Once again good points, but the question remains: what to do about it? Ultimately what is "interesting" to people is what will succeed. The 2nd article links to a site http://www.findory.com/
that is supposed to use a "better system for determining news/good content". Unfortunately I found the majority of its story links to be fairly uninteresting and not really worth my time. Now this is just a brief sampling of the moment, so it doesn't necessarily say much. But a brief review of Reddit and Digg showed me things I was much more interested in.
Although I do agree with many of the points raised in these and similar articles, I also feel like they are almost as bad as those on the other side, promoting Digg, et al as "the future of the web". They are both extremes, imbalanced, over the top. I think these articles tend to exaggerate the problems with Digg, etc. and to use hyperbolic "examples" of problematic content or themes, while the other side does the same in reverse. Neither is right.
Ultimately we may simply be fighting against human nature though. Whether it's "good for us" or not, the most popular media these days does seem to be some of the "dumbest". It's not that there isn't good, intelligent media available - I wouldn't say that the media has been dumbed down recently per se - it's more that what suceeds or gets the most attention is usually the stupider or less useful stuff. It is this problem - the real popularity of mindless content - that is truly being railed against, and it is not a problem unique to the Internet by any means. So I think if nothing else these sorts of articles may be pointing the finger the wrong direction. The problem is perhaps even cultural. And how do you deal with *that*?