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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

"Community of Equals"

Senator Russ Feingold has posted a few diaries regarding FEC regulation of blogs over at Daily Kos in the past few weeks, yet another example of the blogosphere's growing relevance. In Canada, Conservative MPs Monte Solberg and Andrew Scheer now have true blogs of their own (i.e. not written by aides or couched in excessively safe "political" language) and the interactive nature of the new fora allows anyone with a decent brain to engage in substantive dialogue with heavyweights of the political press gallery such as Norman Spector, Andrew Coyne, Warren Kinsella, and Paul Wells. The blogosphere is at its most valuable and exciting when it facilitates such ease of communication, not only between armchair pundits, but with experienced columnists and political decision-makers as well.

The critical point in all this, however, is not only the ease of direct communication and interplay, but the relative status of those engaged in legitimate civil argument. In responding to those who feel he owes Feingold some type of proper deference, Kos fires back:


"Well, I consider this place a community of equals, and Russ Feingold gets as much deference as any of you would get -- which is praise if I agree with you, and a sharp dissent if I don't."


Exactly. I wrote awhile ago that Norman Spector didn't "get" the blogosphere, mainly because he didn't seem to appreciate the wealth of informed debate taking place, between neophytes and veterans alike. His main point seemed to be that "the great fallacy of the blogosphere is that all opinions are created equal; the great strength of the mainstream media is that editors weed out most of the crap."

Actually, I'd say that the great strength of the blogosphere is that we get to decide for ourselves what is crap and what isn't. Since then, Spector's site has added a comments section of his own though, so maybe his thoughts are evolving. Give weight to the merits of a particular argument, not merely the status of the person making it. Weed through the legitimacy for yourself. A democracy of ideas. Imagine that.

Tonight, the paths of Ahab's contributors converge in London again - to hear columnist Jeffrey Simpson speak at Canada House. Looking forward to what he has to say about the blogosphere. Stay tuned.

1 Comments:

Blogger The Tiger said...

Indeed.

10:00 AM  

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