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Lingering

Simply brilliant essay about how the internet is changing the way we’re communicating and consuming media. Here’s an excerpt that really caught my attention and really punched me in the face:

The distinction of newer communication technologies is really to promote a intense kind of semiotic promiscuity: more messages are sent and received, and more “content” posted and consumed, while all of these communications—often competing for our attention on one or two screens—tend to become shorter, more frequent, more spontaneous, and more casual. On that much probably everyone would agree.

Critiques, as opposed to mere descriptions, of internet culture emphasize the informality or (more judgmentally) the vulgarity of our promiscuous messages. These communications, in their ease, inexpensiveness, and abundance, suffer less pressure than before to be or seem important, meaningful, or definitive—in other words, to last in our minds. In their clamorous competition with one another, they more often strive to be the first noticed.  

The critic and erstwhile blogger Lee Siegel, in Against the Machine, a polemic against online habits, makes a list of “five open supersecrets” about bloggers:

1. Not everyone has something valuable to say.

2. Few people have anything original to say.

3. Only a handful of people know how to write well.

4. Most people will do almost anything to be liked.

5. “Customers” are always right, but “people” aren’t.

A must read.

via Give Me Something to Read

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