Archive for the ‘internet culture’ tag
Ben Jackson spends some time with an under-regarded question: how does spirituality fit into internet culture? And while I understand your concern that all you’ll get on that topic at BuzzFeed is snark masquerading as value, but I’d encourage you to give him some of your time.
Religion was a pervasive theme during the panel, with Vasquez [of Double Rainbow fame] stating, “I need to bring spirituality to humanity.” He explained that his repeated cries of “Oh my god” were caused by the rainbow forming what appeared to him to be a giant eye, which he considered to be the eye of god.
I’m increasingly aware of how much I like random bits of non-conclusive pondering. It’s not that it’s better than a conclusion, it’s that it’s more interactive. In that spirit, I enjoyed Sam Anderson’s essay about reaction videos:
It’s no accident that all of this started on YouTube in 2007 — at a moment when, and in a place where, human experience was beginning very visibly to splinter. Watching thousands of people react identically to “2 Girls 1 Cup” (“Come on!” they invariably shout, and “Why!?”) feels like a comforting restoration of order and unity. Which means that the most disgusting and offensive video ever to go viral was ultimately, oddly, a force of togetherness.
This is a little more specifically “techie” than normal, but I agree so much with Marco Arment’s thoughts on having a solid persistent internet presence that I had to post it.
But all of these proprietary [social] networks that want to own and hold in your content are reversing much of the web’s progress in some other areas, such as the durability and quality of online identity.
A valid and undervalued point:
Force a writer to be brief and you force him to think clearly—if he can. No, I don’t think that “War and Peace” would have profited from being written in 140-character tweets. But I do think that our impatient age might just be getting the best out of a great many artists and thinkers who, left to their own devices, would never have learned how to cut to the chase.
Adam Gopnik does a laudatory job cataloging and categorizing the works of those who aim to explain our current relationship to technology. Offering blows against both the unbridled pessimism of Nick Carr (a “better-never” in Gopnik’s words), and the unbridled optimism of Clay Shirky (a “never-better”), he gives the critical distance all great literary reviews should. The third group Gopnik names, the “ever-wasers”, are the most interesting and least discussed. Consider this point:
Everything that is said about the Internet’s destruction of “interiority” was said for decades about television, and just as loudly.
(via Austin Kleon)
The premise of this piece — stop using the acronym “IRL”! — is thin, but its substance resonates with the way I use (and love) the internet.
8. When you spend your online time on what really matters to you, you experience your time online as an authentic reflection of your values.
9. When you embrace online conversations as real, you imbue them with the power to change how you and others think and feel.
This collection is fun. The internet needs more sites that make Danny Glover the default avatar.
Profane and brilliant.
(via Mr. Sullivan)
This is a bit old, but I enjoyed perusing Rob Beschizza’s attempt to highlight the hardware preferences of certain types of people.
Clay Shirky wrote this paper in 1997. His point is still sinking in:
The price of information has not only gone into free fall in the last few years, it is still in free fall now, it will continue to fall long before it hits bottom, and when it does whole categories of currently lucrative businesses will be either transfigured unrecognizably or completely wiped out, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
(via Andrew Simone)
There’s a lot of interesting stuff in this paragraph from Virginia Heffernan:
Does anyone still believe that the forms of movies, television, magazines and newspapers might exist independently of their rapidly changing modes of distribution? The thought has become unsustainable. Take magazine writing. In school or on the job, magazine writers never learn anything so broad as to “tell great stories” or “make arresting images.” You don’t study the ancient art of storytelling. You learn to produce certain numbers and styles and forms of words and images. You learn to be succinct when a publication loses ad pages. You learn to dilate when an “article” is understood mostly as a delivery vehicle for pictures of a sexy celebrity. The words stack up under certain kinds of headlines that also adhere to strict conventions as to size and tone, and eventually they appear alongside certain kinds of photos and illustrations with certain kinds of captions on pages of certain dimensions that are often shared with advertisements. Just as shooting film for a Hollywood movie is never just filming and acting in a TV ad is never just acting, writing for a magazine is never just writing.
Though the whole column’s probably worth a read for anyone interested in the future of media.
I, like most of Clay Shirkey’s students, hadn’t seen this video from the election season. His explanation of it’s power is interesting:
Dear Mr. Obama was a trifecta. For the base, a muscular but polite attack on the very issue that brought Obama into the spotlight. For the undecided, the emotional charge is much likelier to sway them than argumentation. And for the Dems — nothing. The video might as well not have existed for all it was seen in Democratic circles. Since the video’s sole speaker can’t be criticized without making the criticizer look churlish at best, almost no Dems forwarded it, linked to it, talked about it.
(via Chris Bodenner)
A funny thing happens when you copy and paste the character on this page into a text editor. (via Waxy)
Many people have linked to this article on Flickr’s Director of Community and I didn’t get why. Then I read it. It’s pretty interesting.