Long ridiculed as bureaucratic counter-intuition on steroids, the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), which paid subsidies to farmers for not planting crops, met and exceeded its lofty goals. By reducing surpluses it arrested the rapid decline of produce prices, thereby raising crop value and enabling Depression-weary farmers to retain homesteads teetering on the brink of foreclosure.
Nearly a century later, this preemptive technique is being applied to the Internet. Nigel Rasmussen, Press Liaison for the Federal Communications Commission, recently made these comments on the Library of Congress steps.
“Reading and writing were once the exclusive province of an elite professional class. Today, technology has democratized the tools of communication, resulting in a tsunami even more cretinous and loathsome than anticipated. We must ask – at what point does communication become air pollution? Has instant, universal communication made it impossible to know if anyone is saying anything valuable? Are these rhetorical questions? Was that a rhetorical question?
“Today’s ubiquitous, incessant blather has rendered language virtually worthless. Only by reducing the amount of language produced, and elevating the quality, can we hope to return any semblance of meaning and utility – much less beauty – to our words. That is why I am pleased to introduce the new, “Silence is Golden” program.
“In a nutshell, this program pays bloggers not to write. Importantly, the more they don’t write the more they earn.
“You’ll learn more about this exciting program soon. Until then, remember, “Help eliminate communication pollution! If you have nothing of value to say, say it only as often as is absolutely necessary.”