Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Smarter, Faster, Stronger: the Democratization of Information

I just finished reading the hilarious "An Interview with John Ziegler on the Zogby "Push Poll"". Nate Silver, of the amazingly accurate, had been called out by reichwing John Ziegler, who was flogging a video "proving" that Obama supporters were stupid. Per Silver:
"Ziegler was responsible for commissioning a Zogby International survey of Barack Obama supporters, which took the form of a multiple choice political knowledge test, stating a "fact" to the respondent and asking them which of the four major candidates (Obama, McCain, Biden, Palin) the statement applied to. Because I believe that many of the statements on the survey are questionable or false but are misleadingly presented as factual to the respondent, I characterized the survey as a "push poll" in an article posted early this morning.

Ziegler had contacted me by e-mail, asking if I'd like to interview him; the interview itself was conducted by telephone. Ziegler asked, among other conditions, that I post a full transcript of the interview, which I have...."
The transcript is wonderfully funny, as an angry Ziegler curses Silver, shows basic ignorance of math, and is generally an asshat; but the best part is that he demands Silver published the transcript! Read and Enjoy!

The funny thing is, he keeps daring Silver to print the transcript. Why are reichwingers such dolts, to think that their words won't get around?

It seems to me that this interview shows the crazy right wing has a basic problem: they haven't adapted to the internet's democratization of information.

In the "old days" they could spew their venom, feel good, and control its distribution. There was no penalty for being a jackass; in fact it was a virtue since you could selectively release material to fire up your base.

Today: the target of their idiocy simply posts the transcript (or, even better, YouTubes the interaction), the entire world sees who's the fool.

(It's sort of like Gutenberg's invention of movable type: information is a lot harder to lock down, thus the Protestant Reformation.)

The "Macaca" incident should've been a warning, but the reichwing's a fundamental opposition to democracy makes it hard them to accept the warning. I'm sure they'll eventually come up with something (internet astroturfing?) but for the meantime We, as a society, are getting smarter, faster, stronger.

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