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News: You Get What You Pay For

Published by marco on

The article Thousands flock to Wikipedia founder’s ‘Facebook rival’ (BBC) briefly outlines Jimmy Wales’s new social network for sharing news, which “[…] will empower you to make your own choices about what content you are served, and to directly edit misleading headlines, or flag problem posts.” The article doesn’t contain nearly enough information to determine whether it has a hope of succeeding—or how it differs from RSS newsfeeds—though it mentions that it’s a subscription model.

At the end, they include an utterly fatuous and vacuous blurb from some twit who probably doesn’t even exist, but whose name was invented to make it seem like the pablum she expressed as an opinion came from a human being rather than having likely been generated by an algorithm to enforce the groupthink required to keep people in line. She is cited as saying,

“[…] people are so used to having news at their fingertips for free.”

They truly are used to that, yes. They are used to news being free. Just a few short decades ago, they were not. But now they are. People realized that they didn’t value news for its content, but for their ability to partake in discussions about it. If you didn’t read the news, you were caught flat-footed all the time. But if you were at least aware of the headlines, there was no opinion so stupid that you’d be caught out by other idiots who were also only reading headlines.

Even the articles, were you to read them, were fatuous, nearly fact-free and only promulgated the myths required by the powers-that-be to keep their iron-fisted control. Hell, most of it has been corporate, government and military press releases for decades if not half a century.

So the people were right in determining that, for the value they were getting—and for the value they themselves required of it—it didn’t really matter what was in it. So, the cheaper the better. Free was the best because you just got access to everything—everything that’s allowed—without having to really try at all and without having to pay anything. In fact, you didn’t even have to seek it out or really read it: a lot of it is now read to you via podcasts and news clips, all free. Perfect.

Naturally, in all of of this, the actual goal of becoming informed fell by the wayside long ago, in favor of being part of the conversation and, most importantly, being right.

It’s sort of as if people didn’t buy a car to actually go anywhere, but just to have a car in their driveway. With those requirements, who would pay $80,000 for a nice ride? Just get the cheapest piece of shit that looks like a car and be done with it. If it’s free, so much the better. But if the car actually needs to serve its real function, then, all of a sudden, you’re probably gonna wanna pay some money for it.

It’s the same thing with news. As long as you don’t care what you put in your head, the cheaper the better. If you actually care about being informed, then you are placing value on information, which, all of a sudden, costs money.

If you’re just going to read an advertising circular—which, if we’re being honest, is what Facebook and Google News are—and call it a newspaper, then you’re more than equipped for the water cooler the next day, but only to talk to all the other idiots with the same low standards. Lucky you for you, y’all are legion.