In decades past they could exist peacefully, insulated by a natural inability to communicate. An inability to rub against each other.
But now we are in the age of communication. We have the internet. The sensitivity and power of the hive has grown vastly. It touches much that it never touched before. Various ideological groups are now crowding each other. Grinding cheek and jowl. A thousand new "threats" become apparent. A thousand new demands for quelling.
So now we see more of that inter-ideological friction happening.
This is not a conscious act. It's more like gravity. Gallivanting glaciers. Or weather.
Charles Fort examined this phenomenon a bit. Check out his "Book of the Damned" for more on that.
Providing a public forum by itself isn't bad, of course. The algorithms driving that infinite-scrolling news feed and recommendations list definitely are, at this point.
In the situation where federal government has the clout it does, people feel slighted when they are not in the majority, and may find anarchy better than living under rules they don't like.
Or other issues of too many small governments, such as road networks, or regional transit.
Anyhow, mobility is lower today than in recent American history, both in terms of costs but also in terms of desire. Decades ago moving around for a job was normal; it was a common motif in film and television. These days politicians literally run on platforms supposedly preserving your ability to never have to move. We expect jobs (and governance) to come to us, rather than the other way around.
There’s downsides though. Toyota put a plant in Ontario because it would take too long to turn assembly instructions into LEGO like instructions. Literacy was too low in Mississippi or wherever.
The arguments that ultimately challenged the model and led towards utilitarianism and free trade occurred much later, in the 18th century - Bentham, Smith, Mill, etc. By this time the colonial project in the South was well underway, with established stakeholders under the plantation model; and so the argument proceeds that the ideals of merchantalism have held more staying power there than elsewhere, even as the institutions have changed. The North, in contrast, had fewer ties to bonded labor, and so made a smoother transition into capitalist thinking.
He wrote it when he decided to take a nationwide road trip in the early '60s, and it captured a lot of interesting anecdotes about the birth of modern American lifestyles.
One of those was Steinbeck's fascination with "mobile homes", which are the pre-fab houses that you see in trailer parks. When he took his road trip, they were starting to get popular with factory workers. If/when a town's factories shut down, the workers could easily move their homes to where there was work, and he mentioned seeing a lot of them being moved along the highways.
But you don't see that very much these days. It seems like people prefer to stay where they are and demand or wait for the work to come back to them, even when they live in mobile housing.
There's a lot to be said about the value of a community, but I think this sort of stagnation reflects a precipitous decline in the US' appetite for all sorts of risk over the past few decades. Look at how children are raised, at how strangers are treated, at how slowly new developments proceed.
I dunno. It's hard to argue against conservativism in these sorts of situations, because nobody wants to see more child abductions or worksite accidents. But it's hard to deny that we've collectively lost "It", or whatever you want to call that drive to create a city on a hill to provide a beacon of hope and improve humanity's general wellbeing.
A brief, unscientific look at data from https://www.nam.org/state-manufacturing-data/ suggests that northern manufacturing output has been increasing nowhere near as fast as the south, but I’d love to see better data suggesting otherwise
Yes, the growth in Southern states is greater. But growth rates don't say much; apropos HN, an upstart can easily enjoy quadruple digit growth rates while the dominate players only see single digit growth, even when there's no reason to doubt their continued dominance. Nonetheless, for manufacturing the story is definitely changing, because of politics (e.g. Japanese car manufacturers and Airbus being incentivized to open plants in the Deep South), because of automation (easier to relocate plants to rural areas), and because there's less cheap labor in the north (possibly a cause, not only a consequence, of changing migration patterns).
I couldn't quickly find any links that broke down manufacturing by value-add or by technology--I suspect by that measure Northern states tend to still dominate in manufacturing, the same way the U.S. still does well in upmarket manufacturing viz-a-viz cheaper nations. But that's more of an educated guess; I don't remember ever seeing any data directly on point.
People don't move for jobs any more? When did this happen, to what extent, and what's the source of the information?
In percentage terms it doesn't seem that large, there's some complexity to the trends when comparing short- and long-distance moves, and of course the primary cause is assumed to be our transition from an industrial to service oriented economy, as well as the closing of the Western frontier (e.g. end of the Cold War and loss of defense jobs put an end to the great California migration). But I think the trends are amplified in our cultural expectations, which is why I brought up the shift in film and television narratives, which makes it apparent even for people who never lived in the 1980s, when migration began to wane. Obviously people still move for work, just not as much they used to. Likewise, the notion that you can and could move to improve your economic position isn't gone, it's just relatively diminished.
Perhaps you could elaborate on what you gleaned from this. It does have information about work related moves, but I'm not going to digest it tonight.
The first impression I get is that the proportion of people moving for work has gone up, while the overall number of people moving has gone down, but presumably population increased, so it seems to me that the relevant question is which trend is winning?
Having an opinion kind of implies you have looked into it, however I don't mind doing some arithmetic later.
[Edit] It seems to say the proportion of people moving for work has increased, while the total has decreased. I can't see there's enough information to figure out the net change. When I ask for a source, I mean, I don't see it here.
Maybe looking on a .gov site for census data would be more fruitful, but you could also be candid about where your opinion comes from, which doesn't require doing a lot of research for the benefit of anonymous strangers.
Something that I try to remember when I feel defensive about possibly not having a good argument for something is that I can defuse it by simply explaining how I convinced myself and letting go of overthinking what would convince others.
In any particular year people tend to mine the longer trends for evidence related to whatever is most interesting at the time, thus the millennial angle in the Curbed article, or the extended discussion of the Great Recession in the Brookings paper, but if you go down the rabbit hole, both in the data sources and the academic discourse, discussions about the larger trend come into the foreground. Anyhow, I was asked for some links about the trend in work relocations, and I provided some, trying to balance my own sincerity and convenience. The millennial and Great Recession sidetracks notwithstanding, the prima facie evidence is right there. Who cares what graph they're showing? I provided the links for the words, not the pictures, and the heading of that article says "After 40 years of steady declines in domestic migration, mobility has hit a new all-time low". (Anyhow, if the graph presented the only reasons people moved, it would only make my point stronger.) Follow the primary sources, even (or especially) if you're driven by incredulousness--nothing can motivate hours of sleuthing like Internet rage. That's what makes the Internet so great.
Sometimes I catalog useful links to primary or important secondary sources, but I don't really have any at hand for this topic. There's nothing particularly disputable or even (IMO) counterintuitive about the trend except for the implications, but in this case you merely challenged the basic assertion that people are moving less for work.
Is that your motivation, to produce "Internet rage"?
It’s reasonable to believe that an overall declining mobility rate means that people aren’t moving for jobs.
One interesting note in that data- it appears intracounty moves declined much more quickly than inter-county moves. I suspect that the increasing ubiquity of personal automobile ownership helped drive that decreasing mover rate, as it enabled more work opportunities to be within reasonable distance of peoples existing accommodation (and moving sucks).
At the same time, it didn't provide detailed information.
So when you have trends going in opposite directions, you can't say a priori if they cancelled out.
People are clearly moving less; if the information posted is accurate, more of the moves are for work.
But why can't we start by examining the source of the opinion? My instinct was that it is ill-founded, but who knows if I am right, because I was guessing.
What is the reason that you believe people are moving less for work in the first place? It doesn't take research or debate tactics to simply say "this is what convinced me".
Arguably, it's one of the risks of democracy that motivates anarchists. (Now, there's a case to be made that anarchy also risks devolving into mob rule by a different path than non-anarchic democracy does, but they still aren’t the same thing.)
I think the idea is that if you don't like where the majority is going, within a particular community or group, you move to a different group, or found one yourself, so you will be part of a group which is doing what you want.
It is however anarchy (the term), which is much older, and used to convey precisely lack of order and mob rule.
No, it's ochlocracy; there's a reason the same people who named anarchy made a separate word for it.
Anarchy is lack of rule - not the same as anarchism (the ideology and ideal for self-government), as several oppressors can and are still at play in a state of anarchy, or everybody might be fighting each other and there can be constant power shifts...
Ancient Greeks used the term with this meaning, not to describe some anarchist utopia.
So ochlocracy is like the people turning into a mob carrying pitchforks. They are the law...
Anarchy - in the ancient Greek sense - is like there's no state and no all-encompassing rule of law to turn to. It's the "law of the jungle".
True anarchy can only exist in very low density situations where population is very low and very sparsely settled. Let’s say fewer than 5 people per square mile actual (not average) on good land. One or fewer would be better. Rural Siberia -Yakutiya, Rural Mongolia. Colonial era trappers and such when they were not in town.
DENNIS: I told you. We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week,...
DENNIS: ...but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting...
ARTHUR: Yes, I see.
DENNIS: ...by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,...
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: ...but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major--
ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
It’d be an idealized primitive culture -technology will produce power relationships. So will density (water rights, hunting rights, fishing rights, etc)
The difference is academic, of course, so long as the current level of power relationships in society is well above what even the liberal democracy advocate would consider "optimal".
I have never heard any articulation of how the minimum can actually be zero that is anything other than a straw man.
I think that anarchism is an idea that necessarily leads to minarchism. Once you get to minarchism, the debate is then back to ‘what is legitimate power?’ which is the perennial question.
I'm going to start out with the disclaimer that I am not personally opposed to all power relationships in the very broad sense used by some anarchists. I believe that there are universal natural rights, including both self-ownership and property, and that people have a right to enter into ongoing power relationships with others so long as they do so voluntarily of their own free will. So instead of "power relationships" the rest of this comment will use the term "force" or "aggression"—by which I mean power relationships involving violations of the individual's natural rights without their freely-given consent, except as a proportional defensive response to actual or imminent aggression by the other party. This is more-or-less the standard libertarian, anarcho-capitalist, or voluntaryist definition of aggression.
With all that said, the answer depends on whether you're talking about the minimum amount which is actually present or the minimum amount which can be considered "legitimate". It would be nice for both to be zero, of course, but I think we both agree that some amount of aggression is inevitable in practice—we aren't likely to eliminate all violent crime, for example, no matter how hard we try. The minimum amount of "legitimate" power, however, is trivial to simply define as zero. We are under no obligation to consider any act of aggression legitimate.
The distinction between anarchism and minarchism lies in how much aggression is deemed legitimate, not how much is present. The anarchist recognizes that aggression exists but does not consider any aggression to be legitimate, even when the goal is to reduce the overall level of aggression. The minarchist is willing to sanction a certain amount of aggression in order to achieve what they consider to be a greater good.
In my opinion the minarchist approach is neither principled nor pragmatic. It makes you an accessory to the aggression, normalizes it, and sets the stage for others to argue that ever increasing acts of aggression can be justified "for the greater good". Humans readily justify atrocities on the basis that a society organized "the right way" would somehow be free of violence or other ills. It doesn't work out well in practice. Better to aim for no aggression and consistently oppose such acts wherever you may find them rather than making exceptions.
Anarchy means no established order / ruler -- there can be tons of ad-hoc ones.
The whole idea of laws being ruled unconstitutional is that there are some things that even the majority can't do.
> This is not a conscious act. It's more like gravity. Gallivanting glaciers. Or weather.
I'm saying it's naïve to believe this, along with the other incidents mentioned within the article, aren't intentional. As if the west is immune to concerted censorship efforts and the only explanation is unconscious bias.
I don't know why people continue to speak to these outlets while their records, actions and ethics are appalling.
The slide into clickbait and yellow journalism over the last few years has been devastating to the industry. There isn't a major outlet left that hasn't been behind some whopping journalistic errors (usually repeatedly). Not even self-described neutral outlets like AP are immune.
At this juncture, I'd sooner trust an independent journalist with 50k followers and a handheld camera on YouTube than a major news outlet.
Additionally, the protesters who attacked the vehicle were arrested, including one who brandished a gun at the vehicle and another who assaulted the driver. 
NPR's tweet came after the arrest and live video footage of the incident. They chose to run the story anyway.
I don't know what the particular context of this is, but there may very well be public interest in the identity of someone tweeting if it was controversial or political content reaching a large audience.
If you're posting on twitter and you're speaking to tens of thousands you also become part of public discourse, and that, generally means someone will investigate your identity. It never was any different.
The idea that one can speak publicly to a mass audience anonymously is a pretty new invention, and arguably not a good one.
Based on the few encounters I’ve had with journalists, I cannot imagine a reason I would voluntarily interact with one unless I was reaching out for a reason.
5/7 interactions, the reporters were a lazy turds who strung together some drivel to meet deadline, missing key facts and mangling the story.
While this isn't directly related to the situation with Scott Alexander, it sets the precedent that everyone is now "fair game".
A lot of these concepts are derived from the French historian Michel Foucault (he was not a philosopher or a "critical theorist", he was the chair of history at a major French university) and bear out the interpretations that won out in American humanities departments and trickled down to street level as a generation of grad students hit the streets after 2008 as humanities depts shuttered left and right.
Occupy Wall Street wouldn't happen today because it was the last vestige of '68 style old school European Left politics. In 2008, good ol' class consciousness was the last thing critical theory and Humanities depts were discussing. 'Identity politics', itself the evolution of 80/90s Critical Race Theory, had already started to dominate academic circles in the late 90s/early 00s, to the point that the popular, heralded Slovenian Marxist Slavoj Zizek dedicated a whole book to the topic, arguing on behalf of good ol' universality as pivot point for politics against popular writers like Judith Butler (gender/sexuality) and Wendy Brown (race).
Coming to software as I did from continental European philosophy study it's been quite fascinating watch a species of Foucault interpretation become the mainstream Left ideology in America (and one that differs in my reading by quite a bit).
First name + middle name + occupation + city isn't "private".
The ethics publishing name etc. are absolutely debatable, but the anonymous sources you are talking about are something completely different. Those are people who only agree to be sources for the story on the condition that their anonymity will be protected.
They are not obligated to offer anonymity to every source.
That is a trade. The journalist is trading anonymity for information as if they don't they will not get information.
Both revealing facts about the subjects of news pieces and offering the subject the opportunity to contribute at iroutine in journalism, and, yes, that generally includes clarifying the identity of the subject if possible.
A subject, merely by being offered the opportunity to be heard, does not transform into a protected source.
None of which is terribly germane here, where Scott Alexander's involvement in this story is principally as subject, not source. Protecting the privacy of subjects isn't really a thing, outside of minors and such. Whether particular choice of subject is reasonable is certainly up for discussion. We also may need a new category of "public figure but not". But this is not "doxxing their source".
> It may surprise some readers to learn that "Scott Alexander" is a pseudonym. Alexander tells us that he omits his last name for privacy and safety reasons:
> > I have a lot of reasons for staying pseudonymous. First, I’m a psychiatrist, and psychiatrists are kind of obsessive about preventing their patients from knowing anything about who they are outside of work. I am not one of the big sticklers on this, but I’m more of a stickler than “let the New York Times tell my patients where they can find my personal blog”. I think it’s plausible that if I became a national news figure under my real name, my patients – who run the gamut from far-left anarchists to far-right gun nuts – wouldn’t be able to engage with me in a normal therapeutic way. I also worry that my clinic would decide I am more of a liability than an asset and let me go, which would leave hundreds of patients in a dangerous situation as we tried to transition their care.
> > The second reason is more prosaic: some people want to kill me or ruin my life, and I would prefer not to make it too easy. I’ve received various death threats. I’ve had dissatisfied blog readers call my work pretending to be dissatisfied patients in order to get me fired. Although I realize I accept some risk of this just by writing a blog with imperfect anonymity, getting doxxed on national news would take it to another level.
> These concerns are tragically well-founded: Alexander tells us he recently learned that someone on SSC got SWATted in a way that they link to using their real name on the blog. While it's common to want to attach a real person to a pseudonym, piercing that veil publicly is not without serious risk.
That is the responsible thing to publish.
It matters to some questions, not to others. The accusation up thread was ill treatment of a source. That's not what is happening, and that angle muddies the water.
The question is what privacy we deserve, even when we choose to engage with society at large scale. It's worth discussing in water as clear as we can manage.
> That is the responsible thing to publish.
Sure, probably, lacking some aspect of Scott's identity that makes his full name important I think I agree.
Jayson Blair at NYT, Janet Cooke at WaPo, Stephen Glass at the New Republic all fabricated people and stories. Putting in a real name is insurance against that.
Ever heard the expression, Sunshine is the best disinfectant? I think you're seeing it's logical endpoint with the SSC story. And while it seems to have fallen out of fashion, for the most part, I agree.
It seems to me that no matter where you turn, when it comes to 'the truth and nothing but the truth' about someone or something, you face bad choices.
The problem with allowing some people to be pseudonymous sometimes is that immediately all kinds of bad actors will rush in and try to claim that in their defense. Polluters claiming anonymity because they don't want to be targeted by eco-terrorists, for example. Rather than parsing ever-smaller hair-thin rules about - legitimate - illegitimate - legitimate - and getting docked on every one on charges of political bias - there's an easier solution. Give no one pseudonymity. Problem solved.
The only exception - national security - doesn't require your agreement to accept; it just takes a willingness to not go to jail. It's an appeal to power, really. So you don't have to debate it on moral grounds, it's the law.
Incidentally, for all those stories where the NYT allowed pseudonyms, I agree there was an inconsistency, but my conclusion was: resolve it by publishing them all. Publish Bansky's name, publish Ferrante's name, publish the name of whoever wrote that tell-all book. Make that the norm, instead of half-applied psuedonyms.
Now if you arranged an interview with them about something other than their identity, and they agreed to talk to you on condition of you not revealing it - that's different. That news outlet can't break the story. But another one can. No exceptions. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.
I do believe this in principle, believed it long before this story broke, and could be brought around to disallowing most anyone's pseudonymity, before this news became news. It doesn't matter to me at all what the content or leaning of the blog is. Whether they're left or right or 'good' or 'bad' - I believe in the secular version of 'you shall know the truth & the truth shall set you free.'
There is a cost, a real human one. But, rather like capitalism and democracy, it happens to be less than every other alternative. It's not great that people can't be pseudonymous - but it prevents worse problems.
Like you, I also comment on the internet under my real name, so pulling back the curtain on everything else is an exciting prospect.
But for that not to ever bite us, that requires that we never offend too many people, even for a brief second.
I naturally stay within bounds, so that is fine for me, but I suspect many opinions would need to remain hidden if a war were waged on anonymity.
Why can't ideas be allowed to exist on their own, detached from any known person?
Perhaps because their formation was coloured by someone else's experiences and prejudices. Why is it wrong to want those who propose these ideas to take credit and responsibility so that we can examine the idea and the nature of the person who conceived the idea. These ideas exist to persuade; they should be examined as the rhetorical sophistry that they truly are and not in some pretend world of spherical cows and platonic ideals.
If you temper the ideas you propose to the public it could be because you are afraid of offending someone, or it could be that you are simply someone who is capable of feeling empathy. Given the similar result does it matter which reason is the source of such self-regulation, and are we worse off for it?
One thing I wanted to highlight is, I really think this is a thorny problem. There aren't easy answers. So here's a case that illustrates that.
Do you remember this story from a couple of months back, about the Worker's Traditionalist Party? The guy behind that got 'doxxed' and lost his job. But there was no outcry, because of his politics.
Now, I'm not dumb, and I know the real-world difference between that and SSC is, their politics were very different. But that's a problematic answer! It requires the NYTimes to gatekeep and it invites a thousand conflicts of interest of the worst kind - 'he's good, let him stay pseudonymous' vs. 'he's bad, so doxx him.'
One way to cut the Gordian knot is to say, there are no pseudonyms. There are no problems of fairness and partiality if you apply that rule to all.
It's also a simple rule to mentally hold in mind. Everybody is accountable for everything that they do. There are many forms of doing, like writing, and protesting. And anything that anybody does can be considered newsworthy.
I am sympathetic to SSC, and I hope he finds another way to continue - possibly by handing off the reins to others who can go public. I agree that it is a loss for his voice to no longer be heard. I'm just uncomfortable with making an exception for anyone, for the reasons outlined above.
Incidentally, for anyone posting under psuedonyms, please do take a moment to contemplate that, as this story illustrates, for better or for worse, you aren't truly anonymous. If you have some problematic posts, or writing you might regret, maybe consider deleting it? Consider this a kind tip while you can still do something about it.
Specifically in this case, Scott Alexander mentions that leaking his blog persona into his patient relationships would seriously impair them. And of course it would - patients should be talking to him about their own problems, not whatever topic he's written about on his personal time.
What is your real name, bank account numbers, home address, employment history, medical records?
I strongly recommend against posting those, but I ask rhetorically because as a true believer in this philosophy you presumably would wish to disinfect yourself by doing so.
Look up the etymology of idiot.
-The NYT wanted to write about SSC notably because SA warned about covid ahead of time, wrote a nice piece about the effectiveness of masks, etc.
-The NYT did not care enough about Scott's pseudonymity to keep it intact
-Scott, fearing that his relationship with his patients might be jeopardized if they got linked to his personal blog, deleted it.
Where do 'the mob' or 'controversial opinions' or 'ideological differences' factor in this at all? It is not 'the mob' that triggered this, in fact Scott upset a lot of people over the years with some of his articles and that hasn't deterred him from keeping them up blogging further. The NYT isn't reporting on the SSC commentariat's curious obsession with the IQ of black people either. So why do 90% of posts on here are making it about politics? If I were not charitable beyond reason I would start to believe HN's love of neutral, level-headed and impassionate discussion might be an act.
> The second reason is more prosaic: some people want to kill me or ruin my life, and I would prefer not to make it too easy. I’ve received various death threats. I had someone on an anti-psychiatry subreddit put out a bounty for any information that could take me down (the mods deleted the post quickly, which I am grateful for). I’ve had dissatisfied blog readers call my work pretending to be dissatisfied patients in order to get me fired. And I recently learned that someone on SSC got SWATted in a way that they link to using their real name on the blog. I live with ten housemates including a three-year-old and an infant, and I would prefer this not happen to me or to them. Although I realize I accept some risk of this just by writing a blog with imperfect anonymity, getting doxxed on national news would take it to another level.
He doesn't name cancel culture, but it's obvious it's a part of what he's worried about.
Seriously, look at Scott's post where he quotes disparaging opinions about him. You'd be surprised at how much of the vitriol comes from the alt-right, calling him limp-wristed, a beta cuck, as well as any number of Jewish slurs. And the alt-right does have a far more prominent record in actually killing people than blue-haired people on twitter.
If you want to be actually anonymous, I suggest not using facebook or any other online identity tied to your real name. Get a VPN. Learn to use tor. It isn't very hard, just inconvenient. Don't post on facebook.
Your advice is good advice for the status quo, but it highlights how fucked up the status quo is. "Just have perfect opsec and do everything through tor" is hard/inconvenient enough in practice even for tech people that the barrier to entry it poses to other groups is significant. There's your chilling effect.
So, yeah: I can get behind raising awareness around/increasing usability of anonymizing techniques, but without societal/political legs to match that tripod just tips over.
No, you shouldn't risk your real-world identity being released. People have good reasons for having pseudonyms; Scott Alexander gave a number of them in his post explaining why he took down his blog.
Freedom of speech does mean being willing to stand behind your speech and defend it. But that can be done perfectly fine under a pseudonym. The reputation simply attaches to the pseudonym.
> If you want to be actually anonymous, I suggest not using facebook or any other online identity tied to your real name.
You do realize that you just contradicted yourself, right?
To avoid making an incorrect assumption, and reading this in context with the rest of your post: are you saying it's "Freedom of speech" if someone has a blog or "Freedom of speech" is having your identity revealed as the owner of said hypothetical blog?
Just trying to make sure if I've read and interpreted your comment the way you're wanting it to be consumed and understood by people reading it.
It's not either/or.
Would anyone here argue that an elected official operating an "anonymous" twitter feed for political purposes should not be exposed? What if they are just running for office? What if they are just a backer/patron of a political party? At what point does the public's interest in honest communication on public issues give way to the privacy of an individual wanting to speak publicly?
Let’s not kid ourselves. The press are political actors and nothing more. That isn’t necessarily avoidable in itself, but we get to decide what norms we expect them to follow.
"The press" is made up of tens of thousands of people making individual choices (within their individual editorial requirements) about what to cover, how and with what inflection towards a given topic or trend, are they all political actors? I suppose if one takes "the person is political" calculus far enough, they might be.
It's been my experience people tend to like the news sources they've self-selected as trustworthy and reliable, and complaints about "the media" are usually borne out of a specific gripe, not anything that can actually be provably shown as an accurate generalization of every single outlet that generates news content.
This is not to attack or refute your position, this is just idle conjecture and pondering the topic.
I’d say this is just a reflection of people choosing outlets that reflect their views which is politics.
No news organization is immune from this. That is my point. Pretending that news organizations are apolitical is the problem.
Also, the press simply isn’t made up of tens of thousands of people making individual choices.
It’s made up of people working for hierarchical corporations with owners whose direction they must follow in order to remain employed. You can certainly argue that the individuals are just doing their jobs and are not political actors per se, but they are definitely working towards the goals of politically driven organizations.
I get this point, and I can't say I necessarily disagree with it, it just feels like the usual kvetching against "the media" which is such a broad and generalized gripe (even when it is sometimes specifically valid if we could point to specific instances of just terrible coverage of current event n) it feels kind of meaningless?
Like I said, I don't even really disagree it's just: what does one do with such a large and wide-reaching indictment of "the press"? I like solution oriented thinking, but I suppose that's more of a rhetorical question than anything else.
My position is that it’s meaningless because of the illusion that the press could be something that it is not, and that we would be better off if we just treated be it as what it is.
The wild west period is over where companies or people could do whatever they felt like with personal data. Forget about privacy advocates, mgmt in many data hoarding companies have suddenly realized it effects them too, their kids, their parents, their employees, clients etc etc.
We just fired someone at work recently for moving customer data off site. Few years back no one would have batted an eyelid. Not only was data moving all over the place, few people had any idea who all had access or in what ways the data could be used. Today after one debacle after another, 200 alerts go off if people touch the wrong data.
But there is so much inertia behind what has happened over the last 10 years that it will take some time for people to see the trajectory change.
So "The Dead Past" (by Isaac Asimov) is our only option?
I reject that.
The problem is that our laws have not caught up to the fact that the Internet makes some things too accessible. We have too many things which link our personal identities exposed online because of the government which assumed that it was too much work to go to the county courthouse and look up a deed without good reason.
Now, that's not to say that someone determined cannot link things together. They obviously can. However, right now it's simply far too easy.