Tough love

Sometimes you read things that make you pause, take a step back and wonder if you’re doing things wrong.

I was fairly pleased that last month I had more hits on my blog than any other month, except for the one where I was frontpaged on wordpress and got a torrent of driveby viewers. Then I read this. Click the text to move through the stages.

I don’t completely agree (and it’s not long to read, so do it now!). Yes, the amount of dross online is staggering, and I’ve contributed to some of it. But as a medium, the internet is still awe inspiring to me in terms of what can be done. Sure, we don’t need it in our lives. But any hobby or activity can be unfulfilling if it’s not done properly. In our real lives, we hang around people we share interests with, and I try to approach the internet in a similar way. I look at sites made or recommended by people whose work I enjoy or respect.

Not kittens playing in a box, or ants fighting.

Unfortunately, the most viewed thing I’ve put on the internet is a short clip of surf rage filmed at Kirra. It’s picked up well over 100,000 youtube hits, and it’s a meaningless bit of violence. When I reflect on that, I can agree with the sense of frustration the author feels at the link: so much of the internet is shit, and while it has amazing power if approached correctly, it’s like walking a tightrope over the world’s largest quagmire.

It relates back to an older post of mine, EPIC. On the ‘net, we control what we see, and what we look at controls what people will put up. Let’s use that power to reward the creative, the brave, the smart and the funny. Let’s not reward meaningless crap, because if we do, one day we’ll look for something good and it just won’t be there!

Categories: Problems, Things people do, Thoughts | Tags: | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Tough love

  1. M@

    The internet is so much more about anthropology than these jokers make it out to be. Imagine in centuries from now, everything will be on record, in raw detail to be evaluated, scruitinised and independently debated about. I don’t think anything needs to change about how we naturally perceive the internet, how it is already and will continue to be used for. Their rhetoric for change is terribly idealistic, inappropriate and misplaced.

    With regards to your comments; “Let’s not reward meaningless crap.”
    I just don’t think that anyone can realistically establish what is meaningless content. I feel that ‘Junk’ media, news sources facts and opinions are akin to ‘junk DNA’.

    • Yes, it’s a really biased piece without much nuance. But when I think about it, the proliferation of media availability on the ‘net could have some fairly profound social consequences, both in the present/near future and more distant future.

      I would argue that those consequences are an extension of underlying issues (for me) such as poor education, whereby people are not well prepared to wade into the torrent of information they have access to in modern society.

      Having had to moderate (and then eventually just cancel) comments on the surf rage video I posted, there’s a lot of people out there who are, on the ‘net at least, violently minded, subject to groupthink and scarcely literate. It was pretty depressing, but worse that they can easily feed those attributes at the click of a button.


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