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July 2005

Judge Posner makes quick work of two lousy hypotheses about the media.

It's said that Americans are becoming more politically polarized: just look at the media. But Judge Posner argues that the polarization of the media has nothing to do with polarization of the public.

The current tendency to political polarization in news reporting is thus a consequence of changes not in underlying political opinions but in costs, specifically the falling costs of new entrants. The rise of the conservative Fox News Channel caused CNN to shift to the left. CNN was going to lose many of its conservative viewers to Fox anyway, so it made sense to increase its appeal to its remaining viewers by catering more assiduously to their political preferences.

It's further said, by some in the mainstream media especially, that bloggers should be distrusted because they are unsupervised. Judge Posner:

The charge by mainstream journalists that blogging lacks checks and balances is obtuse. The blogosphere has more checks and balances than the conventional media; only they are different. The model is Friedrich Hayek's classic analysis of how the economic market pools enormous quantities of information efficiently despite its decentralized character, its lack of a master coordinator or regulator, and the very limited knowledge possessed by each of its participants.

I have no experience with Dell's 20 inch LCD monitor. But I recently bought a 20 inch Samsung LCD monitor (a 912T) and I love it. It's significantly sharper than the 17 inch LCD monitor I used to use (and which I used to think was excellent).

So you might want to take advantage of this sale on Dell's 20 incher: $360 off the regular (low) price of $749, for a price of $389 delivered.

Isn't capitalism amazing?

Two more reasons why capitalism is amazing:

Have a look at Elance--a Web-market in professional services. (One example I selected at random--a contract for a "logo for educational webforum"--made for educational reading. Note the spread in the bids: from $110 to $400.) Thanks to Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey for the pointer.

And Irwin M. Stelzer sees Schumpeterian creative destruction sweeping America.