Monday, March 1, 2010

It's now possible to affect voting via internet.

Ars often overstates things, but this data comes from Pew, a conservative foundation that rarely overstates anything. More Americans get their news online than from newspapers, and the internet is now third as a source of news - the boob tube is still raking in more eyeballs in both #1 and #2 positions for national and local broadcasts.

Personally, I find it harder and harder to even watch a single TV show. I've expunged all older TVs from my house but for two - those two owned by my mate. We've got a new LCD coming and I hope to convince her to give away the last two CRTs. What's the big deal? Energy, for one. Attention is the other.

CRTs have a way of sucking people in, drawing your consciousness away from family and your surroundings. Flat screens do not have that affect on me or my kids. I don't know what it is, either the emissions, the light, or something else is just different. Movies look a hell of a lot better on an LCD, and I love movies, but after the movie I can easily get up and go do something else instead of sitting there watching whatever comes on next. Since I started watching movies on my laptop a few years ago I noticed this phenomena.

I've gone kayaking more, gone running more, and I'm generally less interested in television. I wonder how this will shift when more Americans have had their CRTs pass away. Will TV still be the #1 news source? I can't imagine it. The internet is so much more interactive, and with blindingly fast coverage of evolving events. Often long before anyone can cover something up, the video is on youtube.

What's this about voting then? The internet is already affecting voting. People get a more diverse opinion from reading online than is possible from newsprint. Editors carefully control what goes into a newspaper. I know, I've worked for a few. They're so tightly wound they could make coal into diamonds if they sit on it. The internet? Not nearly so much. Often webmasters are their own editors, which gives the lie to grammar nazis worldwide: It doesn't matter. Spelling, word order, and usage, all right out the window.

What's important is the message, and how intelligently is it delivered. TV? Not very intelligent. People like O'Really and Snowjob and Coultroll seem to dominate the press - they're everywhere and overquoted. Stupid is absolutely the rule of the day in TVland. Internet? Intelligence and logic have much more bearing, with actual scientists, experts, and millions of commenters ready to correct any obvious lie.

Obviously, I am biased, for I am a blogger. Not widely read? I don't really care. Blogging has never been about being a media whore. It's about getting information out there. When it comes to voting, knowing the truths about your party and the enemy party is vital. I credit the internet for Obama's election, and thank science for it.


No comments: