Robert Going, a man of many talents – lawyer, civil servant, fellow blogger, Catholic, and all-around good egg – had a radio show up in Amsterdam NY, until his station’s management decided, without warning, to shut down the show.
I’m pleased to be able to announce that The Show with No Name has returned as a podcast, with Bob and his co-host Mike Chiara.
This is one of the great, great things about the level of technology and access now available to the average citizen. You don’t need to have a printing press, or a mimeograph machine, or even a soapbox in the village green. You just need a computer, some software, a couple of cheap microphones, and a message. The only one of those that represents extra expense is the software, really: the computer is practically standard household gear, the microphones cost less than a tank of gas, and everyone’s got something to say.
Now, it’s easier than ever to say it. Oh, there are still gatekeepers, but the fence has been tunneled through and climbed over. The leaflets or pamphlets could be gathered and pitched in a Dumpster, and the police could pull you off your soapbox as a public nuisance. The standard media outlets could just ignore you if your message was inconvenient. News could be filtered, spun, sanitized, exaggerated – even outright made-up – with impunity, under a pretense of perfect objectivity.
Maybe this is why repressive and controlling people want a giant “OFF” switch for things like Twitter and the Web. They never could assume complete control over the thoughts of your mind, but they could exercise a great influence over the kind of input your mind could get. That influence wanes. An event they refuse to cover shows up on YouTube in a half-hour: someone records it in high-quality on a device no larger than a pack of cards, literally beams it up into space and back down to the servers that record and display it, and anyone else can watch it as they please. They don’t even need to be in their homes: their own gizmos will tell them something is happening, and they can keep up with it while getting their coffee, or on the subway, or sitting on the beach on vacation.
And the process has even begun to repeat with the new media giants – if YouTube pulls something, the owner can sling the clip to Vimeo or host it themselves. If Google acts creepy with its information-gathering, people can bypass it; if they don’t like Windows they can use Mac or Linux or other OS. It’s beautiful.
Best of luck, Judge.