Sunday, March 02, 2003

Absolutely brutal indictment of blogging, memes, academia and a whole series of other related topics at Gimle.

Here's the bit about blogs:

Weblogs are prime territory for this kind of simplistic mental ooze. Memes—thought infections—which crawl, burrow, drill and scratch their way from weblog to weblog, the prime infection vectors being the so-called “A-list” webloggers.

Topics are covered and then dismissed with a short paragraph and a link.

Debate consists of short volleys of 80 word meme brain-boils where the thought-virus biomass simmers under the thin skin of comments and trackbacks. Everything can be categorised.

The meme-plague is the only thing which can destroy the weblogging revolution, murder it in its tracks.

Everybody speaks the same, in the same way, about the same thing, with little to no variation. We could easily turn into the lightspeed version of the same unsubstantiated bullshit of postmodern academia, shedding even the pretense of giving ideas space and scope for discussion.

What killed the author and poisoned academia is trying to return through the violated corpses of a horde of ’blogger-zombies spouting inane commentary on the links of the day.

We aren’t there yet. There is still a critical mass of well-structured debate and good writing within the “blogosphere”.

But as the popularity of weblogging increases, the number of meme-victims will rise and the blogdex top fifty will not only describe the fifty most popular subjects amongst webloggers…

It will describe the only subjects.

Concentrated Viral Refuse.

And the weblogging meme will eat its own.
Personally (and unsurprisingly) I find this a little extreme, and am a little skeptical that the problems of a relatively long-form medium (such as the academic paper) are tracably similar to the problems of the extreme short-form medium of blogging, but it (and the rest of the article) contains interesting ideas to chew on.

Even if I think Bjarnason is dead wrong about Campbell.

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