Monday, January 28, 2008

Blogological Singularity

This is hands down the most insightful analysis of what blogs are I've read to date (makes Lee Siegel look like the mangy grapes-dissing fox he is). It's so good, I won't be surprised if it changes how blogs are written from this point on.

In fact, it's so very good, this may be the parallel to a technological singularity (you know, the moment an artificial intelligence becomes self-aware and more intelligent than any human could ever be and then can begin to reproduce without us, making humans irrelevant [and thus disposable] to them). By deconstructing so thoroughly how and why blogs are so effective and popular, Sarah Boxer may have planted the seeds for a paralyzing self-consciousness, somewhat akin to what Sartre's biography Saint Genet supposedly did to Jean Genet's ability to write novels.* One golden snippet:
For many bloggers infamy is better than no kind of famy at all. In his book The Future of Reputation, Daniel Solove quotes Jessica Cutler of the Washingtonienne blog: "Some people with blogs are never going to get famous, and they've been doing it for, like, over a year. I feel bad for them.... Everyone should have a blog. It's the most democratic thing ever." To go unnoticed in this democracy is to not exist. This kind of existential pressure, naturally, ups the ante on language.... Invective—hilarious, acidulous invective, often served up with false apologies—is everywhere. The law of the blogosphere is Hobbesian: survival of the snarkiest.
Highly recommended.

*Edmund White, Genet's subsequent biographer, disputed this speculation, just as the fact that I'm writing this blog post disputes my own here, but....

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2 Comments:

Blogger S.L. Butler said...

Ed,

Speaking of blogging, in The National Interest journalist/ foreign policy analyst/ blogger David Frum, dissects the feud between foreign policy bloggers and the credentialed foreign policy community, then analyzes how the bloggers are affecting presidential politics. Pretty interesting companion piece to Sarah Boxer's article.

1/28/2008 08:20:00 PM  
Anonymous stinky said...

"ishikoro"...what a pretty name.

1/29/2008 10:00:00 AM  

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