My Little Stand Against Dark Ages II
March 14, 2021 at 4:13 pm #36826
Enco., i am with you on woo and on all forms of pontificating, lying, self-serving tripe. We ought not tolerate it. But the majority of humans are no better than monkeys in discriminating between what is valid/real and what is not. The free marketplace of ideas is failing us. It always has. But now we have large numbers of humans who get their bad ideas from echo chambers created by algorithms of AI and social media. It used to be monopolies created by churches-still is in some places. We know how that goes. The current dynamic monopolizing the marketplace of ideas has very quickly escalated the consequences of being easily led and easily fooled.
Are you cool with your principles even though they are failing and circumstances promise to get worse? Are those principles worth retaining in the face of so much evidence that those principles are nice-sounding, good feeling but chimerical? In essence aren’t you being just like the people we worry about?
I think you have a common misconception of what a free marketplace (either of ideas or goods and services) really means.
A free marketplace does not equal uncritical acceptance of everything anybody offers. (That, of course, is logically impossible, since ideas contradict and no two humans will ever think 100 percent alike on anything.)
What a free marketplace means is that everyone offers up their wares and anyone is free to accept, to critique, to reject, and to create and offer alternatives. A marketplace is really just the sum total of all individual economic decisions.
When I got that solicitation from the chiropractor and wrote: “Return to Sender. Not into superstition and woo,” I was, at that moment, a participant in the marketplace of both ideas and of products and services. The same would apply to anyone making a post about a product or service on Yelp orcany other forum.
Now, to paraphrase Arlo Guthrie, can you imagine if two people…two people get a Chiropractic solicitation in the mail and write “Return To Sender. Not into superstition and woo” and drop it in the same mailbox? Why, they they’d think…not that there’s anything wrong with that to you and me, but the woo-peddlers may also have screwy ideas on human relations too.
And if three people, can you imagine that, three people, get a Chiropractic solicitation in the mail and write: “Return To Sender. Not into superstition and woo” and drop it in the mailbox, they’ll think it’s an organization!
And if 50 people, imagine that 50 people get a Chiropractic solicitation in the mail and write: “Return To Sender. Not into superstition and woo” and drop it in the mailbox, they’ll think it’s a movement! And it is! The Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Chiropractic Spinal Column Mass-a-cree Movement! And all you gotta do to join is get a Chiropractic solicitation and write: “Return To Sender. Not into superstition and woo” and drop it into the mailbox the next time it comes around on the guitar!…With feeling!
The untimate point being: It is each of our individual decisions that create markets in either ideas or products and services. Woo cannot prevail if no one buys it and marketing is considered work because it takes effort and doesn’t always succeed.March 15, 2021 at 3:02 am #36833
Enco, I think you have mischaracterized the purported misconception in re to the doctrine or notion of free marketplace of ideas. You wrote, “A free marketplace does not equal uncritical acceptance of everything anybody offers.” I have not come across anybody who would define it that way. On the contrary the formulation and understanding is nearly opposite.
The metaphor is to an economy in which the free exchange of goods and wares ultimately results in the better products surviving and the inferior ones not. Market forces preserve the best mouse trap. Similarly, it is believed that ideas that withstand critical scrutiny are the ideas that have been debated and exchanged freely. If you want truth or validity to emerge then you must have free discourse unhindered by governments or by individuals who may be uncomfortable by ideas that are threatening or offensive. Thus 1st amendment ideals are couched in the metaphor. Naturally, the 1st amendment has value beyond the hoped for production of a heightened understanding through the survival of winning ideas.
Isn’t it ironic that the metaphor circles back to current economics to eviscerate the fantasy of a free marketplace of ideas? We have a few mega corporations that hold tremendous wealth and influence. Free markets have produced corporations that are instrumental in producing laws that favor corporations and undermine individuals. It is not enough that they are paying for favorable laws but now they are producing business models that enhance their profits while limiting the circulation of ideas.
I am not going to finish cuz i think no matter how persuasive i may be you will cling tenaciously to your libertarian thinking.
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