I'm crabby. Normally I'm a pretty easy-going dude, but right now I'm crabby and some of the stuff I'm reading on the internet lately is so stultifyingly stupid, I just can't contain myself any longer.
It's not unexpected for Dr. Communication-is-My-Field to belie his title with every word he writes, but last week's post of his is truly a new level of dumbassery. Nisbet, who revels in telling the rest of the world how poorly they communicate, lobbed a shit-bomb into the blogosphere when he declared:
Much of the incivility online can be attributed to anonymity. And with a rare few exceptions, if you can't participate in a dialogue about issues without using your full name and true identity, then what you have to say is probably not that valuable.
I've written quite a bit about anonymity and pseudonymity in the past, but if you can't think on your own of at least five reasons his statement is idiotic, you probably have a PhD in communication (and "he forgot to show data" doesn't count, because it's too easy, and his response is, "just google it.").
Anyway, Chad Orzel at least isn't a "communication expert'---but he still doesn't seem to get all this "blog" stuff. Today he announced on his blog that he's giving up blogs for Lent; not his own--he'll probably put up another piece about his book at least forty times---but he's giving up reading blogs.
I'm not down on blogs as a communications medium-- I still think they're a great way to present information to a very broad (potential) audience. Rather, I'm coming to doubt the idea of blogs as a conversation medium.
Really? So basically, you're against everything that makes a blog bloggy rather than book-y. Seriously, it's the fucking blogosphere. Lemme help you, in case Nisbet doesn't get a chance: books and magazines ("traditional media") allow a writer and an editor to present a story without any fear of ongoing, real-time feedback. Blogs allow "the world" to write whatever the fuck they want, even if the original author doesn't understand why. Sometimes, a thoughtful author might actually learn from. As Chad sees it:
I'm finding this more and more irritating as time goes by. I find myself walking around wanting to punch something, all because people on the Internet are pissing me off. And, you know, this isn't good.
"Isn't good"? Of course it's good. If no one challenges your basic assumptions, what's the fucking point?
Whatevs...I'm still gonna read his blog whenever it's not an add for the book, and I'll probably read his book too (but I definitely won't comment on it because it might be uncivil).
Finally, I love love Sharon Astyk over at Casaubon's Book---I really do, but I don't really get it, on a fundamental level. I love her IRL experiment in (illusory) sustainable living, but her type of sustainable living seems really anti-social to me. It's about surviving some sort of society-disrupting disaster alone. Today's post is about getting your family on board with creating your absolutely necessary food reserve, and the day before was about how to get your family to eat all the rotten food you preserved. It's all very interesting, but hardly seems relevant in the real world where when The End comes, some white supremecist militia is just gonna kill you for your pickled kale before they resort to eating each other.
Finally, I'd like to point out that Lucky Charms and California Zinfandels make a surprisingly good pairing.
That is all.