So here I am, just a few days after publishing my first post, listening to Iconoclasts on Radio 4. Check out Andrew Keen‘s assertion that postings such as mine undermine “conventional talent and…replac(e) the wisdom of traditional experts with the innocence of online amateurs”. Cultural chaos, economic catastrophe and moral decay is but a mouse click away. (Hope some of you appreciate the subtle irony of providing a link to Wikipedia for Andrew!)
Sorry Andrew, for having thoughts and ideas above my station. Please accept my guilt for the temerity to hold a worthless opinion. Look away now if you find my photographs not to be of merit, worth or beauty. My guess is, judging by the traffic that reaches (or doesn’t) this blog, or indeed my website, that some do and some don’t. Some care not a jot, and some don’t even know that my poorly articulated and worthless opinions are “out there”.
Ignorance is indeed bliss. Without recourse to the internet, I would never have been able to recall verbatim your soothing words of wisdom and sagacity, brought to me through the wonders of FM radio. Only now can I ask the question, “did he really say that?”, and print part of what you said again here, within the context of my own rough hewn prose…
So we are led to believe that “Knowledge and truth are both being turned upside down by today’s Internet. Mainstream media was once a place we went to in order to be educated by disinterested experts about an impersonal world outside our immediate experience. But today’s Internet has become an extension of that familiar personal realm, where we go to broadcast ourselves to friends instead of learning from strangers. Rather than Marshall McLuhan’s dream of a global electronic village, the web is fragmenting society into a billion intimate hamlets, dragging it back into a discordant pre-Enlightenment dark age where all truth is personal and all knowledge local”.
Well I’m really sorry to let you know Andrew that in my 49 years of existence on this planet,prior to the existence of the internet, I absorbed information from a variety of different sources. I read widely, though in truth selected ideas from “the meritocracy of proven experts” which tended to support my world view. ( I shan’t produce “lists” as it is so reductionist!!). Disturbingly, I did sometimes partake of knowledge which hadn’t come from a “reputable” source. But you know what, I managed to construct ideas of my own from time to time. Sometimes people listened, sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes my ideas were nonsense, sometimes they weren’t. Can you see a pattern…..? So no, I don’t support the view that “…rather than a democratic utopia of creative amateurs, this self-broadcasting Internet revolution is actually leading to mass ignorance and to a pervasive culture of digital narcissism”. But just in case, enjoy the attached photograph I took which may or may not have its own intrinsic meaning….