Danton's Literary Underground of the Old Regime (Harvard 1985) describes a situation just before the French Revolution with truly eerie parallels to our contemporary publishing scene, with the pre-electronic equivalent of blogs, newsletters, thought leaders, and even trolls. (Plus lots of participants who were chewed up and spat out by a nascent "creator economy.")

One angle that hasn't come up much in tech's feud with journalism: the West Coast *has* no first-rate journalism, with the possible exception of Variety (about the entertainment industry, the equivalent of a coal paper in Newcastle). The Times and the Herald-Examiner are definitely second-rate, and in a different universe than even the NYT, which serious journalists (Reuters, Economist, Bloomberg, FT) look upon indulgently. In other words, the bizarre ideas that the East Coast political and financial establishment have about tech are mirrored in what West Coast tech people, including techbros, believe about journalism. It reminds me, oddly, of 1980s arguments that "computers" would "make everyone just a number." It's not just wrong, it doesn't understand any of the issues at all.

TL:DR: high-quality journalism will get "eaten" when Google gets eaten by a bunch of local-recommendation blogs from guys who "realllllly know this neighborhood's restaurants." Also, just an observation, robber barons have hated newspapers *forever*.

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Great stuff here.

Side note: "Begging the question" is a type of logical fallacy, and shouldn't be used to mean "raising a question". Although language is fluid, so this usage might be accepted soon.

Anyway, love your stuff. Subscribed.

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There’s a great podcast Tides of History about the printing press and how Martin Luther ran circles around the Catholic Church by moving faster ie the OODA loop. Listening to the episode really felt like we were just replAying Martin Luther/Donald Trump Catholic Church/Establishment news and political establishment.

I think these are the two episodes https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/tides-of-history/id1257202425?i=1000448075400


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