Bruno Flake wrote:
I'm not sure I quite agree with the piece. It strikes me as a little simple minded in its approach rather like a soundbite essay editorial conveniently packaged for instant consumption. I would expect the same from some middle aged man who is somewhat technophopic and that little piece would suit him fine as an instant opinion to be told in the golf club bar. I sense some bitterness in your writing on this topic. I know that as of late there has been some back biting with you and other bloggers Guido, Devils kitchen to name but two and perhaps this has coloured your vision. Nothing is perfect and let's face it blogging, tweeting (which I personally hate) and all manner of new ways to put forward ones opinions is quite new and has yet to mature. Perhaps it never will in fact it never will as long as people exist to express themselves.
I note, by the way, when the climategate saga began you seemed over cautious in your approach, some would even say sneery. Perhaps that would have been the time to wait and form an opinion on the matter than merely reacting the way you did so early in the day.
In terms of tribalism have you considered the possiblity that you, yourself, represent a tribe - the tribe of this website which, I might add is an excellent source of information?
In the end there is alot of rubbish out there but label all those who fall into the category described by Nick Cohen in the way he does is simply wrong. Indeed Nick Cohen is guilty of all the things that he accuses others of doing. Perhaps He got out of bed the wrong side before He wrote his piece.
I agree with some of the piece, and - as I indicated - his conclusion. And you're probably right to say that my own experience of the net colours my view of the blogosphere. I wouldn't say "bitterness" though ... more disappointment and frustration. I would like to see the blogosphere achieve so much more than it has - and deplore the over-emphasis on "personality politics" devoid of substance.
Perhaps though, I give Cohen marks because his is an analytical piece ... slightly different in tenor from the "ya-boo-sucks" dismissive approach of some of the earlier MSM writers. I think he is right to identify the tribalism that is developing, and it is a pity that it is, because the internet is the ideal medium for individual expression. I suppose that is what grabbed me about the piece.
That said, you are also probably right that EUREF has become a sort of "tribe" ... certainly the forum is a "tribe" of sorts ... although there is the difference in that the web allows membership of many such tribes simultaneously.
We as a people are not that good at everyday political argument. Perhaps because we don't have much on the net reflects a lack of interest in it.
Keep up the good work.
Thanks! And yes, you're dead right. We are not very good at everyday political argument ... and that is what is missing. Maybe my expectations are too high, in that I want to see arguments developed and genuine discourse.