February 25, 2005

Michael Gorman "Revenge of the Blog People!" quote sources

Michael Gorman's article "Revenge of the Blog People!" has, err, caused a stir, due to statements such as:

It is obvious that the Blog People read what they want to read rather than what is in front of them and judge me to be wrong on the basis of what they think rather than what I actually wrote. Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs. In that case, their rejection of my view is quite understandable.

[Note Michael Gorman is the President-elect of the American Library Association]

In particular:

If a fraction of the latter were devoted to buying books and providing librarians for the library-starved children of California, the effort would be of far more use to humanity and society. Perhaps that latter thought will reinforce the opinion of the Blog Person who included "Michael Gorman is an idiot" in his reasoned critique, because no opinion that comes from someone who is "antidigital" (in the words of another Blog Person) could possibly be correct. For the record, though I may have associated with Antidigitalists, I am not and have never been a member of the Antidigitalist party and would be willing to testify to that under oath. I doubt even that would save me from being burned at the virtual stake, or, at best, being placed in a virtual pillory to be pelted with blogs. Ugh!

I did some research tracking down these two items. The "idiot" quote is almost certainly:

"Where do they find these people?"

"Michael Gorman, president of the American Library Association, is an idiot too."

You wouldn't find it simply searching Google for the phrase "Michael Gorman is an idiot", since the above quote is slightly longer. I also thought to check Feedster, since it's a bit better at indexing blogs.

"Antidigital" is probably


"All I have to add is a couple cents' worth about Michael Gorman. He has always been anti-digital (just read what I've written about him for details)"

Again, slight variation means a phrase search wouldn't find it.

All of this is yet another iteration of the confusion of the word "blog" meaning all of diary/chat/punditry. But that's another blogging topic.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in cyberblather | on February 25, 2005 01:52 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Hey Seth,

Thanks for posting this and sharing it over at Web4Lib. I too had checked Feedster for the "idiot" quote, but, silly me, never drew the conclusion that Mr. Gorman wasn't using an exact quote (all too obvious in retrospect). Thus my phrase searches went unfulfilled. Nice work!

I'm surprised that Mr. Gorman, if this is indeed the correct reference, didn't take the opportunity to point out that the author also misrepresented his current status as President-elect.

Posted by: Greg at February 25, 2005 02:27 PM

I, too, did some searching for those quotes, and hats off to a winning strategy. Feedster didn't find it because my phrasing was not parsed correctly; I got close on antidigital, but didn't try the hyphenated version, mea culpa.
Appreciate the overview nice post on the event. I'm in the camp of I blog, it ain't great writing, it's an online diary, read it or don't, and so on. I also do read "real" writing, and books. I believe we (people and librarians) can do both...

Posted by: DrWeb at February 25, 2005 10:32 PM