Note to 513 readers: In an attempt to delineate between what is class-assigned and what I stumble upon and find of interest, I’m going to try and preface blog posts and tweets like this with “For Good Measure.”
As I tweeted today, I found a Telegraph (the UK paper) article about 50 things that are being killed by the internet. The article might be better described as “50 things that are being (sometimes mercifully) killed by the digital revolution.” A few things stick out as fluff they were scraping the bottom of the idea well for a round 50, but it’s a solid list. Some are tongue-in-cheek, some are irrelevant, and some are a shame.
I really have to single out Telegraph’s list topper as the most influential – “Polite disagreement.” With politics being the topic de force in this regard, the Internet’s double-edged sword has been the promise of diversity of viewpoints to challenge us to see past preconceptions and to humanize those we disagree with, but with a reality that we’ve only radicalized more. Because the politphile can easily find a niche blog/community that reflects back at them exactly the same point of view they themselves hold, there is no rationale to seek common ground. With the Internet, we can cast our own dramas with loyally supportive cast and fantastically one-dimensional Others. One would hope that this would be constrained to the digital facet of the world, but that is sadly not so. We know that we can always escape from those pesky, foolish ultra-_____wingers/_____ists we work with or otherwise have to interact with by returning to our digital compound and circling the wagons with the ones like us, the ones who get it. It’s a cheapening of the discourse, a polarizer.
13. Memory – I don’t know. I think that it’s actually probable I’m a little better rounded for having surfed the internet/wikipedia for as long as I have. I can’t count the number of times I got lost in the wikipedia click-spiral.
14. Dead time – As I mentioned in class, I really think I need go Walden and just disappear into the woods for a few weeks.
16. Hoax debunking – The single greatest triumph over the emails that one crazy, gullible distant family member sends.