Kevin is scared.
Jason is desperate.
I’m not sure which is worse. Ultimately I think Calacanis is right- there is plenty of room for both sites. They serve very disparate audiences and despite Digg’s attempts at branch out (Sports section anyone?), they will probably always been known as a tech news site frequented by tech news fans. With that said, paying contributors is a desperate act, and it remains to be seen whether social news will be suited to it. Personally I think its a great idea as long as it doesn’t slowly revert to a site where users can only vote on articles an elite group of writers contribute.
This may well end up in the destruction of social news. Especially if the other sites start taking the paid contributor bait.