Friday, April 06, 2007

A slightly more jaded view

Not quite as separate as a parallel universe and perhaps more like a shaft excavated by an unknown mining company competing for what I thought was my vein, I find there is a world outside that mapped to my blog roll. And going a bit farther in that analogy, I heard a faint scratching and went googling to see where it came from. It comes complete with its own alternate Amanda and does not fret much over hypocrisy generally and seems not at all concerned about politics or religion or patriarchy or republicans yet knows much about forming opinions and buying reputation and things webby.

To demonstrate that we mine the same vein, look at the diversity of parties stirred by one nugget in that vein, the vileness aimed at Kathy Sierrra which was aired out [or fanned with fresh oxygen] last week:
My self, Sheelzebub at Pandagon, Dr FreeRide, and Strumpette. These are very different perspectives and come from bloggers with quite distinct purposes for their blogging. Strumpette had the coldest response of the lot but it has points I agree with. Strumpettee said:


Here’s the deal. Maybe humans are NOT supposed to be “naked.” Maybe, “open community” is an oxymoron. Maybe at our very core, past all the PR and manufactured smiles, we’re just not that nice.....

Bottom line: "Naked Conversations" is a dismal failure. So’s Cluetrain for that matter. Who would have thought that when we marginalized communications power and leveled all hierarchies... that the commons would become the cesspool of human existence? Well, I’ll tell you. Pretty much ANY idiot with common sense, anyone who’s ever studied history, anyone who’s had siblings and shared a bathroom, anyone who’s ever been to a Cubs game, or taken public transportation. I skeeve. There's a reason why the sale of Purell hand-sanitizing lotion is brisk.

So... now what do we do? Better question: what do the A-List leaders (blog demagogues) do? Answer: They can either take their ball and go home (Scoble, Rubel, Weil and others would have to actually get real jobs); Or what they can do is call for certain controls, the very antithesis of their platforms, the very things they all along told us they were dismantling on our behalf. In effect, forget the old rules; here are the new rules. Ironically, here’s the new hierarchy. Such is the cycle that defines history. We, of course, need new rules to protect the new rulers. Remember that.

I said:

The statements that this casual trashing of other persons is just inherent in on-line culture bug the heck out of me

To the extent that anonymity alone really can be blamed,( perhaps as a relative novelty in human communication environments its something that we have no evolved [cultural or otherwise] way to avoid abuse), speaking out against abuse may even have to take the form of post points to one ally of Kathy's going on hiatus for a week in protest of the crappy low standards of self restraint. I would not go that far: once you are off the air, people stop hearing WHY you are off the air. But when the feminist blogs picked up the story, few commenters pursued any ideas for remedies. The best that I saw were rating system ideas aimed at exposing the abusers but with disposable identities, I don't know how it would work and I think we should start modifying the media itself to return it to the same feeling and accountability of the face-to-face conversations our species usually knows how to handle.

I would take last bit back but comments can't be undone. Never blame the tools, blame the fools. Strumpette is more right than I unless I have a way of preserving all the good of anonymity...and after all who the hell is greensmile? The only problem that has yet to be explained to my satisfaction is why that sort of attack is so lopsidedly misogynist.

The forms of misogyny outside the "amateur" world of personal blogging where only professionals and standards rule, are much more subtle. I suppose that is one of the marks against us web rabble that Andrew Keen will be writing about in his new book, The Cult of the Amateur. I will be keen to read that one, since I share alternate Amanda's preference for free communication over safety. The iconoclasts must be watched carefully, in case they are right.

[and so now you see how I tunneled into the Alternate Amanda's world.]

Sorry Davo, the links are where all the easter eggs are hidden this time around.

No comments: