Posner : Put the Kibosh on the InternetFriday, July 3, 2009
The old dinosaur, Richard Posner, comes up with his best material yet.
“The bloggers are parasitical on the conventional media,” Posner wrote. “They copy the news and opinion generated by the conventional media, often at considerable expense, without picking up any of the tab. The degree of parasitism is striking in the case of those blogs that provide their readers with links to newspaper articles. The links enable the audience to read the articles without buying the newspaper.”
His solution is to make linking on the Internet illegal. As much as you want to laugh, this idea has been picking up some steam for a few years now. Here’s Posner’s unhinged post at the Becker-Posner blog. He laments the decline of pro-establishment, old-guard newspaper media, and essentially his aim is to protect the industry and insure its continuation, in spite of the fact that the market has made its choice by rejecting stale, state media organs in favor of online content. Posner adds:
I am pessimistic about a recovery by the newspapers. One reason is the current economic situation. A serious, protracted economic crisis can result in changes in consumer behavior that persist after the end of the crisis. A change in consumption, even in some sense involuntary, can be a learning experience. People make what they think will be merely temporary adjustments in their consumption behavior to reduce financial distress but may discover that they like elements of their new consumption pattern; and businesses too, which have reduced their newspaper (and other print-media) ad expenditures drastically. They may never go back.
Posner laments the modernization of media, but more so, he despises the freedom, spontaneity, and lack of barriers to entry on the Internet. The state hates that the Internet lacks information gatekeepers, thereby undermining its propaganda spread through the slew of state-regulated media outlets.