With a great deal going on in real life, I have not been keeping up with the conservative/rightwing bloggers recently. It was a mistake checking in on some of them today. I am dismayed by the persistent and intense hate, fear-mongering and intolerance. This dismay coincides with a couple interesting pieces on blogging.
First, this week’s “Technologist” column by Steven Levy in Newsweek was on bloggers this week. The following excerpt reflects my thoughts over the last few months (even though I could be contributing to the syndrome):
Name-calling and intolerance of opposing points of view have reached epidemic levels on Web logs. And when it comes to hammering away on a noisy subject that ultimately distracts from more important issues, the Blogosphere can make cable television look like a 1950s debating society. Judging by its dominance in the blog world (I’m talking about the civic sector here, not the countless blogs on other topics or people’s personal lives), you’d think that Rathergate was bigger than Watergate, Iraq and Britney’s putative wedding combined.
I celebrate the liberating tools that let people post their thoughts unfiltered. But as with many other utopian predictions about how the open nature of the Net will create arenas that transcend foibles of the physical world, our faults have followed us to cyberspace. We were promised a society of philosophers. But the Blogosphere is looking more and more like a nation of ankle-biters.