Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Tech Central Wankers

Yglesias backpedals on his "intelligent design no big deal" position, and good for him. One of the extreme successes of the right has been their ability over the past couple of decades to construct crackpot arguments for literally any position, and then mainstream them to make them legitimate. Once crackpot arguments has been mainstreamed, reporters in the "balanced" press are forced to give them equal time.

Reporters are capable of doing "fact checking" at times, and doing it well. What's much harder is doing "argument checking" - pointing out that a particular argument and its premises are in fact bullshit. The former lies within the acceptable bounds of straight reporting. That is, if a candidate says 2+2=5 they can in theory at least point out, gently, that the candidate is wrong (not that they necessarily bother to. See Bush, campaign 2000, budget.) However, reporters are unable to weigh the value of one argument against another, and thus they leave that exercise to the reader.

Tech Central Station has long been a favorite of the faux-technolibertarians that seem to populate the internet and blogosphere. I doubt their new support for Intelligent Design will change any of that.