Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Blogging and navel-gazing

Blogging and navel-gazing

Sometimes I wonder if the Internet is the worst thing that ever happened to my attention span-challenged brain. I wonder if it's a coincidence that I effectively quit grad school within a year of getting my first e-mail account and my first computer. Can't write anything longer than a pithy paragraph, can't read anything longer than a four-page article, always something more interesting over the next hyperlink. Can't read it all, can't even decide what TO read...

Yet one of my ongoing, half-thought out criticisms of academia - the narrower and narrower focus until one is the world's expert on the head of a pin - is even worse on the internet. Name an obsession, a niche, a fetish, and someone has devoted endless attention to it.

As I write I dance on the head of a pin as number one in a Google search for "disgruntled office seeker," ahead of even Charles Guiteau.

We are at the dawn of a new paradigm: the world's knowledge at your fingertips, 24 hours a day, however remote you are. And what have these few paragraphs contributed to that, like the raindrop in the ocean?

Even as I ponder my own insignificance and inattention, I wonder if I can turn it around, produce something of substance, even academic substance, out of the information overload and make it a BIG picture.

Stay tuned...

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