Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the media/journalism industry and the future of the audio…
Elizabeth Meg
11

Elizabeth — 
My response to each of your three, itemized comments…


1. Regulation

“Is regulation really the solution to capitalism’s hold on the media? I feel like this would only encourage more of the same since regulation comes from government and in a capitalist society, we pay to play. If we knew how to separate information dissemination from the system we’re in, I think we’d do it, but I’m not sure regulation is the way forward. Any great advancement comes from disrupting the industry, right? And, in this case, disrupting the industry would be removing the monetary element from information services.”

No, I don’t think regulation is the solution. In fact, I’ve been clear to explicitly state the contrary:

“I’ve written at length about why exogenous intervention isn’t necessary or desirable here. But, if you don’t trust the market to self-correct and you have your arms around intervention’s counterfactuals, then your answer is FCC regulation.”
 —Anthony Bardaro, “You still don’t understand modern media
I oppose strong-form regulatory intervention in the tech sector… Again, I don’t support such strong-form intervention. What’s even worse is that we’ll likely see a regulatory overreaction just to assuage an outraged public… You can’t audit such subjective factors, and you shouldn’t regulate the algorithms that nominate them. The only solution is to separate the platform from the proprietary product. That’s a misincentive inherent in most platforms who peddle proprietary products [e.g. an agency bias]. At very least, there should be a Chinese Wall within such organizations.”
 — Anthony Bardaro, “Antitrust: Tech’s endgame
“…practically, digital’s curation algorithms are an iteration of print’s unregulated editor-in-chief… You might regard tech platforms’ curation algorithms as fully-automatic (we’ll call this ‘strong-form’ curation). Or, you might think the algorithms are semi-automatic, since humans have discretion over the factor inputs (‘weak-form’ curation). Or, at worst, you might even discount them as Mechanical Turks, because committees, engineers, or autocrats (?) like Mark Zuckerberg can manually manipulate what’s available for us to discover. But, even that third option — the worst case scenario — would equate media 2.0 with the traditional newspaper editor… Furthermore, transparancy into algorithms’ factors will only engender gaming-the-system — something we’ve seen with SEO even though search engines’ algorithms aren’t publicly available.
 — Anthony Bardaro, “Traditional media’s epic struggle with new media

In addition, read the following for my stance on cybersecurity:

In sum, the only pro-regulation point I’ve made was for the sake of rationalizing and empathizing with those who insist on regulation. Many of those hawks insist on scorched-earth, so I’ve painstakingly described not only why the nuclear solution is not desirable, but also what a more rational approach would be if absolutely necessary. Accordingly, I only summoned the FCC for hawks’ sake, because “idiocracy, fake news, and agency [misincentives are] simply censorship, false advertising, and fair disclosure (respectively) by another name. Those all fall under the purview of the FCC.”

I’m not sure what you mean about “removing the monetary element from information services,” but nobody argues that regulation is flawless. (Again, I was clear: “exogenous intervention isn’t necessary or desirable here. But, if you don’t trust the market to self-correct and you have your arms around intervention’s counterfactuals, then your answer is FCC regulation.”) Regulation’s thesis hypothesizes that there are costs associated with free market inefficiencies/loopholes, and the value of preventing those is greater than the expense associated with regulating them. Let’s call that a breakeven. Of course there are variables associated with a dynamic system — unintended consequences, counterfactuals, etc.


2. Video vs Audio

“We evolved to rely most heavily on our visual senses to make sense of the world around us and our current cultural paradigm certainly capitalizes on that (pun intended). This would mean that in order for an audio revolution to truly take hold, it would require both societal and evolutionary pressure to do so. I don’t see that happening, truly. Do you?”

Of course I agree with that. Video is the most sensory experience we have today. Of course human progress will usher us to ever richer media formats across secular epochs. But, audio is next; video thereafter; perhaps engaging touch and smell even further out into the future. This tweet explains it all:


3. Thought police

“…it seems to me that there is an underlying system in control of how, when and why information is received and by whom. In fact, it always makes me think of Marxism and the use of ideological state apparatuses to control the bewildered herd.”

Again, I’m not exactly sure what you’re saying here. It sounds like you’re worried about centralized control of the media, and perhaps you’re implying that tech has exacerbated that…?

Regardless, I’m not blissfully unaware of it. It echos the empathy I’ve thrown those aforementioned privacy hawks when I’ve discussed their concerns of a surveillance state, authoritarian monitoring, and editorial curation. Plus, if the heart of the matter is privacy, I think we should focus our outrage on credit cards first, since they aggregate far more detailed dossiers than any other user profiler, as I mentioned even before the Equifax hack.

Perhaps this excerpt addresses everything:

“…there’s an illusion of competition in traditional media anyway. That’s the great lie — the hidden-ball-trick that makes today’s media supply chain seem comparatively decentralized. 6 legacy companies control a staggering 90% of legacy US media… Citizen journalism has unleashed a host of evils, like cyberbullying, misinformation, and noise; but those evils are overrun by the appreciable benefits. Social media and blogging have provided everyone a megaphone — a momentous historical fulcrum akin to the 15th century’s printing press. Such groundswells have massive, gross positive and negative consequences, but what may appear a small net benefit in the short term compounds into large social/economic surplus over the long term.”
 — Anthony Bardaro, “Traditional media’s epic struggle with new media

Anthony Bardaro is the Founder of Annotote, a network that’s the most frictionless transmission mechanism for your daily dose of knowledge. Have a minute? Get informed. All signal/no noise is only a click away: Try Annotote today!