Saturday, January 17, 2009

DTV - Hawaiian Fact vs. Political Fiction

One of the coolest things about the United States (which most people don't seem to notice), is that we actually have fifty different laboratories for social experiments. What should the drinking age be? 18? 21? Some states allow the former, some the latter. The advantage is that rather than guessing which is more beneficial, there's real-world data to study.

So here we are finally at the brink of the transition to digital TV. And now some politicians want to put the breaks on because some of the population won't be ready. Well, what isn't talked about is the fact that this deadline has already been pushed back once before.

Some are crying that millions will be thrown into darkness, and we've got to delay! Well, here's another way to look at it: less then 10% (with the number shrinking daily) of the population will be affected. And what about all the pain and suffering anticipated?

Look to Hawaii for test results. They made the switch ahead of schedule. The early returns indicate no rioting, no mass confusion, no end-of-the-world gnashing of teeth.

Democrats have vowed to keep working on pushing the deadline back because of what theoretically could happen. But the facts coming out of Hawaii contradict that.

So: what happens next? Will our congresscritters wait a week, study the results from Hawaii, and make a decision based on the facts? Or will political posturing trump the facts?

Hmmm. Time to write my representatives again....

- Ralph

Day 206 of the WJMA Web Watch.

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