Tuesday, December 27, 2005

STORY OF THE YEAR: The Fall of Mainstream Media, The Rise of the Blogs

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

For quite some time now, those in the mainstream media would have us believe that the First Amendment created a special office, rights and privileges granted to professional journalists above all others in society -- and not that these rights were granted to every citizen equally. In fact, they believed it even became their exclusive right to suppress and oppress all the others attempting to exercise their freedom of speech, religion. press, assembly and redress -- mainly because Americans tend to be a trusting people, which makes them a great nation. Much can easily be accomplished when there is this mutual trust as the underlying foundation for all conduct, transactions and relations -- until that trust is violated and abused. Then, retribution is swift and decisive.

What became apparent to many, was that the traditional media (newspapers, television, radio, schools, universities, etc.), had become extremely biased and partisan in their reporting and editorializing, as well as inherently deficient and incompetent, and thus destroyed whatever remaining credibility they had with the most discriminating and impartial observers in society -- and when caught time and again, merely redoubled their efforts to assert their superiority and primacy of the control of the public consciousness -- as though it were their exclusive right and jurisdiction.

That right was never granted to anyone exclusively -- and the bloggers were among the first to avail themselves of the current technologies that levels the playing field in the new world of publishing, which means quite simply, publicizing. It’s not the first time there’s been a revolution in this field. Mainstream (broadcast) media, was also a revolution in its time -- and its effectiveness reached its height in propaganda and advertising campaigns, by those who controlled or could afford the machinery.

With the popularity of personal computers, the machinery and requisite skills became boilerplate to those wishing to avail themselves of them. The challenge then became, one’s ability to produce original content and insights, since we had become so dependent on the mediated way of obtaining information -- and were taught to distrust our own judgment in doing so. This required the complicity of the schools and universities, to condition us to the thinking that one could and never should learn on one’s own, but must rely only on duly certified professionals, based on their ability to assimilate the right curricula (political correctness).

These hierarchies and jurisdictions (turf) break down when available to all inexpensively. That is a tremendous challenge and disruption to the status quo and entrenched powers that wish to remain so only when their advantage is permanently guaranteed. But anything that does not change in a changing world is doomed to failure. The weakness of the mainstream media is that it became one mold -- repeated and reaffirmed from the centers of leadership in New York and Washington. That was the epitome of the old model of highly centralized information (news) processing -- that everybody else out in the sticks were expected to mimic -- until ultimately, the line between plagiarizing, paraphrasing, and outright copying became so muddled that the old lines of demarcation could not be maintained and were simply overrun and trampled into dust.

In such chaos and anomie, orderly minds rule -- or at least emerge, take hold, become stronger. They become the new models of communications and information -- unrestricted by the rules of Associated Press language and protocols. "They" began to insist that even blogs must conform to their rules -- so they can remain competitive, when those rules exist to maintain their advantage and preeminence. But that is not the only way the game can be played. That is only the way generations had been taught the game is played -- with a few winners, and mostly also-rans and wannabes for a few coveted spots. Under those rules, one had to pay their dues, and keep paying them, in the hopes that one day, they could be doing what they really wanted to do.

Bloggers just went ahead and did what they wanted to do -- and could imagine doing. For some, it was the usual juvenile antics or self-conscious thrills of self-expression, but once that initial intoxication passed, most realized they had nothing to say of any uniqueness or interest. But a small percentage recognized that the only thing that had limited them previously, was the lack of access to a publishing medium. If that was the limitation, it no longer was one -- and so the world began to explode with blogs.

“Success” could now be determined simply by whatever measure one wanted it to be. To take the conventional approach and try to be as popular as the established players in the game was still prohibitive. However, the perceptive few realized that rather than taking the mass approach, they should instead find their niche audience. The objective then was not to reach merely the largest audience (ineffectively I might add) but to reach the best audience -- including and especially, the most intelligent and discriminating audience. In effect, that was discovering intelligent life here on earth. And that is what the mass media despairs of, “That there is no intelligent life in the universe,” judging from their regard for their readership.

In the year 2005, we saw two ships passing in the night -- going in different directions.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Simplicity of Christmas

There are people whose vision of life is that there is no meaning and purpose -- but that life merely is a senseless randomness that repeats itself coincidentally, so the best one can do is to look out only for themselves and discourage others from holding out any hope that there can be a larger purpose and meaning by which things do get better -- or can get better. The major sources of such despair these days are not coincidentally found in disproportionate numbers in the media, schools and universities (Pharisees and Scribes) -- the institutions and repositories of contemporary intellectualism and popular culture. Their familiarity on these matters however, has not bred a greater respect and regard but conversely, cynicism and despair which they confuse as “sophistication,” regarding as they do, that the height of folly is holding out hope for the miracle of pleasant surprises.

Christmas to such “learned” people, is particularly to be reviled as the most dangerous of celebrations because in the season of increasing darkness and cold, a turnaround is imminent -- and the days rather than continuing to get shorter, now begin to reverse that trend. And thus it is the celebration of light -- and the miracle of rebirth, of which the most famous is the story of Jesus. Christmas is the beginning of that life that culminates in the dying to the old and rebirth -- onto a higher level of existence and fulfillment.

That is a great symbol and metaphor for what all lives should be -- and can be -- moving onto a higher level, rather than being preoccupied and consumed with the pettiness of one’s present life no matter how exalted one may already be. In this, those with the most, are the most jaded, most likely to awaken Christmas morning disdaining, “Is this all there is?” Meanwhile, those with the least, have an immense gratitude for all that they have and have been given by the universe which made it all possible. To which the former will deride, “What gifts? You have nothing, you contemptible, foolish, idiotic fool! One day you’ll wake up and be like me -- believing in nothing and especially the goodness of others. I owe everything only to myself. There is no Santa Claus!”

But maybe it is, that such individuals really don’t exist -- as much as Santa Claus does, for we see abundantly the gifts of the world from anonymous benefactors, but we don’t see the impressiveness and grandeur of their self-aggrandizing egos. And that is why Christmas is greatest for those who expect and demand the least -- for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven, while those expecting and demanding the most -- from others, will make a Hell on earth for everyone else.

Christmas is an attitude of gratitude -- a basic regard for all others, known and unknown, who have made life what it is.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It’s That Time of the Year!

Ever since I can remember, it seems that around this time of the year, for no particular reason that the secular institutions will admit to, that people start loading up on the technologies for the coming year -- and so it is more reasonable to hope, that life-altering changes are more likely to occur, or at least be considered. And life should be reconsidered -- in light of the new world of possibilities that even modest changes make possible now.

I was reminded of this fact even yesterday while out obtaining a new all-in-one printer, after a week of researching the subject on the Internet for a week -- after realizing that the “old” one of a couple of years of exemplary performance up to that time, no longer acted with the accustomed predictability and reliability. Not only was it possible to research the current prices of the major convenient/expedient outlets -- but also, to learn of all the customer perspectives one often fails to consider without these points brought to one’s attention. By the time I was ready to “pull the trigger,” I was peaking towards being the world’s leading authority on the best-performing all-in-one printer in the budget category -- beyond which one could pay infinitely more, but not get actually more value. That is the important price point to determine -- in the purchase of anything.

After securing that purchase, I remarked to an associate who also made that same purchase on my recommendation, “We’ve just purchased the capacity to be a Kinkos, if we are motivated enough to learn all the functions that this machine can perform -- for a little more than $100.” Undoubtedly, some enterprising person will actually do that. Many more will simply delight in that capacity even if they never use it. What seemed “too good to be true,” years ago, may actually be cheaper and more practical than bothering to “fake it.” In fact, that is the logo of the company whose product I bought, “Imagine the possibilities.”

These are the times we live in -- no matter how much the old vested interests and status quo works tirelessly to convince us that the country and the world was never so hopeless -- which is their justification for why we continue to “need” them, as we have in the past, which they hope to continue for at least as long as “they” live.

The conditioning of the past was also the resistance against learning anything new -- and why many of the older generations, view change with such reflexive aversion, suspicion and distrust. The entrenched status quo institutions forged their ascendance on the culture of ignorance and fear, and still operate that way, knowing that is their only defense -- in a world truly open to all. They don’t want to go there -- and play in that arena. And their game entirely consists of maintaining and defending "their" turf -- in an era where the ground is shifting at warp speed, or as fast as it can be imagined!

One can choose to live in this new world -- or choose to reject, resist, deny it. The great benefits are those open to them. But they are undoubtedly there.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Challenge of Change

Some people would have us believe that nothing ever changes -- and in fact, every day is like every other that’s ever been before -- proudly proclaiming and finding disciples who will chant, “History always repeats itself,” or, “Those who don’t abide by history, are doomed to repeat it,” or other similar inanities. The evident truth of reality is that there is always change -- but the mind can be conditioned not to see it, and to deny it.

Much of our education, is actually of that type of conditioning -- requiring what is being presently taught, to be regarded as an absolute truth -- mainly because the instructors would not have the moral and intellectual “authority,” if it could not be presented in that manner. Then, instead of merely indoctrinating that truth unchallenged, they would be challenged and have to justify how it is, that the truth they proclaim, is in fact, what they say it is. And rather than that being a distraction and diversion from learning -- that is really the essence of an inquiring mind and attitude -- which creates a lifelong predisposition to learning, understanding and improvement.

However, that does not benefit the “teaching” professional, so that manner of learning is not encouraged. If one wants to do it, most teaching professionals will admit that it can be done that way, but that should be done only by licensed and certified professionals also -- and not that that should be done without strict supervision by the properly designated authorities. To these people, that’s what truth is -- that which comes from the duly-certified authorities and hierarchies, and not that it is the essential human drive to understand and improve the simplicity of life and existence.

Such people think one must be “forced” to understand or improve -- rather than it is the nature of the human being, and anything else, is a deviation from the natural path. People want to understand, want to improve -- unless early on, in their formative years, they were discouraged and punished for doing so, and indoctrinated with those deviations that served another agenda beyond the individual’s inherent drive to understand and improve.

One can be conditioned to believe they should never trust their own judgment and instincts but must only rely on the wisdom of the properly-designated edicts of authorities, of whom the person advising them, is the local representative. Even if not the properly certified authority, many will assume that position anyway, realizing that most people, are not trained to detect any differences from the authentic and the self-proclaimed, if one uses the appropriate buzzwords and familiar-sounding jargon. Advertising, journalism, mass communication disciplines exist for this purpose. Instead of actually being the authority in the field, one can merely seem like the authority in the field -- which will fool 95% of people -- but the 5% will be the true authorities, one cannot.

Many will grow up entirely in this culture of the false -- never knowing a moment of the true and actual. Because they have been taught to distrust their own minds and judgment, they are entirely dependent on others to do their thinking for them -- and the thinking of the others, unfortunately, is that they remain ignorant, powerless, and hopeless, rather than becoming more independent and stronger all one’s life. That is not an option, the controllers will insist.

Friday, December 16, 2005

If "They" Haven't Reported the News Yet...


Iraq's Day of RejoicingBy Michael ReaganFrontPageMagazine.com December 16, 2005

Michael Sitto said it best. Sitto, a La Mesa, CA. expatriate Iraqi who works for the U.S. Navy told reporters as he prepared to cast his absentee vote in the Iraqi elections: "It is a great day for the Iraqi people. This is the start of a new democratic system, a democratic country in the Middle East," he said. "At the same time, there has been a great sacrifice by the American people.”

And, he added, "We don't want to lose sight of that."

Too bad the Democrats and their Marxist allies here in the U.S. can’t see the miracle taking place in Iraq, where for the third time -- in spite of real and present dangers to life and limb -- huge numbers of Iraqis voted in a free election.

Like Sitto, Iraqis are rejoicing, and all Americans should be shouting Hallelujah along with them, because the miracle that is happening there is taking place because we made it happen.

For the very first time in the Middle East, a Muslim nation is creating a democratic republic – the people of an Arab nation are deciding for themselves the kind of government they want and which of their fellow Iraqis they want to run that government. For the first time, the people of a Muslim nation are acting like free citizens instead of as subjects of an autocratic regime.

This is a trailblazing development, and it is born and bred out of our own history. The very idea that a sovereign people could be self-governing was unheard of, yet that is exactly what the Founding Fathers insisted when they set up a constitutional republic and created a system of laws and not of men.

Today, confronted by the reality of an Iraqi electorate setting up a constitution that substitutes the rule of law for the rule of a dictator, and voting for candidates to serve in a national legislature, liberal Democrats sneer at the astounding progress democracy has made in Iraq. They predict that all sorts of terrible problems will arise and doom Iraq’s hopes for a free and stable government.

Of course, there will be problems. Putting together a conglomeration of groups with widely divergent ideas and modes of living is a tough row to hoe, and our own history provides many examples of the obstacles involved in the process. It took ten years for America just to reach the point where it was possible to craft a constitution.

In the wake of the American Revolution, the best the Founders could do was to operate under the weak and inefficient Articles of Confederation. Finally, ten years later, they met to create a binding Constitution. It took two years for Congress to adopt the document and another two years of contentious debate before the required majority of states approved the Constitution of the United States.

And that was just the beginning. It took a long time for some of the states to accept the idea that they were part of a national union and not individual nations. Some of the disputes actually involved armed resistance, such as the so-called Whiskey Rebellion. Later, the nation split apart over the issue of slavery and a terrible Civil War broke out.

In the end, however, we have survived for well over two centuries and today the United States is the wealthiest and most powerful nation on the face of the earth. And because we set an example for all the world to follow over 200 years ago, the people of Iraq have today taken a giant step to follow in our footsteps.

Instead of walking around with the usual gloom and doom written all over their faces, leftists should be leaping with joy over the results of December 15, 2005. It is a time for rejoicing, even if it means that Howard Dean, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha, and all the rest of the “Hate Bush brigade” will have to admit that President Bush knew what he was doing all along.

One Iraqi voter quoted in a story on the Drudge Report had a few words for the cut-and-run crowd: “Anybody who doesn’t appreciate what America has done and President Bush [has done] let them go to hell.”

That works for me.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Beyond Mass Media

While the Internet enables individuals to become indistinguishable from a massive organization and cultural institutions of long standing, it’s not a good idea to do that. Actually, the reverse is a better idea -- for a large, impersonal organization, to seem as personal, personable, and as individualized as possible. That is the adaptation that many are missing in the present evolution to better information and communication standards.

The strategy of the past -- to make one seem as impressive, formidable, authoritative and intimidating as possible -- which is the epitome of mass media and mass communications, is not the ultimate of effective and productive media and communication possibilities -- and those that proceed along that path, become totally irrelevant and out of touch, which are the criticisms of mass media that those in it, seem powerless to recognize. Their adaptation was of another era -- in which being impressive, formidable, intimidating and controlling, was the ideal and objective, but the new intellectual and cultural environment favors the quick, skillful and resourceful -- rather than seemingly unlimited resources and the power and authority of venerable institutions.

In a world of bluster, more bluster is not more impressive -- as the absence of it would be -- and distinguish one from the rest. When everyone thinks the objective of the group is to push their way to the head of the class, the only one who does not succumb to that strategy, obviously is the exception, the one who stands out. Meanwhile, doing what everybody else is doing unthinkingly, is the surest road to mediocrity, obscurity and frustration, ensuring one’s extinction, or at least, lack of distinction, while craving it all the more because those objectives grow more elusive.

That is the competitive advantage of misinforming one’s competition -- thinking one is in the know rather than an outsider looking in, thinking he knows. Inevitably in such gamesmanship, there is one who comes along and sees through the fallacy of those efforts, and re-envisions the game so that all those losing efforts are transformed into capital assets for the next level of success -- and thus they go beyond, where there was only self-canceling, mutually destructive efforts before.

By and large, the strategy of mass media, which many individuals also adopted, was to create the co-dependency of the information and communication relationship, disempowering the individual while aggrandizing the nameless, faceless mass media entity. But it was not a trade-off of value for value; it was a one-way street of power flowing from the individual to the organization -- while the revolution of these times, is the ending of the need for that disempowerment.

That is, that the individual, and not the collective, is the supreme power -- of their own lives! That is the remarkable transformation in consciousness in these times -- that others, individually or collectively, are not necessarily more powerful and effective than we can be as individuals. In fact, the individual can be far more powerful and effective because they are not cancelled out by others who may have different purposes and agendas. The purity of intent and purpose, can be actualized without all the extraneous considerations of others to undermine one’s effectiveness -- reinforcing the notion that individuals are powerless and only the collective, mass organization can be powerful.

In such times and circumstances, an individual speaking for themselves, does not defer to any higher authority. That is the meaning and fulfillment of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

You'd Better Buy Advertising From Us or We'll Give You Bad Press!


Wal-Mart runs ads after publishers complain
Retailing giant places full-page displays in 336 Midwest newspapers
Updated: 2:30 p.m. ET Dec. 8, 2005

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. placed full-page advertisements in 336 Midwestern newspapers after publishers nationally complained they are ignored by the world's largest retailer. The move comes at a time when the company is trying to address accusations it treats workers poorly and drives local shops out of businesses.

The ads, which ran in smaller papers in Missouri and Oklahoma between Nov. 30 and Dec. 6, were a test for a possible change in newspaper advertising policy at Wal-Mart, which publishers say has ignored their dailies and weeklies for years.

"I think it is a good first step. They are such a big economic force in our communities and were not participating in those papers," said Mike Buffington, past president of the National Newspaper Association and editor and co-publisher of the Jackson (Ga.) Herald.

Consideration of an advertising shift comes as the retailer repositions itself on several fronts — particularly community relations. The retailer regularly faces criticism, lawsuits and organized attacks from labor union-backed campaign groups, making it more difficult to open new stores and grow.

Retail and grocery store ads together account for anywhere from 60 percent to 80 percent of revenues for community newspapers, said Brian Steffens, the executive director of the National Newspaper Association.

Grocery stores purchase the bulk of those that advertising, with local grocers often placing full-page ads several times a week. Wal-Mart has grown in recent years to be the nation's largest seller of groceries with the expansion of its supercenter store format, but it generally has not taken out weekly ads to showcase its grocery prices in local newspapers.

"If one local grocery store goes out, a community newspaper loses at a minimum one or two full-page ads or inserts a week," Steffens said.

Wal-Mart said it would look first at whether the new local ads increased sales and traffic at 218 stores in those newspapers' territories. "If there is a significant return, we would consider incorporating the local papers into our overall ad strategy," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Mona Williams said.

Williams said Wal-Mart had traditionally not advertised locally because it had strong customer traffic anyway. Its practice of "every day low prices" also means it does not need to advertise sales and individual items like many other retailers do.

Community relations may also play a role in deciding whether to change the advertising practice, Williams said.

"The question is also whether to advertise to support the local newspaper and generate good will from that. These are probably good, non-traditional reasons to advertise locally and considerations we will also factor in once we have the market test results," she said.

The NNA says it worked out the ad test in talks with Wal-Mart executives after Buffington wrote an open letter in January that accused Wal-Mart Chief Executive Lee Scott of ignoring the association's 2,500 members.

"Wal-Mart built its foundation of stores in many of our rural and suburban communities, the places where I, and many of my fellow publishers, operate newspapers," Buffington wrote in the letter posted on the NNA's Web site.

"Yet community newspapers across the nation are all but invisible to Wal-Mart _ unless the company is looking for some free PR in our pages. Wal-Mart has a fairly standard policy of doing little to no local newspaper advertising," he wrote.

The letter came after Wal-Mart at the start of the year placed full-page ads in major metropolitan dailies defending itself against criticism, then had a public relations firm approach local papers, hoping to place news stories on Wal-Mart's views.

In the spring, the NNA surveyed its members on their relations with Wal-Mart.

Of those that responded, 81 percent said they had a Wal-Mart store in their circulation area. And, of those, 62 percent said Wal-Mart had a negative impact on the community, 25 percent said neutral and 13 percent said it was a positive effect.

The results were similar when asked how Wal-Mart affected the newspapers, with 67 percent saying negative and 4 percent answering positive.

Nearly 60 percent said Wal-Mart never advertised in their papers, but about 80 percent said Wal-Mart sometimes or often asked for publicity, such as pictures in the paper of Wal-Mart presenting a charity check. The NNA did not list its methodology for poll.

Neither the NNA nor Wal-Mart were willing to discuss how much the ads cost.

As a rule, ads printed in the paper make more money for the publisher than inserts, which Wal-Mart has tended to use in the past on the few occasions it did advertise. Inserts require more labor to put into a paper and are usually printed elsewhere, rather than on the newspaper's own presses, so the paper cannot charge for its printing costs.

Wal-Mart last December ran a brief newspaper ad campaign in an effort to boost lackluster pre-Christmas sales. Those advertisements featured toys and electronics on which the retailer cut prices a week into the holiday shopping season.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Whose Side Are They On?


Key Battleground in Iraq War is the U.S. Media; Troops Attack Media Misreporting December 1, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Accuracy in Media (AIM) pointed out today that the Bush Administration's new "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" says that the enemy seeks to weaken U.S. resolve through "use of the media to spread propaganda and intimidate adversaries."

"The terrorists are using our own media against the cause of freedom and democracy in Iraq. Their clear objective is to demoralize the American side and convince the public that Iraq is a losing cause," said AIM editor Cliff Kincaid. "Is it any wonder that it's now being reported that military officials responded to this terrorist media campaign by paying for positive stories out of Iraq?"

Citing the findings of a recent Pew Research Center survey, Kincaid said that, "Our own media are part of the problem and standing in the way of a military victory." The survey found that 71 percent of the news media oppose U.S. military action in Iraq, compared to only 43 percent of the public at large. Forty-eight percent of the public supported military action in Iraq but only 28 percent of the media did so.

Kincaid explained, "Most of the major U.S. media have decided that the war was a mistake, and their negative coverage reflects that view. Everything we see, read and hear has to be viewed in that context. They want the U.S. to withdraw and fail."

But what do the troops think? Kincaid noted that NBC News reporter Jim Maceda recently spent some time with our troops in Iraq and they "blame reporters for what they see as a one-sided picture, saying that we tend to emphasize the violence and the death and under-report all the positive steps Iraq is taking."

"Our troops weren't paid to say that," noted Kincaid. "That's the general view of U.S. forces in Iraq. They despise the U.S. media."

Accuracy In Media (AIM) is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage.

To schedule an interview with AIM Editor Cliff Kincaid, contact Anne Tyrrell with Shirley & Banister Public Affairs at (703) 739-5920 or atyrrell@sbpublicaffairs.com

The Problem with Liberals

"Have you not noticed how arrogant idealists are? The political leaders who bring about certain results, who achieve great reforms -- have you not noticed that they are full of themselves, puffed up with their ideals and their achievements? In their own estimation, they are very important. Read a few of the political speeches, watch some of these people who call themselves reformers, and you will see in the very process of reformation, they are cultivating their own ego; their reforms, however extensive, are still within the prison, therefore they are destructive and ultimately bring more misery and conflict to man."

Think on These Things

Thursday, December 01, 2005

What is New Media?

As life and society evolves, it responds to the market forces of scarcity or abundance, and those who adapt the best to the new realities are favored, while those who cannot/will not, face extinction -- and until then, are plagued by chronic, persistent, overwhelming difficulties in their lives more than most.

It is the fatal failure to adapt. Such persons will even insist and demand that the rest of the world must change to suit them -- rather than the appropriate response of personally and individually changing -- as the best response. It might be that before a universal law granting the right of way to all pedestrians, at all times, anywhere, one is unfortunately struck down and killed by a car driver who hasn't gotten that news yet.

Clearly over the last half century, the world is a very different place than it had been for most of history. The greatest change is that those things that were once scarce, because of science and technology, have become plentiful. But the human being, having evolved over millions of years, favored those who could adapt to scarcity, hardship, and struggle. However, when those conditions of scarcity change to abundance in one's own lifetime, many cannot adapt and will perish by their failure to adapt.

The obvious case is to eat as much as one can because food might be scarce and unreliable. Many will eat themselves to death because they don't make the adaptation to unlimited food resources. One is now more likely to eat themselves to death rather than starve to death.

An even greater change, has been the explosive growth of information -- so that one is likely to become dysfunctional not because of ignorance, but more likely from overinformation. Information is no longer scarce, as in the days of the first appearance of the school on the prairie and frontier newspaper, but one has trouble now avoiding information intruding in our every waking moment.

The result of overinformation is paralysis -- that one is so overwhelmed processing the information, that they cannot act appropriately in a timely manner. Eventually, one cannot act effectively at all. One's entire time and energy are consumed in processing information -- endlessly.

Modern information processors recognized that they had to filter out the extraneous before they let it take root in their minds -- avoiding and eliminating all the distractions, diversions and pettiness that was not their urgent sphere of influence, their actual living and concerns -- in which their actions could make a vital and critical difference. So being able to detect the significant and significance became the prime skill -- or one could not tell every bit of trivia, deception and manipulation from the cherished truth of the matter.

Such an evolution in information and communication processing, is what is being defined as the new media (style and culture), as opposed to the old mass media done more. It is also called, personalized media -- information that one wants, rather than what somebody else wants us to know. This is a huge shift in the power dynamic that threatens the way we've been accustomed to do things.

Many who had tremendous power and influence in the old media, will only have as much as the next guy -- even if it is more than anybody had before. But the hierarchy of information and control has been dissolved -- and those who benefited most by the old arrangement will of course fight until their dying breath to maintain the old status quo. Meanwhile, the rest must go on to create the new possibilities of information and communications -- as the most critical aspect of any discussion of the future.