We’re Actually Almost There
As usual I really want to come down on one side or the other of this but just can’t do it. Yes, there is tremendous importance in old style journalism particularly for the old style semi representational governments that are dying by the day around us. So I’ve packed most of the problem into the previous sentence. We cannot go back when paradigms change but one of the greatest difficulties is finding ways to determine what parts of the old are important. Or, more accurately, finding the spot in the new puzzle where the old but still valuable piece fits.
We are completely rebuilding our entire information architecture. To put that in perspective we haven’t done that in several thousand years. That’s a big job and the kind that could kill us all if we fail. Way down on the level of valid information versus total bullshit there is an essential place for professional journalism resident in the public domain and protected by all levels of administration and government. I don’t think there is any way that can be run as either a capitalist business or as a government agency. The first is inherently untrustworthy and the second is an inherent conflict of interest.
The point is we need a publicly funded source of information professionals to do continuous monitoring, đeep research, and to call bullshit. I would say something like a college of journalists. We need lots of them and they must be honored with trust.
At the same time we need citizens who produce information as a public service completely independently. Maybe something like what Medium is becoming? This is the new human conversation that was never possible before and appears to be at the center of the new paradigm.
The missing piece right now is money. We have been both well rewarded and badly burned by our two hundred year experiment with capitalism. Market economics works very well in some areas but we now have ways of managing resource and service allocation not based on the assumption of scarcity. Looking at information communication everything suggested suddenly falls into place with Universal Basic Income. By taking basic food, housing, health care, and education off the table we can allow the market to reward skill and talent while focusing on protecting free speech as an essential public good.