January 14, 2003

More on "Blog Politics of Form"

Copyfight's Donna Wentworth replied to my earlier message on Blog blather Let me hasten to reassure that I'm not against thinking about Grand Ideas. I do it myself :-). And I never want to seem to be too hard on people for such thoughts, and regret if I come across that way. I sympathize with the feeling.

There's occasions that an innovation seems world-changing, revolutionary. And sometimes it is world-changing - but often the world doesn't change in the ways you expect. This problem is one reason I've resolved to stop arguing with people over You-Can't-Censor-The-Net. Because someone who is caught up in the latest iteration, often takes it as I'm raining on their parade, when I tell them about earlier times where that battle-cry didn't work.

To be clear, I'm not describing Donna's post in particular, here. She was presenting an idea and asking a question or two--not engaging in a full-scale examination of an issue.

Instead, I'm describing a genre of discussion where I find it difficult to discern any meaning. The problem is that such discussions often don't consider the politics of form, but more akin to literary theory of form. That is, they don't take into account practical strategies of organizing, where there are winners and losers, big money, entrenched interests, and the outcome is often not what would be consider just. Rather, the focus is typically more on the experience of writing and reading, and then large leaps to Profound Thoughts.

And then there's the next fad, and the whole punditry process starts all over again

Literary theory isn't wrong. But a little goes a long way.

I'm all for examining the impact of innovations on society. But I mean, really examining it, as in, also taking into account what doesn't change, and what counter-intuitive results occur.

Rule of thumb : Any examination which doesn't reveal at least one serious negative consideration isn't worthwhile, because it's just hype.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in infothought | on January 14, 2003 03:31 AM (Infothought permalink) | Followups

Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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