Clockwork quota system

About every six months, some genius determines the blogosphere isn’t as diverse as it should be and proposes some sort of quota system. The current offender is some dude named Steven Levy who writes for Newsweek. Jeff Jarvis and about half the known blogosphere take him to task.

There are a couple of interesting variations on the meme this time around: Levy doesn’t complain about a dearth of gay bloggers, presumably because Andrew Sullivan and the Denton empire make that charge a non-starter, nor does he mention non-American bloggers for similar reasons.

Halley Suitt jumps aboard, acting surprised, but she’s been pushing this female-bloggers-rule thing for a while, so it’s pretty disingenuous, and Chris Nolan does some explaining.

As I’ve said before, racial and gender quotas are a non-issue in the blogosphere because we generally don’t care about such trivial attributes as race and gender. If you’re smart, insightful, witty, or industrious you’ll be read. You may even be read if you’re none of these things but you can get people excited by appealing to their fears, their libidinous impulses, or their aspirations. But we’re not going to read you just because you have some invisible biological characteristics that aren’t germane to the quality of your thought.

To those who’d rather see more diverse sources of a certain one-dimensional point of view (diversity in Newsweek terms means liberals of all colors and sexes), the blogosphere isn’t for you. If you care about smart and interesting points of view, come on down.

Levy, thanks for playing the Oliver Willis game, now go home.

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