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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Canada: Moving to regulate the new media

The CRTC, our broadcast regulator, is proposing to regulate new media, which previously had an exemption. You have until December 5, 2008 to offer comments.
The Commission is seeking responses to questions surrounding the following six main themes:
I. Defining broadcasting in new media
II. The significance of broadcasting in new media and its impact on the Canadian broadcasting system
III. Are incentives or regulatory measures necessary or desireable for the creation and promotion of Canadian broadcasting content in new media?
IV. Are there issues concerning access to broadcasting content in new media?
V. Other broadcasting or public policy objectives
VI. The appropriateness of the new media exemption orders

The deadline for filing comments is 5 December 2008. Parties are asked to clearly identify, with rationale, those issues that, in their view, need to be considered at the public hearing. The Commission will only accept submissions that it receives on or before the date noted above. Parties wishing to appear at the public hearing must state their request on the first page of their written submissions. Parties requesting appearance must provide clear reasons, on the first page of their submissions, as to why the written submission is not sufficient and why an appearance is necessary.
The problems they are concerned about are
- insufficient levels of Canadian content on the Internet;
- evidence that the new media environment is having an impact on various aspects of the business model of traditional broadcasters; and
- increased availability of high-quality video programming on the Internet.

Fine, but there is considerable potential for the wrong sort of regulation to create more problems than it solves and becme an unofficial form of censorship for dissident viewpoints. Consider, for example, the history of the Canadian human rights commissions.

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Just up at Future Tense ...

My volunteer stint with The Word Guild, a Canadian Christian writers' organization, helps chronicle the massive, worldwide changes in the publishing industry. Some readers here may be interested.

Frankfurt Book Fair: Kvetching over the Kindle - time for a wakeup call?

Writer's corner: How you can make money from blogging

Bookstsores: Why mom and pop are leaving us

Christian Book Shop Talk: A window into the bookseller's world

Writer's corner: Confessions of a serial blogger - Denyse O'Leary

All at Future Tense.

Future Tense is The Word Guild's blog on the transitions under way in the publishing industry.

Intelligent design and popular culture: What questions about evolution can students safely ask?

Recently, a friend recounted an incident where a dogmatic prof - a Darwin fan - responded to a student who raised one of the many problems with Darwin's interpretation of evolution by insisting that there was "lots of evidence" out there - despite the fact that the evidence he had actually put forward wasn't very good.

In other words, shut up, he explained.

This problem has increased in academia generally, not only in the controversial area of evolution.

It's easy to see why. Generally, the less creative a prof is, the less likely to consider conventional thinking mistaken. And many years of political correctness have surely rewarded the dull drone who never doubted or dissented where it mattered. The question then is, how can the student safely dissent?

Photographer Laszlo Bencze suggests, re the intelligent design controversy,
Don't argue against him. Agree with him. Then ask a question like one of those below:

1. I’d like to shut up those stupid IDers once and for all. Please tell me where I can find a book that shows clearly all the transitional fossil forms between fish and amphibians or reptiles and birds or some such major transition. I’d like to see it spelled out in detail with pictures and measurements and explanations of each fossil so I can crush those idiots.

2. I know that evolution is the most solidly proven theory in all of science, so please show me the mathematical proof of how random changes create information. I’m sure there must be one because this is a fundamental truth of evolution.

3. I know that in any system like life on earth that is open and receives outside energy the system will steadily grow more and more complex but I don’t really understand the physics of this. Could you explain it to me?
Laszlo's idea might work, but keep in mind two things:

1. Dull drones become angry and insecure when they realize that they are not making - and indeed cannot make - their case.

2. For many biology bores, Darwin's theory is a cult object, a form of worship.

The heathen is no more reasonable about his idol than a junkyard dog is about his rotting rabbit carcass - and one must be very cautious when trying to remove the idol from a place of highest honour.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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