Thursday, September 23, 2004

Do you want blogs or do you want the truth?(With apologies to Watt)

So I've been reading tons of blogs for the past few months. When I first heard of the blogging phenom, my stomache turned. "Great, yet another way for solipsistic meanderings to masquerade as culture. Besides, they're more or less newsgroups lite." The worst part of it was/is the "we are the future" platitudes coming from the likes of Andrew Sullivan and Arianna Huffington. Having been in the computer industry for 12 years, I've ssen enough future to know that the real uses of technology, and the real revolutions, are gradual. The internet, as an example, sat around nearly useless for 25 years before someone figured out how to make money with it. And the basic usage patterns haven't really changed that much, it's just the availablity coupled with successive refinements has made it more attractive for non-technical people.

Most irritating is that the people who champion the revolutionary aspect are people who least understand it or its history, yet insist that what amounts to a hyperthyroid telegraph machine is going to somehow revolutionize our culture. It's like they spotted the middle car of a very long, very fast moving train, and decided without knowing anything about the train that it was that particular blur of a car that's making the power behind the train. My, doesn't it have nice racing stripes. Andrew Sullivan is by far the most offensive in this category. His ravings about how Dan Rather just "doesn't get it", and that's why he screwed up with the Killian memos, and the triumph of the "blogosphere" in exposing it are not only infantile-they're misguided.

It's the "internet generation" triumphalists that never get it. They can't build it, they can't create it, they can only use it in whatever it's current phase of development happens to be. It's unlikely they'll ever be able to advance it on their own, and they can't create their own disruptive innovation. So they're left with their ridiculous cultural revolution, like Reagan's revolution, like Gingrich's revolution like the end of history. And it always leads to the same conclusions(markets and small government are good, everything else is bad). Ever notice that the same people who theorize this stuff have no particular competence in anything else? Every time some new thing that SOMEONE ELSE BUILT comes along, they jump all over it, claim it's "the end of" something, that it's a revolution. Sorry, we can't participate in your end of history buddy, we're too busy building your future. Why don't you get an effin' job? WHERE'S MY EFFIN' PIZZA??? And yes, I would like fries with that.









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