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1.30.2011

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My dad has a lot of books sitting on the shelves of what we call the "man room," books that nobody reads but him - and even that I'm skeptical of. Some of the books are actually mine, but the generalization remains: he's still the only one who reads them. One of them, though, I plucked from the shelf a while ago in a rare attempt to educate myself on the internet phenomenon I so regularly take part in. It's Hugh Hewitt's book Blog, and it's sitting next to me right now.

Somehow it managed to land on a different bookshelf - my own - and has been there for over six months. Most of it is geared more toward political or current events blog-dom, but it does provide an interesting, Hewitt-esque perspective on the history of similar social phenomena. The most interesting aspect of the book is it's current relevance - and irrelevance. Published in 2005, the book is self-consciously outdated at six years of age.

While most of the things Hewitt acknowledges are still significant today, his rallying cry for all types of everyone in business or politics or any field of knowledge to find their corner of the blog market and stand ground . . . well, I'm not sure we need to hear that anymore. I'm pretty sure everyone's already done that. The battle now is not so much about content, but traffic. Long ago, I learned about the paralyzing nature of choice. Take one quick look at my Google Reader, and you'll be backing slowly away.

My real question from all this has little to do with blogs and more to do with the infinite nature of the internet and how that affects how our brains process information and how that affects canon and communities and . . . oh, all sorts of things. But because this is not a professional blog, because it is a personal blog read by only a few, I will leave this post at that. No conclusions. No grand statement. Not even a book review. So there.

2 comments:

  1. no, no! don't stop! I want to hear more...pursue this further...hey, what do you mean, SO THERE? This is personal to me. I'd just sit and talk to you about this, but it sounds so much smarter when I read what you write. Hmmm. Strange to think that I so easily could just talk to you about this...just down the hall.
    me

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  2. Yes, I am just down the hall. I started re-reading this post when I saw that you commented, and couldn't initially figure out why you found it relevant - until the end when I mention how the human brain works. You're more of an expert than I am, so maybe you should talk. Perhaps I should whip up a new post about it. The short version is that I think the internet is training our brains to process quantities of information at computer-like speeds. Which can be a very good thing, except that we are failing to develop our powers of critical thinking along with it. The more we think like a computer, the less we will be able to develop abstract, philosophical or even beautiful ideas that rely less on information and more on understanding (or even wisdom).

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