Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Discourse in the blogosphere and the protest effect

The lowest and most debased modes of blog communication might be called the protest effect.

A few observations about protests:
1. Protests are neither personal nor individualistic (duh!).  There are "signs" and "ideas" and "crowds" and  
    "the opposing team."

2. The content of the protest signs is not intended to be rationally persuasive.

3. The content of the man's speech who holds the megaphone is not intended to be rationally persuasive.
    Perhaps if two opposing men hold a megaphone, they might exchange some rhetorical volleys.

Now imagine that every man is given a megaphone, and you'll understand the level of communication happening on some forums and blogs.  This is especially true of apologetics blogs, where even a post about ice cream is bound to end in the classic show down between "your world view led to Hitler!" and "you believe bronze age fairy tales!"

One thing is for sure, once a blog has a large group of disagreeing can be a big problem.   The blog administrator has to decide whether to invest time deleting or moderating comments, or just disable them completely.  Perhaps in a future post I will develop some more thoughts on debating in the comment box.


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