Tuesday, February 8, 2011

the lesson here is that

1/ the internet is an engine for the ephemeralisation of culture / discourse

"onwardness" again: always the next, the next, the next

i am also convinced that words on a screen do not sink into your brain with the same penetrative depth as words on paper

now this amnesiac syndrome might be an effect of the general pan-cultural imperatives towards time crunch/distraction/onwardness

but i dunno, it really feels like screen-text does not make the same kind of mental imprint on the brain as words that have been printed, pressed physically upon, a paper page did, and still do in fact

see i can remember record reviews and features in music papers from 20 or 30 years ago, vividly, in some cases actual sentences or half-paragraphs, also the layout with the illustration... along with the overall impact they had on me

now, granted,i was more impressionable then, more of a tabula rasa... less mentally crowded and cluttered

but still, i can remember magazine articles from later too, the 90s, even some in the 200s, with an approaching equivalent intensity, and this would have been long after the passing of my impressionable stage, if still perfectly capable of being impressed...

now i do also remember certain blog posts from the early years of blogmania, i.e. the first several years of the Noughties... not as vividly as magazine and newspaper pieces.... but there were favourite posts, and then Event Posts that stirred up debate

but from the last several years or so, though, it's all blurry... this might be a side effect of the fact that there is just so much discourse to sift through (meaning that you do in fact skim or glance at it most of it).... that it enters your mind thinly, because you are spread thin

but i don't think so actually

and then twitter -- does anyone remember a tweet for longer than a day or two? In most cases, a tweet will be lucky to lodge in someone's brain for more than a few minutes. The format has remorselessly rapid mental obsolescence in-built to it,

it's a great shame that twitter has proved to be such a brain drain in terms of the blog scene -- it's totally obvious why it would have such potent rival appeal... it offers all the ego-boost/connectivity buzz-satisfactions of blogging but in much more instant-response and quick-hit form, with a continuousness and relentless onwardness that is literally irresistible (so i imagine: i'm not on it, not yet).... and with much less effort required...

but the result has been a haemorhaging of mental energy away from more substantial and sustained work.... i sense (and mourn) the phantom existence of all those potentially great blogpieces that were never finished or more likely never started.... or just frittered (twittered) away in endless micro-apercus, wisecracks and passing observations... the seed of longer, stronger thoughts spilled onto the digi-wasteland... never allowed to reach full fruition

2/ connectivity is the enemy of collectivity

well i was going to write that, but of course we have the role of social media in Egypt, in the student protests in the UK, even that rave that was pulled off right in the centre of London, near the British Museum...

but crucially, the point is that the social media can only be ancillary

to actually challenge anything, collectivity had to assemble itself in a place, it had to take (to) the streets

collectivity requires real time and physical space, in other words


  1. Funny. Once again, you've hit upon the same things I've been thinking/suspecting for some time now, but walking them thru very precisely. Especially in the first point, because my memories of such stuff has been the similar to what you're describing. But that's caused me to wonder: does it, then, come from being biased toward a particular medium (in this case, print) just by dint of one's age and formative experiences/orientation. Perhaps,...a little. But I think there's way more substance to the other aspects that you're talking about.

    Concur on the second part, too. Which is why that Jesus Jones spoof you posted last week made me laugh so hard.

  2. Yeah, you're on right paths. Problematic pairs

    interesting gladwell article about effects of social media inrecent events: