Saturday, October 28, 2006

It's Raining, So There's Time to Think

To what degree is this class a swarm? I don't think we're there yet, but by the end of the term, we might be.

There are lot ways to think about this. One is to say that news (and news is just the spread of new information) has become a conversation, instead of a top-down instruction model. Civilities has tried hard to explore this question of whether pooling information deomcratically leads to a different place, but I get the feeling his site is kind of turning into a spore. I mean, I don't think he was able to get a lot of cooperation for a site that was, fundamentally, about the study of cooperation. Also, a lot of his links are busted because the sites went dead. I want to teach an hour or so of one of our classes about dead blogs. What happens when the blogger decides to pack it in? I bet Aldon has some poignant examples of and thoughts about that. Also, a long time ago, somebody brought up pamphleteers, so while I think of it here is somebody making that connection.


joeydee said...

That's an interesting analogy about the pamphleteers. I'm currently working on a report on Tom Paine for a summer course I took (which I still haven't handed in yet, but that's another story.) The pamphet "Common Sense", written by Paine, was instrumental in putting the American public into the proper frame of mind for the Revolution. Back in those days, if someone had an idea for a pamphlet, he would simply write it, pay for its publication out of his own pocket (or get assistance from a printer) and then sell it on the city streets. If the pamphlet was well-written, it would travel the countryside by its reputation and word of mouth. or it would be reprinted by other printers, often without royalties paid. Pamphlets like Common Sense made it all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to France and England, which was pretty remarkable for those days. Good blogs travel in much the same way, by reputation and word of mouth, albeit far more swiftly. If our society ever deteriorated to the point where another revolution was in order, I wonder if that consensus would be gained through the free-style communication style of community blogs, like the pamphleteers of yesteryear.

lednik said...

Pamphlets died out though, so are blogs just the genesis of a more formalized internet style?