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Legacy media on the way out quite soon, says tech guru – how will that affect the ID controversy?

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Paul Gillin, a veteran technology journalist and formerly editor-in-chief of ComputerWorld, thinks that legacy mainstream media (MSM) are toast.

Sure, lots of people think so, and yet another techhead’s view wouldn’t matter – except that I keep hearing the same thing from journalists who hoped it wasn’t true, and used to say it wasn’t. From Gilpin:

Why now? People have been wrongly forecasting the death of newspapers for years. Why is this time different?

The first decade of the consumer Internet was very different from that which we’re now entering. Web 1.0 was the display Internet. It was a decade when organizations put their brochures online and users got comfortable with the idea of a global network. Search tools were rudimentary, Web content was difficult to create and interactivity was limited.

Yes, Paul! And even worse, Yapster the Terrier was more likely to have a Web page than his master’s business was. Yawn. Not much of a threat to established media, that. But …

That’s all changed. It’s now easy for individuals to create Web content. Computing power, storage and bandwidth costs are declining rapidly. The open-source software movement has dropped the price of software to near zero. Search engines have become a more effective marketing channel than e-mail. Google AdSense and affiliate marketing networks can generate income for Web site operators, even at low traffic levels. Today, a small group of people with a few thousand dollars and a good idea can build a self-sustaining Web franchise in a matter of months. You couldn’t have done that five years ago.

Layered on top of that is a demographic shift that is about to move a large new group of Web-savvy consumers into the economic mainstream. This new generation simply doesn’t have the loyalty to established media that their parents do. And they don’t read newspapers at all.

Don’t read newspapers? No, and for good reason. At my local convenience store, the guy flogging subscriptions to the Globe & Mail couldn’t even give away a pile of free papers. For one thing, now that Toronto makes us pay for recycling by the size of the bin, who wants a big pile of newsprint?

I’m more skeptical of Gilpin’s claim that the “new journalism” doesn’t need to be accurate because industrious armies of readers will correct stories, and that’s okay. Okay for whom? For people who don’t need accurate information?

If I need to know the expected overnight temperature in Toronto tonight, I’ll go with the Weather Network’s Internet forecast, right or wrong – because one thing that hasn’t changed is that there are only 24 hours in a day and I can only invest a tiny amount of time in finding out – and I don’t need one hundred commenters’ opinions on the subject. In general, a system that cannot distinguish between informed and uninformed opinion will likely be replaced by one that can. But we shall see.

Now, how will this affect the ID controversy? Well, let’s see: Darwin’s mob will lose the considerable advantage they gained from the formula pro-Darwin stories generated by the legacy MSM. They will, however, still have the advantage that so many of them are supported by the taxpayer, and they may gravitate increasingly toward political action to silence dissent.

One thing about predicting the future is that it is riskier than predicting the past.

Also: Just up at the Post-Darwinist

Jailed Canuck media mogul Conrad (Tubby) Black endorses ID-friendly Jindal for McCain’s veep. Go Tubs!

Straw in the wind: Science writer tries to figure out why intelligent design theory doesn’t go away

From my mailbox …

Expelled movie’s screenwriter – recently demoted from “evil” to “stupid” – regains “evil” status

Brain evolution gene?: Move over already yet, gay gene, fat gene, and God gene!

Just up at Colliding Universes:

Science teaching: The peril in the big questions

You heard it here first, or last, or anyway here: The universe is a donut

Could God live in an infinite sea of universes? Depends …

Colliding Universes is my blog on theories about our universe. (Hey, if a physicist who gets published in a journal somewhere thunk it up, it isn’t wonky by definition, m’kay?)

Just up at The Mindful Hack

Evolutionary psychology: The “meme” generates a fruitful hoax, if nothing else

Sci Phi Show podcast features scholar on near death experiences

Psychology: Jokes help us survive even when we daren’t laugh aloud

Psychology: If people were robots, safety devices would abolish most accidents, but …

Spirituality: Today’s students spiritually repressed?

Denise, just look at the way Wikipedia is treating design. Hierarchies will be created in cyberspace just like anywhere else. The new media, whatever it turns out to be, will become just like the old as it concerns ID. Perhaps for awhile we have a window of opportunity, but it will not last unless there are other factors helping our case. tragicmishap
I'd say so, Gil. It assumes that the audience can react only by switching channels. Compare that to the 'Net where the audience can just start blogs. O'Leary
I saw the History Channel "How Life Began" show last night and will blog on it. It was essentially standard unsupported speculation presented as scientific fact. The "emergence" thing was especially entertaining. Since waves in the ocean create ripples in the sand, chemicals can make life, no problem. On the topic of this thread, this kind of propaganda presented as science is still a big problem, especially on TV. Does TV count as a legacy medium? GilDodgen
I haven't had a chance to see it, so I can only ask, is there a possibility that they do not know how dumb they look? Origin of life, in particular, is a thorny problem because even if life was created from scratch in the lab by intelligent design, it would be impossible to say with certainty that that was how it happened in nature. The most we can say is that a naturalistic origin is possible, with heavy input from the intelligent design of a specific set of circumstances under which it could occur - and that includes all the prior research, not just the Eureka! moment. Darwin was right to leave OoL alone and not to try to include it in his Big Idea. Too bad his followers didn't get the picture. O'Leary
Because he has a knack for making "smart" people look dumb. And from what I saw they were looking very dumb indeed. Jon Jackson
Why has it to have been made by Ben Stein? O'Leary
Off topic but is anyone watching the History channel right now? There is a show on right now (10:30 CST) that has to have been made by Ben Stein. It's called "How Life Began" and it is one of the biggest compilations of ignorance that I have ever witnessed. They are actually talking about "emergence" seriously. So now "It Just Happened" is a scientific explanation? Jon Jackson

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