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The free market shoots and kills two bastions of liberaldom?

by Greg Krehbiel on 24 October 2009

Some politicians are bothered by the wild west, free-market nature of the Internet and have sought various ways to regulate it — or make money off of it — and from time to time there are legislative initiatives to tax internet sales, regulate internet content, or regulate how traffic is handled.

For the record, I’m in favor of absolutely no restrictions on what can be posted on the internet, but with the caveat that R-rated stuff be limited to certain domain prefixes so people can avoid / block it.

But that’s not my point right now.

Everybody knows that the internet is killing newspapers. (Hurrah!)

Rick Wilson from Laurel Connections sent me an interview of Zephyr Teachout by Rick’s talented daughter Mary to the effect that the internet will also kill the university.

Again, hurrah! Two bastions of liberaldom destroyed by the geeks.

2009-10-24  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 4

  1. kdeb kdeb
    26 October 2009 @ 10:10 am

    Okay, here’s my two cents…

    More Access to University studies is a yeah!

    Patrolling the internet is a bear of a job, so I’d agree with you on the “Send R rated stuff to a special domain” idea, except you would still have a bear of a job. You should see the crud posted on gaming sites (not just official ones). And no way they would restrict themselves that way.

    As far as taxing “the internet” with sales tax, it is really just taxing “sales” – which we do. And you either have to tax all sales of a kind, or not. And anything else is the death of local stores. And more UPS trucks……..

  2. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    26 October 2009 @ 11:42 am

    I think that the internet will break the strangehold liberal universities have on education and the classes offered will trend back towards the center, so yes, that’s a yeah. I hope for a time when people will be able to study English literature without getting a double dose of feminism or Marxism or whatever.

    I have no problem with taxing sales, but the internet makes it complicated. Where do you tax? At the store, the distribution facility, where the servers are located, the customer’s billing address, or the customer’s shipping address?

    This is a state matter right now, and it’s a confusing mess. There has been talk about making a federal rule, but not much has happened so far.

  3. pentamom
    26 October 2009 @ 12:22 pm

    You make a good point in your comment. My kids go to a sort of hot-shot high school, where a lot of the top students aspire to the Ivies or the second tier bastions of high-toned liberalism (e.g. Oberlin.) But do those kids REALLY aspire to go to that kind of school so they can study post-structural feminism in English class, or because they have a half-real belief that there’s some inherent advantage to the school itself? Once you create an alternative that might not appeal to that 1/2 of 1%, but to most everybody else, and has lots of advantages of content, cost, and convenience, the bastions might continue to teach the gay interpretation of German literature as a standard course, but nobody else will care anymore, and it won’t drive the trends of “academia” anymore. Or at least, it’s a pretty good theory that it won’t.

  4. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    26 October 2009 @ 12:37 pm

    This is slightly off topic, but somewhat relevant to the “bastions of liberaldom” idea.

    This morning I read a health Q&A thing in the local freebie paper. Here’s the article. Should kids stay away from soy.

    Some people have expressed concern that the estrogens in soy aren’t good for boys and men. The doc replies,

    “The longest-running study of children raised on soy formula is only in its sixth year, but so far the children — male and female — are healthy and growing normally.”

    But what does “normally” mean? Everything is so politicized these days you have to read everything with a “where’s the PC” filter.

    If a study found that a higher percentage of kids eating soy were homosexual, and since the PC position is that homosexuality is “normal,” is that consistent with the “growing normally” statement?

    The trouble is that you don’t know, and you don’t feel as if you can believe the “experts” because you know perfectly well that if they say something un-PC they’ll get tarred and feathered.

    This is not to say that soy is bad for you or anything like that. I have no idea if it is or isn’t. But I do know that if I was concerned that soy would mess up my boy’s hormones, I would generally trust my family doctor, but I would never trust a radio or TV doctor, and would be skeptical of “studies.”

    I mention this in this thread because it follows the theme of PC dominance of an industry.

    If a consortium of university professors issued a decree on some politically charged topic, I wouldn’t give it any more credence than I would a press release from a liberal think tank.

    The liberal/PC domination of the university has undermined my trust in the university, and I don’t think I’m alone in that view.

    Democratizing education through the internet will help undo that problem, I think.