Marketplace of ideas

The idea of the Internet (or any other cloud of technology you might choose) as a “marketplace of ideas” is an evocative one. But it occurs to me that the idea brings along one of the flaws of marketplace thinking that could be even more damaging in the realm of ideas than in the realm of products-and-services.

Just a moment ago, on a blog that I follow, I read an article that made me a bit sick to my stomach. It wasn’t that the author was totally off his rocker, just that I couldn’t agree with his premises and found his conclusions to be way off the mark. This being the worst of three or four times that I’ve had that reaction to articles on the blog, I removed it from my feed list.

That’s the flaw I’m talking about. “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it” is the rule by which I make many decisions in the “real world”, and also in the “world of ideas”. That’s also an argument I hear advanced against someone who complains about a product, service, company or idea. But that’s a pretty weak sort of choice, “yes or no!”. What about some “yes, and…”, “no, but…”, “here’s another choice…”, etc.

2 Comments

  • 2006/01/22 - 13:50 | Permalink

    *whew* I thought you axed me. That would mean I lose my only reader that isn’t required by law to read my blog.

    Not that I write much these days…

  • Steven
    2006/01/23 - 05:36 | Permalink

    How do you know I wasn’t referring to your blog?

    ‘course, I wasn’t.

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