Mob Rule, 2007 Style

February 25, 2007

The “serious” blogosphere has become infested by lefty kids, and to survive, it needs adult supervision.

The theoretically attractive Digg mechanism has been subverted:

The idea behind an ostensibly non-partisan site like Digg.com is that people submit links to interesting things, and other people rate the links, so that interesting stuff gets more votes and rises to the top.

But at Digg, this utopian web fantasy has turned into rule by kids.

Case in point, our post today about the ACLU’s newest attempt to get Islamist spokesman Tariq Ramadan into the US: Digg – ACLU: US Can’t Bar Terrorism Supporters.

As soon as this post was “made popular” (received enough votes to get listed on the front page), leftist Digg readers swarmed all over it, clicking the “bury” button like busy little progressive beavers. They also voted against almost every supporting comment, so that they disappeared from the list.

A review of the comments reveals the censors are lefty kids, perhaps illustrating the maxim that anyone who isn’t a socialist in their college days has no heart. But the effect is that using Digg is the equivalent to trying to conduct a serious political debate while surrounded by self-obsessed teenagers.

YouTube has been similarly subverted (the lefty Google management doesn’t help either). It’s taken down political comment that’s normal in the MSM, for example here and here, while promoting fascist propaganda, for example here.

So the blogosphere suffers from its strengths – it’s free (so you can’t keep kids out with subscription fees), and its open to every idiot with access to a PC.

There is an answer – alternatives to YouTube, Digg etc with adult supervision. That doesn’t come free, but without it, political discourse is ruled by the uneducated mob.

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Observations Of A Long Distance Runner

February 25, 2007

Today’s half marathon provided its usual mix of discomfort, pleasure, and sociological insight.

The  discomfort goes with the territory of course. The pleasure is the splendid springtime scenery, the competitive burn from overtaking oldsters, cripples etc, but mainly sinking a large beer after finishing.

Acute sociological observation of fellow runners revealed that a) Germans are very polite but a bit rigid, so get upset when everything doesn’t go exactly to plan, b) Brits are stoical, matey and make self-deprecating jokes all the time, c) Dutch don’t like being mistaken for Germans.

But the main observation was the tremendoes social spirit in this little place in the Southern Med. Thousands of volunteers – adults and kids – gave up half their Sundays to manage the traffic, marshal the runners,  hand out sponges and water, tend to the inevitable causalties, and keep the course safe and tidy. And thousands more tolerated traffic delays caused by closed roads.

A splendid show.