From His Master’s Voice by Stanislaw Lem:
The inflation of the printed word has been caused, no doubt, by the exponential increase in the number of those writing, but in equal degree by editorial policies. In the childhood of our civilization only select, well-educated individuals were able to read and write, and much the same criterion held after the invention of printing; and even if the works of imbeciles were published (which, I suppose, is impossible to avoid completely), their total number was not astronomical, as it is today. Today, in the flood of garbage, valuable publications must go under, because it is easier to find one worthwhile book among ten worthless than a thousand among a million. …
… It turns out, however, that freedom of expression sometimes presents a greater threat to an idea, because forbidden thoughts may circulate in secret, but what can be done when an important fact is lost in a flood of imposters, and the voice of truth becomes drowned out in an ungodly din? When that voice, though freely resounding, cannot be heard, because the technologies of information have led to a situation in which one can receive best the message of him who shouts the loudest, even when the most falsely?
We will note that similar complaints against the masses have abounded since before the printed word, back when any danged fool thought he was the next Sophocles. I am mollified in the pointless narcissism of blogging every book I read by the Victorian tendency to do something very similar in print, so as to circulate with their friends what they were reading and what they all thought about it. The Victorians were strong in introspection but had terrible latency.