Monday, April 16, 2007

thoughts and annotations on rheingold's article

"Previous communications media dissolved ancient barriers of time and space that had separated people, and in the process changed the way people thought; first, alphabetic language and then printing technology created a kind of community memory, a stored groupmind accessible to many, not just to the bards and priests who had been the keepers of collective knowledge in the era of oral cultures..."
yeah, but what are we missing out on? story-telling, the group experience, the oral tradition, a shared it worth it to trade all of those things in?

"Some people seem to use these depersonalized modes of communication to get very personal with each other..."
how personal can you get when you're online, and someone else is online, and you're both wearing masks that you've created out of your own fancy? this all seems very strange to me...are these people deliberately seeking out non-truth? non-identies? non-people?

"Emoting seems awkward and artificial at first, but once you get the hang of it, poses give you some added control over the atmosphere in which a conversation takes place--a taste of the all-important context that is often missing from words alone..."
so this is basically just being really self-aware of your actions as a human, and trying to translate them into an artificial sense. it's like trying to measure the same thing with a yard stick and a meter stick--can you ever get the same number? does it ever add up to the same thing?

"Communication addicted..."
I thought that this was a very important thought. people who like to MUD aren't being asocial, they're being hyper social. the part that i don't understand is why they don't get on a plane and seek out these new connections and friendships, or why they don't walk down their dorm room hall, or walk down their street at night and befriend a homeless person.

"This person met his responsibilities in life, so whose cultural police are going to tell him he's an addict who needs help?..."
you can still meet responsibilites and be a sick person. consider the man who just needs a little bit of heroin to get through his day, and takes it everyday. he still goes to work, plays with his kids, loves his wife...or what about the guy who had a normal life, held down a steady job, did everything he was suppoed to do that put an ad out online seeking someone to slice up his penis while he watched, and filmed it? meeting responsibilities and deadlines in life is not the mark of a healthy person.

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