June 25, 2005

"Existence" vs "Constructive" Blog Punditry Standards

Ernie Miller responded to my punditry observations, and I updated my Grokster post in reply. I want to break out another part of his post for note:

Finkelstein himself is privileged when analyzing and writing about censorware. My commentaries on censorware can't touch Finkelstein's. That's a good thing. That's a reason for more people to write about what they know, in otherwords, to blog. The hard part is finding who to read when. The filters are imperfect, but the quality of material available has improved dramatically. ...

I appreciate the compliment. Unfortunately, as I have often noted (I know, _ad nauseum_ ...), to a good approximation, nobody reads my commentaries on censorware. Recently, one deep irony was that a great suggestion for getting heard in criticizing "Safe Eyes" censorware and the Consumer Reports article, was to write a letter to the editor (thanks, Lis).

The quality of material has indeed improved dramatically if you judge on "existence" - that somewhere, in the literally billions and billions of web pages in existence, there is accurate information. But given the billions of people in the world, there's almost certainly a perfect soulmate of true love for nearly everyone too. The trick is finding it, and that problem is far more than "imperfect".

Moreover, one thread which runs through my writing is that there really isn't "a reason for more people to write about what they know, in otherwords, to blog" - unless e.g. they're somehow connected to a reward system for it (granted, true of many professionals) or happy shouting to the wind (a self-delusion of many people in general). Blogging is not costless, in terms of time and effort. Volunteering is laudable, making the world a better place even in terms of information available. However, it's notably limited as a reason.

I am hereby increasing the amount of skepticism of blog evangelism on the Net. Recursively, how much good, objectively, will that do?

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in cyberblather | on June 25, 2005 11:59 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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Posted by: adam at June 26, 2005 08:44 PM

by Carol Ebbinghouse
You Have Been Misinformed -- Now What?: Attacking Dangerous Data

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