Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Threats to Bloggers

Convergence of blog subjects, newsletters, and emails on the subject of hate mail, hate comments, and personal attacks. What is the future of the Blog-O-Sphere? Whither are we going? What is legitimate comment and what is intimidation? Who gathers facts and who reports what they think they read?

What is Free Speech? What are the limits? Who decides? What is the value proposition of a blog?

I wrote earlier of my views. I think that we should let the marketplace of ideas decide. As author of this blog I will decide what I will post and what comments I will allow. I think each blogger should be responsible for their own content. Those commenter's who disagree or disparage, insult and wish only to anger should not be allowed entry. They are free to start their own blog, website, newsletter, or written column in a paper periodical. Let them find their own audience... Should their style of insults and abuse become popular then they will benefit by having a taller soapbox to reach a larger audience.

This early and lengthy Political Season is a great opportunity for everyone to jump in with their ideas, observations, comments, suggestions, opinions. There will be some who are incoherent. Some who cannot communicate and who, in frustration or by habit, will attempt to intimidate the owners, writers, authors of these forums. They must not be allowed to gain traction. The wave of intimidation will lead to legal remedies and protections. This will do nobody good. Politicians, given the opportunity to control speech, control what people think, say, do in the name of safety and protection, will go too far. They cannot be trusted to remain disciplined and restrained. McCain-Feingold is one example of good intent becoming bad law. DMCA is another. The Laws on "hate" crimes have yet to be thoroughly tested. They smell of "thought crimes" and lead us down the Alice in Wonderland/Looking Glass path to "1984" of Orwell.

We have all waded through the Internet flame wars and Internet bun fights that could be misconstrued as invitations to a lynching. Mob mentality arises too easily when people are anonymous and sitting alone in their room. The proper limit to Internet speech is the invocation of violence to another.

The childhood mantra applies "Sticks and Stones make break my bones, but words will never hurt me" ... When the words incite and encourage the uses of sticks and stones, then they go too far.

We, the Blog-O-Sphere owe the reader good value in return for their time spent reading our gems. The quality may be uneven, but it should be entertaining and rewarding in some sense. As you have noticed, this blog is new (less than a month) we are building our audience. We hope that you feel your time has been well spent here.

Gene Callahan has written about the use of "capital" as meaning a person's time.

There are no constant laws that determine what valuation a particular person will place on future satisfactions as opposed to present ones. We have all heard stories of some little old lady who has worked as a secretary her whole life, for a moderate wage, living in modest circumstances. Upon her death, her friends are shocked to discover that she had amassed a fortune in stocks and bonds. Equally familiar are the stories of the profligate rich, who squander a fortune in riotous living.

ultimately, all capital goods only have value due to their finally yielding some consumer good. The importance of capital structure increases tremendously as we begin to examine more complex economies. Capital structure will be crucial to our examination of socialism.
Making the dismal art understandable and interesting brings some interesting writers forward.

Hotel Tango: InstaPundit, Little Green Footballs

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