steal this blog

monroe hrbr from cycS

Originally uploaded by vincusses.

The premise of the internet blog is the same as the premise of the 1960s pirate radio station, the 1910s literary journal or the 1770s broadside: you can say whatever you want, partially cloaked by relative anonymity and fueled by the rapid-fire immediacy of the medium. I had this impish thought about podcasting the meeting I was in a week ago Tuesday, but the fact is that I can’t say anything about it to anyone until next week. This is not unusual –more than occasionally I possess embargoed information or insights, and their confidence is kept by human, not technological means.

The immediacy and efficacy of the latest media seems apparent in any number of stories – from the sublime: the inability of the American and Chinese governments to effectively stage manage the coverage of wars and police actions; to the ridiculous: gulp-by-gulp accounts of the latest Disney Channel druggie. And then you have the people who don’t have little lawyers in their brain who get on a rant about their employer or competitor or whomever and end of getting fired or discredited. This happens a lot in academia, which like the Disney Channel supports arrested development and harbors more than its fair share of passive aggressives.

Unlike the historical media mentioned the internet has a very personal and private interface, which means it is well suited for passive aggressives. It was developed for universities and the military (and whoever invented it should get a Nobel Prize☺) but its bread and butter is pornography, which tells you something about the intimacy of the interface and how users can operate in a public realm without any sensation of public responsibility. Hence, rants and attacks that went on in your head suddenly become mini-press releases and your warped inner workings are unfolded for all (some, really) to see.

The thing everyone loves about this current medium is its immediacy – Dave Matthews wrote and produced a distributed a song – with a full band – in one day. That’s good. But when it comes to the crazy things you say in your head, that’s bad. Should we require a cooling-off period before the purchase of a Saturday Night Special web log?

Fortunately in this blog my discourse avoids the personal, which is just as well because we’ve been through a hell of a year….


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