe if my kid's research was done online using only EDITED
>> resources, resources that have been through the same excruciating
>> processes that produce printed books, that would be fine.

> 100% taurine excrement. "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is a
> published book that's been around for a century. "Mein Kampf" is
> another book that was published long before the internet came into
> existance. Would you accept them as authoritative if some kid used
> them as sources for his homework assignment???

>> Unedited information makes for dangerous waters. It requires at the
>> least parental coaching to help the child become a well-rounded and
>> educated netizen. One should NOT leave the child alone to use the
>> naked net to finish an assignment. My parents could leave me in the
>> library by myself to do that, and I could leave my kid in the library
>> today, but not on the net. Not alone and without guidance.

> When someone once complained that 90% of science fiction was crud,
> Theodore Sturgeon shot back that 90% of *EVERYTHING* was crud. This
> is popularly known as "Sturgeon's Law". He was generally right,
> although some people might argue that 90% is a conservative number.
> Children need to be taught critical thinking and to critically examine
> *ALL* "facts", regardless of where those alleged facts are found,
> regardless of whether it's on the web or in a "respected publication".

> Now to get onto the topic of my subject ... when a new technology
> comes out that undermines entrenched interests using old tech, the old
> entrenched interests will fight tooth-and-nail to destroy the new
> tech.

> - Gutenberg's invention of the printing-press undermined the
> religious establishment's authority. Priests, often the only
> people literate in Latin, could open up an expensive parchment
> Latin Bible and tell the populace "The Holy Bible says blah blah
> blah...". Cheap English translations via Gutenberg's printing
> press allowed the populace to respond "No, it doesn't". The
> Church's initial reaction was to ban English Bible translations,
> and burn their authors at the stake (e.g. William Tyndale in 1536)

> - The automobile was fought tooth-and-nail by the horse-and-buggy
> industry. Ever heard of the "Red Flag Law"?

> - Low-cost (and for that matter no-cost) Open Source software is
> threatening to undermine Microsoft's monopoly. Microsoft's
> response is to amass software patents and spread FUD about Open
> Source software ( ).
> And then there's the Darl McBride fiaSCO.

> Web-publishing threatens the grip of the old-line media. In the old
> days, you needed to be a multi-millionaire, if not a billionaire, to
> own the media necessary to promote your version of the truth. Today,
> anybody with a few dollars a month for an internet connection and a
> webpage has the chance to have their story seen by a worldwide
> audience. And the old-line media are fighting tooth-and-nail to
> discredit/outlaw/hobble the new media. I don't deny that there will
> be plenty of garbage in the new media, but then again, there's plenty
> of garbage in the old media.

Speaking of threatening old line media I found this on Slashdot today:


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Notice also some of the ways what
you refer to as 'old line' media (i.e. paper and printing presses and
often as not a publisher with a few million dollars) have had to
adapt in the past several years: One, delivery methods have changed
a lot. There are no longer *any* afternoon newspapers in many cities.
Both Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Herald-American went out of
business totally as did Chicago Today. They say the afternoon traffic
during the rush hour simply made it impractical to publish and
distribute afternoon papers. Two, papers which were paid for with the
cost of advertising and given away or 'sold' for the paltry sum of two
cents or five cents now are sold for fifty cents or in the case of
the Sunday paper maybe two or three dollars. Three, many of the
formerly 'local' papers have gone 'national' in scope, using satellite
publishing plants. For example, 'Wall Street Journal' published by
Dow-Jones has a publisher in New York, in San Fransisco and in
Chicago (where Chicago Tribune prints it locally.) Christian Science
Monitor has publishing plants all over the USA also; in Chicago it
is printed by one of the local daily newspapers. New York Times does
the same thing; I think in Chicago it is published by the Tribune
people. So no more two or three day delays in getting out of town
newspapers. Now they arrive, usually by postal mail, the same day as
is shown on the cover. The newspapers are adapting, trying hard to
keep up with the internet. PAT]

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