Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's Only Natural

There is an interesting post on Echidne of the Snakes concerning (alleged) differences between men and women, and the (really alleged) biological causes for them.

Commentor Anthony McCarthy makes an analogous argument, comparing it to suggesting that radio programming could be explained by study of the electromagnetic spectrum. At first glance, this was an amusing and telling argument, but . . . .

Continuing the analogy, though, it is in fact possible to explain the differences between AM and FM radio (talk and news vs. music) by studying the differences between the two forms of transmission: the quality of signal that can be carried, the cost of setting up and running a transmitter, the dates on which AM and FM stations went on the air, &c.
So you can in fact make a case for explaining *part* of the nature of radio programming on the basis of the nature of electromagnetism, and on the nature and history of the technologies which we have developed to make use of it.
What we CANNOT do is justify a law which would REQUIRE all AM stations to stop carrying music because "That's FM work".

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