Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Whack-a-mole Polemics (part 3)

"The present age… may be styled, with great propriety, the Age of Authors; for, perhaps, there was never a time when men of all degrees of ability, of every kind of education, of every profession and employment were posting with ardour so general to the press…"(Samuel Johnson, The Adventurer, 1753)

Fleshing out my ideas on blogging and public discourse has proven challenging, because the arguments intersect with debates about the Information Age and technology.  A strict series of post will only keep me anxious to make progress quickly; but if blogging has taught me anything it is this: the desire to publish quickly should be met with the stronger desire to write well.

Regardless, here is a conclusion I'm toying around with:
Typing on a computer tends to elicit a "think as as you go" mentality that normally characterizes verbal communication.  As mentioned in my recent poem: before the backspace key, writers were more apt to fully conceive of a thought before recording it.  Being 27 years old, I can't conceive of a world without word processors so this is a difficult thing to consider.  What role does the conscious and subconscious play in these activities (in short, I believe written communication requires more attentiveness than verbal communication)?  Does the speed with which we can record thoughts affect the quality of our thinking?  Regardless, it seems that blog activities (such as the predictable rhetorical volleys in the comment box) are closer to verbal dialog than traditional written exchange.  The urgency to respond to anything on the internet is much more immediate than with other written media.  Of course, what tends to be the case is not always the case.  Many blogs out there contradict these assumptions.


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