On Glaciers

Stylish boyWhere’ve I been these last few days? Most of you have probably (correctly) guessed that, in lieu of blogging, I’ve been, um, building a relationship with Arlo.

But one doesn’t preclude the other. So here’s making a stab at a comeback, though I’ve been here for years.

The piece that got me off my butt: a typically clear and far-reaching post from Clay Shirky on the death of the newspaper industry, and the complaints from some, including Ron Rosenbaum, that they’ve been blindsided by effacement of print media via new media.

So I’m calling bullshit on the Rosenbaum thesis, because no one has been “caught up in this great upheaval.” Caught up? That makes it sound like a tornado. This change has been more like seeing oncoming glaciers ten miles off, and then deciding not to move.

This one is making the rounds, of course, but I wanted to add my voice to the choir, and to intone the mighty creed: glad I work online.



  1. Many industries take years or decades to collapse. The problems sinking GM today have been discussed for the last 20 years.

    Anyway, as far as Shirsky’s comment goes — the price of information is in free-fall and there’s no ground in sight — he’s wrong.

    The price of a lot of information is rapidly approaching ZERO. But SOME information is worth plenty, and getting more valuable.

    Most of the information that passes for “news” is worthless. But the worthlessness is not the result of “citizen journalists” beating news reporters to the punch.

    Most news is worthless because it is no longer “news”. It is too often opinion disguised as news. Moreover, there are big problems with the reporters who gather news. They don’t know enough.

    Reporters and most members of the media are horrifyingly bad at math. They have no understanding of statistics, and, as the hysteria over the current reprise of Y2K lunacy — otherwise known as Global Warming — goes, they know nothing about science.

    Anyway, the future of journalism probably means News venues — mostly Internet-based — will get their support from profitabe corporations that make money from non-news operations, but see the advertising value of running a news site.

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