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The Online Marketplace of Ideas

The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas... the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Abrams, v. U.S., Nov. 10, 1919

When I was first introduced to the "marketplace of ideas" concept as a journalism student, I thought of an intellectual sphere where the best ideas, backed by persuasion and open discourse, led to wide-spread acceptance. In this idyllic space, the source of the idea wouldn't matter.

Of course, such a space was non-existent. In the mid-90's, big media had the the idea market cornered. Not because they had the best ideas or employed the best thinkers. They had the money, which meant they had the power. But today, blogging is changing the power structure.

The blogosphere is emerging as a true marketplace of ideas.

More to come.

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