September 23rd, 2005


Thumb, meet asshole

I was an early adopter. I was using a modem to log into the north coast public unix system in 1984 to read Usenet News, which is all we had before we had the Internet. I had an e-mail address with 'bangs' in it. I've been, if not ahead of the curve, riding the wave of every new trend, a year before Newsweek breathlessly misconstrues it.

But if there's one thing that really makes my teeth hurt, it's the irrationally exuberant self-congratulation of the digital media elite, and no better example can be had than Arianna Huffington's breathless description of a loft party in her honor, thrown by Gawker.

" of the great things about the blogosphere is that it's not a zero-sum game. It's not like Good Morning America fighting to take away viewers from the Today Show -- and now the other way around. The growth is limitless."

Well if you divide that by 100, there may be a grain of truth left, but on a finite planet, all claims of limitlessness are a priori fraudulent. And the end game for Huffington's vision is pretty grim, too -- everyone's a blogger, and they spend all their time writing in their blogs, reading other people's blogs, linking to other people's blogs, and turning into a puddle of melted lard pooled in the seat of their roll-around chair.

And I object to the whole idea of the primacy of the Blog. The only interesting blogs I read are interesting because the person writing them mostly does something else besides blogging, and can translate the arcane knowledge of their particular condition into something informative and entertaining. Professional bloggers creep me out -- they do, as work, the things that I do to AVOID doing real work. Maybe in the George W Bush Bizarro World we now live in, this makes sense to most people. But for me, it's almost enough to make me go back to reading old newspapers in the public library.

But I won't of course, because if there's one thing I've learned in the last 20+ years of being a computer nerd, is that I'm helpless in the face of my addiction. For better or worse, I'm stuck with a life that's organized around sitting in front of a computer screen, typing.

But at least I REALIZE there's more to life, and I don't think it's the be-all and end-all.