July 27, 2023•279 words
Why do we expect that words on the internet are somehow important?
For some weird reason, they feel printed. As a sort of grand statement by the author to the world.
The internet has made it that there is little experiential difference in reading a rando's blog and the New York Times. Add to that the constant decrease in quality and journalistic integrity by such formerly highly respected outlets and we get a generalized return to the mean.
Substacks have somewhat filled the void of independent, principled journalism. As an outlet. The merit for the actual content still is completely with the individuals doing the hard work of journalism uncorrupted.
Perhaps an institution can never be more principled than its most unprincipled individual that is part of it. Perhaps media outlets should have never been allowed to present themselves as institutions.
The guard dog of democracy has not been institutional-level media. It was always the many individuals who, many times in spite of their employers, managed to break stories of historic significance.
Perhaps the last two decades of the internet's permeation into society has brought us closer to the ideals of democracy. Cracks are visible now whereas in the past they would be spinned as mirages. Gaslighting and redirecting the public. Such tactics become increasingly obvious to an increasingly calloused and distrustful citizenry.
It might be that we are not ready for a much more honest world. But nobody really was ready for the tempests of their times.
Let's hope the pendulum of centralization does not swing all the way in the opposite direction.
The Wild West made for excellent movies, though.
And this is yet another rando's blog.