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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Anyway, my point is that it was the dissatisfaction of a large number of people with the mainstream media’s coverage of a major global event that drove the growth of blogging, both in the US and Britain. We are now in a period where people’s dissatisfaction with the mainstream media is plumbing new depths as it behaves abominably over issues such as the US election, immigration, and a whole load of others which people care deeply about. Twitter and Facebook have already shown they are prepared to censor unwelcome opinions, which has left more than a few people voiceless (at least until Gab picks up and develops a smartphone app.). Indeed, I’ve always been surprised how many bloggers – who had full control of their own hosting platform and content – switched to Twitter, where they had none of the former and now, we discover, not so much of the latter either. The beauty of blogging for me was always that I run the site and its content is wholly mine and subject to nobody’s approval. There is no “report inappropriate content” on this blog.

This period in the runup to the US Presidential Election is starting to feel a lot like the spring of 2003: plenty of angry voices and a feeling nobody is listening. If Trump loses, the opposite side will try to silence them. One way of making themselves heard is via a blog, leading me to believe that we might see a renaissance of blogging in 2017.

Either way, I’ll still be here. Hopefully.

Tim Newman, very accurately describing what caused the blogosphere to appear seemingly ab nihilo, and why similar conditions of widespread alienation may well be coming into alignment to cause a new media surge tide once again, perhaps this time ab Milo.

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58 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • I think the event which would give greatest credence to the inherent bias of the mainstream media would be for Trump to win the US Presidential election.

    This would demonstrate that the bias towards Hillary is a distortion from reality.

    I’m not saying that it is going to happen, but it might happen.

    Not that I am endorsing Trump (who I think is an egotistical prick)

  • Fraser Orr

    If you doubt the media bias in this presidential election consider this: We have heard non stop coverage of various women accusing Trump of kissing them or grabbing their butts in an unwanted fashion. The mainstream press has repeated these stories endlessly. However, they have not spoken one peep about Virginia Roberts. This woman, who was 17 at the time has accused Jeffrey Epstein of turning her into an underage sex slave, and forcing her to service his guests on his private island, and one of those guests was Bill Clinton. Although there is no absolute proof of her accusation there is plenty of circumstantial evidence to support it (unlike Trump’s many accusers.)

    Certainly women should be heard when they claim to have been assaulted, however, we should not be so naive as to imaging they never lie, especially so in this politicized environment. But what does Jessica Drake get a loud voice and Virginia Roberts gets hidden away? The answer is obvious really. Jessica Drake is a porn star so perhaps that salaciousness gives her more headline appeal, but does “Underage Sex Slave forced into orgies with past President” not have lots of headline appeal too?

    I have no doubt, to the OP’s point, that were it not for blogging, and to a certain extent Fox News, that Hillary Clinton would indeed be 50 points ahead.

    (None of this should be taken as an endorsement for loud mouth slime ball Trump, BTW.)

    http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/breaking-sex-slave-makes-disturbing-accusations-bill-clinton/

  • Runcie Balspune

    I don’t subscribe to Twitter, the good bits are mentioned in blogs anyway. Apps such as Google Play Newsstand have a CSS feature that allows for blogs, this only works half the time, though, as many feeds just link to a webpage.

  • Alan H.

    …perhaps this time ab Milo

    Ok, I really did laugh out loud when I read that 😆

  • Mr Ecks

    Well I endorse Trump and to hell with all those who look down their toffee-noses at him.

    If their oh-so-superior-snobbery helps Killery to win they may have lots of time to regret it. Or perhaps a short while before the psychopathic and mentally unstable bitch kicks off WW3. And that is before this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzKIM1SR_Po

  • Well I endorse Trump and to hell with all those who look down their toffee-noses at him.

    I’m as down-to-earth as they get and think Hillary is far, far worse. Still I would argue that Trump is an egotistical prick. If the cap fits, wear it.

  • Well I endorse Trump and to hell with all those who look down their toffee-noses at him.

    I dislike Trump not primarily because I am indeed a snooty upper crust Englishman who finds him laughably crass, but because he is just another statist jackass whose only good point is that he is not the quite possibly sociopathic Hillary Clinton. And although I do do not really care deeply which of these exceptionally vile people ends up in the White House, I admit it will be amusing to hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from Hillary’s true believer supporters if she crashes and burns. That said, it will be a very expensive cheap thrill, but I suppose one must take one’s jollies where one finds them 😛

  • bobby b

    Still I would argue that Trump is an egotistical prick.

    Wouldn’t one almost have to be, to make a concerted and supported bid to be elected President of the U.S.A.? I’d guess most past candidates have been egotistical pricks, but that some of them have done a better job of concealing their true nature.

    Main question is whose prick is he?

  • bobby b

    . . . he is just another statist jackass whose only good point is that he is not the quite possibly sociopathic Hillary Clinton.

    I have a bumper sticker that I dare not put on my car with three words: “He’s Not Hillary!”

    Sums it all up nicely.

  • Fraser Orr

    @bobby b
    > “He’s Not Hillary!”

    That is true, but on the other hand “He Is Trump”. Those three words are almost as terrifying as “Hillary Wins”.

    The one thing Trump has going for him is that the establishment, both Republican and Democrat absolutely hates him. That means that, should he become President, nobody will cooperate with him, meaning that the government will end up in gridlock. Activity with no results is usually the best we can hope for from politicians.

    So change your bumper sticker to “A Vote For Trump is a Vote for Gridlock” and I think a lot of sensible people will be convinced to change their vote.

  • So change your bumper sticker to “A Vote For Trump is a Vote for Gridlock” and I think a lot of sensible people will be convinced to change their vote.

    It is the only argument I find even half way convincing about Trump.

  • I have a bumper sticker that I dare not put on my car with three words: “He’s Not Hillary!”

    The problem I have with all of this is that “He’s not Hillary” is a pretty low bar to the election of the leader of the free world. The thought that we could end up with Trump because he’s slightly less obnoxious than a sick, thieving, lying harpy is pathetic.

    So change your bumper sticker to “A Vote For Trump is a Vote for Gridlock” and I think a lot of sensible people will be convinced to change their vote.

    It depends what power you believe the POTUS actually has. He cannot promote his own legislation, all he can do is accept or veto legislation that is proposed by congress. I doubt that the vast majority of Dems will support him in any form and much of the Republican membership of both the House and the Senate will only do so where they can see opportunities for pork.

    Gridlock under God-Emperor Trump would seem likely, however from a libertarian perspective that might be the best option.

  • Chris C.

    Trump is a human hand grenade lobbed at the establishment. The outcome might be good, has a high chance of being bad but definitely will be entertaining. The establishment could also do with getting blown up.

  • Patrick Crozier

    If I might be so bold as to steer the conversation back to the original topic; blogging declined for a reason. Several in fact.

    To get people to come to your site regularly you really needed to be blogging everyday. Not so bad if you happened to be a genius like Glenn Reynolds or had a roster of excellent writers like Samizdata. But most of us aren’t/weren’t in that position.

    One solution to this was the aggregators. First, applications that looked like email clients and then web-based services like Bloglines and then Google Reader. And then, mysteriously, they closed.

    Eventually, I worked out that everyone was now on Twitter. And also that the proper journalists were back. And if I want to know what is going on in the world Twitter is the place. Still.

    It is also worth bearing in mind that running your own blog (unless you accept someone else’s hosting) is a pain in the arse. All that downloading, uploading and general jiggering about.

  • All more or less true, Patrick. But some people are now also realising that twitter and facebook come with all sorts of catches that blogs do not.

  • Fraser Orr

    @John Galt
    > It depends what power you believe the POTUS actually has.

    He has some specific powers that he might use effectively.

    Based on his Gettysburg speech of his goals, here are the things he can do:

    1. Appoint less nightmarish judges (if the Senate stays with the Republicans, due to previous rule changes under the Dems, these judges can get appointed since Republicans will support him in this endeavor.)

    2. Hiring freeze on all federal employees — this he could certainly do if he wants (though it could lead to a union strike)

    3. Remove two regulations for every new one — this he can also do since he is head of all the rule making bodies. (Of course this can easily be fudged royally)

    4. Various bans on government officials becoming lobbists. He can do some of that by modifying employment agreements of agencies who work for him.

    5. Build a wall along the border. He can make this happen, and he can possibly make Mexico pay for it (via controlling transfer of money between the countries.)

    6. Arrest and send back criminal illegal aliens. The DOJ, FBI, BCIS and ICE would work for him, so he can tell them what to do.

    7. Withdraw from TPP

    8. Open up mineral drilling rights on public lands.

    9. Stop immigration from Muslim countries until “we can properly vet them.”

    10. Possibly hassle peaceful illegal immigrants living here.

    Most these things are pretty good things, generally speaking, though a couple of them are rather nasty.

    Here are things he promised that he is very unlikely to be able to do:

    1. A constitutional amendment term limiting congress people. This is a completely impossible dream, even were it not turkeys voting for thanksgiving.

    2. Radical changes in the tax code — he just won’t be able to do this.

    3. Renegotiate NAFTA — he might try, but this needs congressional approval. It is unlikely that his negotiating partners will take him seriously.

    I am not sure if he will be able to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her many crimes. She deserves it for sure, and if he can I think he will try (I predict Gulliani as the AG.) However, there is a fair chance Obama will give her a broad spectrum pardon if Trump wins.

    Final thing: Obamacare. It is kind of hard to know what will happen here. If the Republicans keep the senate there is a chance this can be adjusted, a la Pelosi “you have to pass it before you can see what is in it.” But it might not be doable, and either way, it would be an absolute blood bath.

    So he could do quite a lot, in truth, and many of the things he can do are fairly good things, with some exceptions.

  • neal

    Why do the comfortable protected classes despise those that prefer honest labor?
    We are not slaves. Actually, we run off and breed with the others that do not bow to the superiors.

    Your castles are not going to build themselves. We just leave stuff in the attics.

    I do not know why the English see the honest poor as property. Even unto your own children.

    I guess something to do with profit at any cost. Very disconcerting.

  • I am not sure if he will be able to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her many crimes. She deserves it for sure, and if he can I think he will try (I predict Gulliani as the AG.) However, there is a fair chance Obama will give her a broad spectrum pardon if Trump wins.

    Sure, Obama could give her a wide-ranging pardon for all of the stuff that she is charged with, but what about the stuff she hasn’t been charged with? Obama can’t give her wholesale immunity from prosecution.

  • Why do the comfortable protected classes despise those that prefer honest labor?

    This tends to be more the middle-class liberals and their Democratic politicians than anything else. They don’t despise the working poor for their honest labour, they despise them for being too white and too racist (i.e. against mass immigration rather than racist against those already here)

    This is why they are so keen to import a new ethnic-minority immigrant electorate.

  • Mr Ecks

    Obama is trying to rule by executive order–and Killery thinks she can down the second amendment with them. I see no reason why Trump can’t make sauce for the Goose etc.

    Also what is to stop Trump UN-pardoning Killery? Plus Obama can’t pardon himself. Since he has demonstrably lied to the American people about not knowing that Killery was using the private server he should also be arrested/impeached whatever you call it and the case made that since he was part of the crime–or at least cognisant of it— any pardon issued is null and void.

  • Eric

    And although I do do not really care deeply which of these exceptionally vile people ends up in the White House, I admit it will be amusing to hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from Hillary’s true believer supporters if she crashes and burns.

    If I thought Trump would actually be effective I’d have less interest in the election. But as it is a Trump presidency would have all sorts of people and institutions remembering the limits of presidential power.

    As to the wailing and gnashing… I’ll take my schadenfreude where I can get it.

  • Mr Ed

    Here are things he promised that he is very unlikely to be able to do:

    1. A constitutional amendment term limiting congress people.

    The US President has no more role in amending the Constitution than I or the Dalai Lama have, albeit the President can set the political agenda and cajole.

  • what is to stop Trump UN-pardoning Killery?

    My understanding is that once a pardon is signed by the POTUS the matter is deemed “served” and cannot be restored, revoked or rescinded.

    IANAL though.

  • Fraser Orr

    @John Galt
    Obama could give her a wide-ranging pardon for all of the stuff that she is charged with, but what about the stuff she hasn’t been charged with?

    I don’t think you are right. It isn’t unprecedented. See:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pardon_of_Richard_Nixon

    Nixon was never charged with a thing.

    “Today President Obama passed Proclamation 1234, which pardons Hillary Clinton of all crimes she might have committed as First Lady, Senator, or Secretary of State.” In issuing the pardon President Obama said: “Of course she has committed no crimes, but I issue this order to bring healing to this country. With President Elect Trump promising actions that will rock this country to the core, I issue this final gift to the country so that we can focus on healing our divided land.”

    Yup. Make me want to hurl too.

  • “Today President Obama passed Proclamation 1234, which pardons Hillary Clinton of all crimes she might have committed as First Lady, Senator, or Secretary of State.” In issuing the pardon President Obama said: “Of course she has committed no crimes, but I issue this order to bring healing to this country. With President Elect Trump promising actions that will rock this country to the core, I issue this final gift to the country so that we can focus on healing our divided land.”

    There was a long time when she was none of those things though and I doubt that even Obama would create such a wide-ranging pardon. He might say “in her role as First Lady, Senator or Secretary of State”, but she’s done lots wrong outside the scope of those roles (whatever the role of “first lady” is, I’m not sure).

    He might give her a limited pardon for the view of being able to say “I did what I could for Hillary“, but he’s not exactly a fan of Hillary and Wikileaks is sticking the knife in further with the “Porch Monkey” accusation (allegedly directed not at an African-American supporter of Bernie than at Obama).

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    Worrying news- Trump did lead in some opinion polls today! I heard he was ahead in Florida, and some other important states. President Trump and his trumpettes could be soon be selling off the White House, or painting the place Republican Red.

  • Worrying news- Trump did lead in some opinion polls today!

    Very interesting.

    A new Bloomberg Politics poll finds Trump ahead of Clinton, 45% to 43% — well within the poll’s 3.2 percentage point margin of error — in a four-way race among likely voters. Libertarian Gary Johnson gets 4% support, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein draws 2%. For perspective, President Barack Obama won the state’s 29 electoral votes in 2012 by less than a percentage point.

    Trump has 2-point edge in new Florida poll

    Maybe Team Clinton didn’t pay the pollsters enough. 😈

    Alternately, this could be more Team Clinton message management…concerned that if voters see a Chillary win as a foregone conclusion they won’t bother going to the polls.

    Either way, it is interesting…

  • Rich Rostrom

    Fraser Orr @ October 26, 2016 at 5:00 pm:

    If you doubt the media bias in this presidential election consider this…

    Or this (Hola! magazine cover of the Clintons looking all lovey-dovey). Or this (ELLE magazine’s “interview” of Clinton by an 11-year-old girl).

    As Instapundit has pointed out, a big slice of media favoritism is in the continual stream of softball non-political coverage Democrats get. Michelle Obama got about 100 times the fawning attention from fashion magazines and homemaker’s magazines than Laura Bush ever got.

  • Deep Lurker

    When it comes to a Constitutional amendment to set term limits on members of Congress, I’ve come to oppose the idea. Congress doesn’t need to be weakened further.

    A big part of the current mess is due to Congress having given up authority to pass laws to executive branch agencies. The “checks and balances” theory is that Congress would jealously guard its prerogative to pass laws, thus limiting the power of the executive branch and of the federal government overall. Obviously this hasn’t worked. Congress would rather pass vague feel-good legislation, and let others take the heat for the ugly concrete details.

    So if we need term limits anywhere, we should impose them on the civil service. We might even bring back the “spoils system.” Yes, everybody knows that the old system was horribly corrupt, but the reason why everybody knows that is because they were taught it in history books written by progressives – the same progressives who opposed the old, government-limiting system in favor of a permanent, professional, and no-so-coincidentally progressive civil service system.

  • Mr Ed

    Would Obama pardon a President-Elect Clinton? That would be a nice touch.

  • I can see I am going to have to watch out for every discussion on any topic turning into a debate about whose pile of shit ends up in the White House. At least there is the tenuous link to ‘discontent’ I suppose.

  • John Galt III

    Perry,

    Your understanding of Trump and the United States is comparable to a hedgehog understanding space travel. I keep bringing this up because you seemingly don’t care, but Rotherham happened under one piece of shit Prime Minister and government after another.

    Trump instinctively would recoil and do something about a Rotherham. Obama and Clinton would not and that is the difference. If you knew anything about American history you might know who Andrew Jackson was. Trump is like Jackson. Thank God he is.

    So far my sources in the UK indicate you have learned nothing and will do nothing about future Rotherhams. That is why Tommy Robinson is worth far more than your entire Parliament of useful idiots.

    Just curious Perry, what branch of the military did you serve your country in?

  • Alisa

    What Perry said – I’m so sick and tired of all the bickering about these two critters.

    That said, Deep Lurker makes a very good point about government employees, AKA “civil servants”.

  • If you knew anything about American history you might know who Andrew Jackson was

    Sure I do, he was one of the USA’s most egregious ethnic cleanser, to use the modern term, though racial cleanser would be more accurate. But a paleo-fascist like you would probably give him a pass on that. I understand Trump, and you, just fine.

    Any more comments on this particular thread about either of the two pieces of crap running for the White House will be deleted.

  • A Rob

    Patrick, on following blogs and the demise of Google Reader.
    That was a bit of a blow for me when that disappeared as it was a very handy blog following tool.
    However since then I have been using The Old Reader which is very similar to Google Reader and works quite well.
    Free up to 100 feeds.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Any more comments on this particular thread about either of the two pieces of crap running for the White House will be deleted.

    Can i please say something that, starting from the subject of the OP, ends up saying, not something about Trump, but about my understanding of Trump?

    I was deceived by the media about Thatcher and Reagan, and as a result i stopped reading them, and turned to The Economist (which at the time was not conforming to the media narrative).

    Then i was deceived by The Economist about immigration+integration, and as a consequence i stopped reading it and turned to blogs, mostly Instapundit and Samizdata (complemented by the BBC).
    NB: this is the connection to the OP.

    Now, faced with Trump, i naturally refuse to be deceived again. What do i really know about Trump? blogs are telling me nothing reliable. (Although some of them, eg Instapundit, are being sensible on how to vote in conditions of uncertainty.) I see nothing in this thread, for instance, which does not echo either the MSM* or the Trump campaign. There are signs that, er… one should be careful before buying a used car from him; but at this point my distrust of the MSM* is such that i am suspicious even about such rumors.

    BTW it seems relevant that Nazi propaganda was more reliable than the NY Times, when it comes to the Holodomor.

    * to use an expression that i dislike.

  • BTW it seems relevant that Nazi propaganda was more reliable than the NY Times, when it comes to the Holodomor.

    Yeah I have pretty much got to the stage that I just get to know the news source and then adjust accordingly (including assuming the diametric opposite is true with some sources).

  • bobby b

    But what would you consider the new news sources to be?

    Blogs are great, as far as discussing the importance and meaning of the news, but blogs can’t replace primary news gatherers. We can have all the intelligent and ideologically-sound bloggers in the world discussing what’s happened, but we seem to have ceded the actual gathering of “what’s happened” to people who like to filter what they let us know in service to their personal goals.

  • bobby b

    Oh, and, all of the aggregators got knocked out by a legal tussle involving depriving the affected blogs of hits. Google got sued and just dropped the whole concept. It was going to be too complicated to credit Google-agg readers to the proper blogs.

  • Paul Marks

    The “Progressive” political bias of such companies as Facebook and Twitter is indeed troubling – but people turned to them because blogs are only read by a few people, and there is a desire to “be heard”. Although it is a partly an illusion – as few people read Facebook or Twitter posts (is it really more people than would read a blog?).

    I am reminded of the start of the internet back in 1989 (or there about) when I was “Lycrophon” and posting on “Bulletin Boards” (alt. or whatever – about politics and economics and philosophy). Of course my brain was much younger then – but there was a feeling that “everyone on the internet who has even a passing interest in this subject can see these posts” (an illusion of course – but there we go).

    Libertarian forces really did seem to dominate the internet in the early years – and I remember academics (or what felt like academics) coming in and asking odd questions, “do you really believe that Hitler was a socialist – not a servant of Big Business”, not “what are your reasons for believing this” (they made it very clear that they were NOT interested in evidence and arguemet) they just wanted to know if people rejected such ideas as that Mr Hitler was a servant of Big Business, and that Franklin Roosevelt “saved the economy – saved the people” with his economic statism, and so on.

    They wanted to know how many people active on the various bulletin boards did not have the “correct” opinions. Not our reasons for dissenting from what schools, universities and the media taught.

    Then the left hit – on mass.

    In the 1990s the left hit the internet with such things as the “Daily Kos” and “Moveon.com”.

    Vast numbers of people who all believed the same things – and used the same words to attack.

    Basically the same sort of students (and then ex students) who staff the mainstream media – and then Facebook and Twitter (the managers – the staff).

    The leftist control of the education system meant that (after a period of freedom) the left dominated the internet also.

    Use a search engine, on basically any political, economic, historical, or philosophical question, and it will direct you to the “correct” leftist answer.

    So the internet has become like everything else – leftist dominated (denouncing “the rich” and “Big Business” – indeed the rich and big business pushing the death-to-the-rich death-to-big-business message) and teaching the leftist view of history, politics, philosophy and economics.

    The Trump supporting parts of the internet?

    It teaches basically the same thing – accept that it is Mr Trump who will save us from “the rich” (yes – Mr Trump) and “big business”. The difference being that some (not all) of the Trump supporters throw in stuff about “the Jews” as well.

    “Down with the Koch Brothers” (by the way – not Jewish) might as well be written on most computers – as well as most schools and universities.

    This hated of productive achievement (of “the rich” of “big business”) was not invented by Karl Marx – it goes back at least as far as Plato.

    The Old Whigs lived in an age (1688 and all that) when such hatred was oddly weak by historical standards – but I do not know how we get back there.

    Take a little example.

    Where are the vast sums of money coming from to try and defeat Republican Senators such as the lady in New Hampshire (certainly not a supporter of Mr Trump).

    The vast sums of money are mostly coming from “the rich” (they are the people who have spare money to spend on politics).

    Why are they trying to get rid of Republican Senators and Congressmen?

    These rich leftist donors (the sort of people who own Facebook and so on) have “internalised” the ideology of collectivism – that the government must “protect the worker” and “protect the consumer” and push “redistribution” in the name of “Social Justice”.

    They believe “the rich” (themselves) are evil – and that “Social Justice” (ever higher taxes, government spending and regulations) is good.

    Ayn Rand was right – American (indeed Western) rich people are destroying themselves (and destroying Civil Society in general), cutting the throats of their own children.

    Doing so by the ideas they support.

  • Alisa

    Bobby:

    Blogs are great, as far as discussing the importance and meaning of the news, but blogs can’t replace primary news gatherers. We can have all the intelligent and ideologically-sound bloggers in the world discussing what’s happened, but we seem to have ceded the actual gathering of “what’s happened” to people who like to filter what they let us know in service to their personal goals.

    I used to share this view, but reality, including technology, proved to be more flexible and unpredictable than that. To understand this, divide this whole thing we call ‘news’ into two broad categories – what I’d call ‘news from the street’ and ‘news from behind closed doors’. As far as the former goes (Street News) – which would include news from various battlefields, as battles these days are waged almost exclusively in the streets where regular people live – we no longer seem to be dependent on professional reporters, what with smartphones with video and internet capabilities available to most regular people.

    That leaves us with Closed Doors News – which formerly were virtually an exclusive domain of professional political reporters with various degrees of access to the sources of these news – but these used to be filtered and distorted anyway, either by the sources themselves, or by the reporters, or by both. If anything, I would argue that this sort of news has also become more accessible and transparent, thanks to outfits such as Wikileaks taking advantage of new technologies (whatever one may think of the actual characters behind these outfits).

    Of course none of that is specifically about blogs – it is more broadly about new possibilities of access to information becoming available to increasing numbers of regular people, in new and unpredictable ways.

    Similarly, none of that is to argue that people who insist on controlling, filtering and distorting information can’t and don’t take advantage of the same technologies and dynamics – of course they do and will continue to do so. It is all part of the same never-ending battle between forces of freedom and forces of oppression, I’m just saying that things are not always as grim as they may sometimes seem.

  • A Rob, October 27, 2016 at 7:07 pm. “… the demise of Google Reader. …”

    James Robertson’s BottomFeeder aggregator is the one I use. Sadly, James’ untimely death means it will not be maintained, unless someone else steps up. Info mentioned FWIW.

  • bobby b

    Alisa:

    I can’t seem to disagree with anything you said, which leads me to believe that I’m framing the problem wrong in my own mind.

    Here’s the crux of it:

    I know quite a few people of a liberal bent who I consider to be intelligent and thoughtful and open to new ideas, who all watch their evening news and read their newspapers, but who don’t have the time or the inclination to hit the internet blogs and news sites.

    To a person, they know nothing about what’s come out via Wikileaks beyond “Putin’s trying to swing the election.” They have no clue about the current status of the e-mail controversy beyond “Comey cleared it.” The Clinton Foundation did good works in Haiti, Hillary made some tough decisions in the Middle East, we’re squarely against ISIS, racist English voted to leave the EU, all of the anti-global warming arguments are driven by oil money and are untrue, etc.

    This is the story delivered to them by our mass media, seemingly without disputation.

    Are you saying that it’s always been thus, but it’s opening up slowly? This was my basis for saying that we’ve ceded the information-gathering-and-reporting function to the left.

    Or is it that we’re just so polarized now that there’s no longer any cross-pollination? I read blogs and sites attuned to my own predilections, lefties read their own sites, and cross-traffic is nil? Are we all really only talking to ourselves now?

  • Alisa

    Bobby, that is a different subject. Or more precisely, the other side of the same equation which is the subject of this discussion – namely, the news consumers, whereas what I was discussing (in response to the particular point you seem to have raised – which, granted, I may have misunderstood) was the news producers, i.e. sources and delivery outlets. So while everything you say is true, to an extent, that was not what I was saying 🙂

    This was my basis for saying that we’ve ceded the information-gathering-and-reporting function to the left.

    The left (in the sense of people seeking to control the lives of large numbers of other people) has been in power in the West for many decades now, with short, few and far-between interruptions. Since the people in power are the ones who control the Closed Doors news sources, I naturally presume that they have been doing this every time they were in power since whenever (1913 in the US?).

    Were journalists leaning left from the beginning? I don’t know, but I think they also have been for a very long time – the profession being effectively (albeit not officially) closed shop, and being dependent on the news sources in power. So in that regard, not much has changed – but I think there is a slow drift towards more transparency as per my previous comment.

    But more to your last point about news consumers: there was a study published by a couple of guys a few years ago concerning trends in fashion, consumer fads and similar. It only briefly touched on politics, if at all, but the conclusion struck me just as relevant to politics and political culture as to any other, more superficial trends. The gist of the conclusion was that for trends, fashions and even “metacontexts” to change, you don’t need to convince the entire population of a particular society – moreover, you don’t even need a majority. What you need is a group of “true believers” of sorts who promote that particular trend/idea/whatever – and for that to be effective and to begin producing results, that group can be as small as 10% of the general population.

    To connect this to our subject at hand: has the number of people who no longer trust the MSM on the one hand, and are regularly getting their news and opinions from alternative sources on the internet, reached 10% of the general population anywhere? I don’t know the answer to that, but I think we are moving there (however slowly), and I see no reason why we would not reach that tipping point, eventually.

  • Alisa

    Or is it that we’re just so polarized now that there’s no longer any cross-pollination? I read blogs and sites attuned to my own predilections, lefties read their own sites, and cross-traffic is nil? Are we all really only talking to ourselves now?

    On the internet we probably are for the most part – at least more so than we are offline, and we still meet people offline – at work, etc., so we do expose each other to different POV, however slowly. And don’t think that just because the people you talk to seem unmoved by your arguments contradicting their (left-wing) positions, that those arguments fall on deaf ears – they don’t. It takes time, and not every person will be moved – but one in ten may be, and that person may move another one out of other ten, and so on. At least that has been my general impression.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    One other reason for voting for Trump that has nothing at all to do with Trump: we are not howler monkeys. Voting for him rebukes the Democrats – and, sadly, the mainstream media – for the shrieking-and-poo-flinging display they have turned political debate into.

  • Mr Ed

    Exactly PfP, and if I may take a line from Downfall and change one word:

    ‘Mit dem Angriff Weiners wird das alles in Ordnung kommen’

    I think the entire absurdity of this election is so plain that no one can plausibly say that they were ignorant of the nature of the choices before the people who choose the College.

  • Paul Marks

    One can think of all sorts of reasons (good and bad) why rich people and leading companies (such as Facebook and Twitter) might support Mrs Clinton over Mr Trump.

    But there are no good reasons, none, why rich people and leading companies (such as Facebook and Twitter managers) would support the challengers to Republican Senators in New Hampshire, Wisconsin and so on.

    The wealthy people who are donating vast sums of money (and using their influence – for example such things as he Google Search Engine) to favour leftist candidates in House and Senate elections, are doing so because they have “internalised” leftist ideology – they actually believe it (in whole or part).

    The situation really is that bad.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    In short, libertarians overestimated themselves and underestimated their enemy the left.

    Again.

    why is this news?

  • Darin

    Paul Marks

    The wealthy people who are donating vast sums of money (and using their influence – for example such things as he Google Search Engine) to favour leftist candidates in House and Senate elections, are doing so because they have “internalised” leftist ideology – they actually believe it (in whole or part).

    Just as surprising when workers turned out to fight for their nations, when Marxist theory said that proletarians have no homeland and shall not care what piece of colored cloth flies on the flagpole.
    Why shall be false consciousness monopoly of the working classes?

  • In short, libertarians overestimated themselves and underestimated their enemy the left. Again. why is this news?

    I know you have a propensity for comments that are just pixalated farts but are you going to now tell me how the wise conservatives, unlike the feckless libertarians, saw exactly this development coming, complete with links and a timeline?

  • The Wobbly Guy

    @Perry,

    Conservatives? The alt right or the cucks? The cucks never saw it coming, and even now think they are in the discussion.

    Breitbart, for one, way back when he started his online projects in 2007 as a way to counter leftist power in the media. Because he saw it coming. Back in 2007, I still remember the optimism around these parts about the power of blogs. But Breitbart knew differently and that their organisation can only be countered with another organisation, and it was too risky to leave it to flighty libertarians. And Breitbart’s baby is now strongly associated with the alt-right.

    Now how about you show just how wise and smart you are for almost losing your own country several times, and may yet do so over the next 50 years when demographics overtake you? You have any progeny you want to leave your country to?

  • As I was at one time a reasonably successful blogger, allow me to add a little note. What I found most rewarding about doing what I did was not the recognition, but the (literally) thousands of emails I received over the seven-odd years which contained the common thread of: “I thought I was the only person who thought this way, but your blog has made me realize I’m not alone.”

    To me, that’s the true power of blogs. And that’s why I’ve never had a Twitter account, and quit my Facebook account after a matter of only hours. I’m sure there are many people who need “recognition” or “validation” of their thoughts (hence the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, with their awful “friends” and “followers” nonsense). I’m not one of those, so the number of people who read my blog was never an issue with me. What I did enjoy, as stated above, was that I was in command of the website — the content (guns, political screeds, beautiful women, music appreciation etc) was entirely at my discretion, and could not be controlled except by my webmaster (The Mrs., who on several occasions probably stopped me from being arrested simply by telling me: “You can’t say that!”).

    That freedom to express my thoughts was also what, in the end, made me decide to quit blogging: I’d got to the point where I was repeating myself, and I thought my time was done — I still do, in terms of the old content.

    Now, unfortunately, I’m dealing with a much bigger issue, of caring for my terminally-ill wife, so I have no time for blogging anyway, and I only comment now and again at websites I respect and enjoy, e.g. Samizdata and InstaPundit.

    And let me say in conclusion that I’m not going to comment on the upcoming election other than to say that people often used to say that “I’d crawl over broken glass to vote against Hillary Clinton.” Well, meet Donald “Broken Glass” Trump.

  • But Breitbart knew differently and that their organisation can only be countered with another organisation, and it was too risky to leave it to flighty libertarians

    Well I have the advantage of having known Andrew personally, and I rather doubt he saw things in quite those terms 😉

    And I also know that (a) demography changes (b) the enemy that needs to be defeated is in London, not Lahore.

  • Very sorry to hear of your personal development, Kim, and I feel your pain regarding the election… as I have said, whilst I do understand, in your position I would spend election day on a beach in Cancun hammering tequila rather than vote for Shelob or Fluffy as I regard them both as qualitatively different Greater Evils. This time Cthulhu is the Lesser Evil and as I am an atheist I cannot even pray for the Sweet Meteor of Death

  • Alisa

    Kim, Facebook/Twitter is simply blogging by other means.

    BTW, I am sorry to hear about Connie being ill.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Alisa
    October 29, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Kim, Facebook/Twitter is simply blogging by other means.

    More like Mahler’s Eighth performed by massed pennywhistles. 😛

  • Alisa

    PfP, the way I actually see them is as a collection of numerous blogs – some are more interesting than others, most are not interesting at all. People forget now, but during the Golden Age of Blogging and in addition to serious blogs, there were also numerous blogs popping up, discussing the owners daily routines, including what they had for breakfast, and posting pictures of themselves in various degrees of nakedness. FB and Twitter are no different – just as before you chose which blogs to follow and which to ignore, now you can choose which FB/T user/page/group you will follow or ignore.

    These are just different platforms, in the technical sense, and in that sense they have several advantages over the old blogging model. Of course most people who diss FB after having tried it for a week are not even aware of the technical possibilities it offers to its users (I wouldn’t comment on Twitter, as I don’t use it for my own reasons). Which is fair enough, but it’s just annoying when people comment on things they didn’t take time to understand.

    Regarding censorship by the owners of these platforms – well, if you host your blog “for free” on WP servers (as an example), their owners may decide to restrict what you post there, too. The fact that so far they have not done that, may speak well for the particular individuals owning these servers, or it may speak for their base of users being much smaller than that of FB or Twitter, causing them to be less picky about their users’ ideologies – none of which is an argument for or against the usability of either platform.