A Guide For Socio-Political Bloggers to Survive The Extinction Event
Posted by intellisg on August 19, 2007
This is gloss from a two part series, albeit with my own personal twist on how Socio-political bloggers can survive the extinction event. If you have not read the two part series please do so, as it will provide you the foundation to understand much of what I have to present in this article.
This is my first attempt at “machine” writing with the kind guidance of my colleagues who have both been patient and very helpful to give me insightful tips. I has always been one of my dreams to write for the brotherhood press and this is a debut article.
The general theme is to tie in many of the loose ends mentioned in Part I and II of this series. Along with this I have also highlighted the importance of setting the right expectation, perspective and strategy for both blogger, readers and researchers if they are to thrive in this brave new age of the internet.
I hope all of you enjoy it. Happy Reading. Aurora.
Why “talk” isn’t just “talk” – it’s the first stage of setting the right expectation
Is talk just talk? Set this along side the definition of the term ‘usefulness’ and ‘effectiveness’ and it may appear to hold true. It implies the talking accomplishes nothing. Now if you take both these notions and superglue it together, it’s like saying vacuum cleaners are “useless” because they can’t clean up the mess in the world. That’s just dumb because I can say, that’s not what it’s designed to accomplish – though the word ‘cleaner than clean’ features in the marketing tagline. What remains clear is there is a big difference between sorting out one’s living room and the broader mess in the world.
This underscores the need to keep things in the right scale and perspective.
Having said that, it’s understandable why even blogger frequently fall into the trap of assuming blogging can change the planet. Perusing through the annals of human history of great expectations is hardly a new theme – remember alchemy? The art of transmuting lead to gold? What about the aqua vitae aka elixir of immortality? Or the quest for the holy grail?
As Darkness mentioned, every age aspires to carve out their own mythology to define ‘usefulness’ and ‘effectiveness.’
By the same corollary the digital age aspires to do the same only this time blogging is pushed to the pedestal and dressed up as the “great hope” to facilitate social, economic and political change. The case is strong only because its so ingrained in our psyche that to accomplish anything, we need to do something, it serves to fertilize and perpetuate the myth. That’s why the Dodo program is so dangerous when it’s juxtaposed against the whole preoccupation of blogging it’s often sold and marketed as a natural extension of what can and must be – this regrettably is the first stage that sets most social-political blogger up for the fall from grace – it set’s the wrong expectation!
You can skip evolution – babbling is the serious stuff.
One of the most serious omissions in the whole discussion of what blogging is supposed to accomplish in both the short and long run is a sort of denial which serves to elide wholesale our history as a nation. We’re not Americans. Neither did we go through the Renaissance or the tumult which shaped the collective consciousness which distinguishes the West from us.
According to Darkness based on a chart he drew out, if our collective consciousness is a living organism, it will probably resemble proto-Neanderthal man who has suddenly discovered how a oversize femur can split another apes head. That puts technology and humanity in the right scale whenever we speak about socio-political blogging in Singapore. The internet age may be just as new to the West as it is to us, but seen against this patchwork of our cultural history it was to be “newer” to us than them. Only because by virtue of our cultural gaps we are still wallowing in the primordial soup of figuring out basic stuff like how to accommodate the optimal humanity quotient with this new technology. In darkness words, it’s not so different from the hilarious scene in 2001 Space Odyssey, when the aliens suddenly appeared, as in this scene:
According to this math chart, form, structure and symmetry will continue to confound us. I didn’t understand it all, but I realized, if I asked too many questions, it would interrupt his thoughts so I just listened and pick out the parts that made sense to this article.
In a nutshell we are still like babies babbling away – it’s early days and that’s why its premature to expect great changes and this is why the expectation, blogging is supposed to even ‘change’ is nothing less than the femur making the great leap to a space ship.
In this formative stage talking fulfils the important function of harmonizing and converging collective thought to create something resembling a ecology that is uniquely Singaporean. According to darkness, he believes even those who are wise in our Government such as BG George Yeo have derived at this calculation. This he goes on to say is a very good start.
Whether it’s able to produce tangible results remains a non issue: the key at this stage of primacy is nourishing it and ensuring it develops coherently by cutting away radicalism, racism and all the undesirable aspects which may root itself during its primacy.
That’s one reason why when people say to me – “hey you bloggers just talk and do nothing, I say, OK, next time you’re on a flight, I’ve get my neighbors baby to land that commercial airliner – how’s that!”
So let’s get the right perspective.
Can talking really bring about change?
What then is the best way to survive the extinction event? What if I told you, if you did nothing except just blog and not even bother about saving the whales etc – you could have such a disproportionate effect on even facilitating real and meaningful change?
Don’t believe me?
Consider one of the most enduring myths: the assumption words and actions need to be coupled to really bring about meaningful change. Sorry not true! Not historically, not even mathematically or even statistically – not even remotely – if it did the Gutenberg press wouldn’t been the most effective means in human history to debunk the myth the world is flat as a pizza in less than a 100 years. In relative terms today, that’s a bit like flying from Changi to London in less than 3 minutes flat! I am not saying that you just need to write your way to get a car or house. Of course not, in some cases words needs to be completed with action like baking a cake or giving your dog a bath – only understand this in comparative terms the pen is mightier than the sword or to paraphrase talking is more powerful than action when it is brought to bear on schools of thoughts and states of mind.
Contrary to popular belief blogging isn’t anything near useless a caricature as it’s often depicted to be by either the MSM. For most of us it’s the only means by which civilized people regularly lay the foundation for fleshing out their ideas and sharpening them into effective tools for work, life and play. It’s hardly predation and if you think real hard about it, it’s simply an extension of the village square, where a community regularly congregates – for one real reason sometimes other than to tell others, they stand two inches taller if they don’t slouch. Or to even proclaim whole disquisitions of truths – for years mankind was always sought out this square, common ground or place. In our age, it exist in the virtual domain and here mankind is doing roughly the same as he has done through the ages – conversing, bartering, teasing along with the odd duel now and then followed by the occasional drama that rivets everyone.
[This part is from darkness which he expressed with a wan of sadness as he showed me his equations. I’ve never seen him so sad before when he share with me what he believed to be the inexorable end – the impending doom that even as he said, the brotherhood is not able to prevent] I am inclined to believe, those who lament bloggers can accomplish very little except talk have simply missed the whole point. Yes, I for the doer’s their goal to change the world is divine and even noble, but even they have to struggle against the odds: indeed who can disagree fairness and equality certainly makes winning case to get off your ass and do something. But it’s closer to bravado than accomplishing anything significant only because within than worldview lies a certain arrogance and ignorance concerning how the world really is. For one this erudite lot commit the sin of assuming – the “general audience” is an eclectic pool of decently educated people probably like themselves. Who can be induced, by strong enough reasoning and dialogue to even see the good they can offer. Truth remains not everyone shares their enthusiasm especially in an age where the temptation to seek instant gratification has never before being heightened to such a degree by technology. Neither can one assume they (the general audience) even have the patience to sustain an avid interest in socio-political affairs in an age where pleasure of the written word losing the on-going battle with the digital apotheosis of mass culture. It gives me no pleasure to demolish this myth of the general audience –the prospects are at best too bleak to even contemplate on a long term basis. I have modeled the outcome at least a dozen times and on every occasion the results remain the exactly same, that socio-political scene may even disappear one day completely.
That is why the message must go forth even if it lacks an imperative, rhyme or reason – as humans even we the statistical insignificant still have the hope for great expectations and this is something ants can’t do – to believe we will one day find a place called home.
I hope this has not been too long, I so wanted to make a good first effort.
I would like to thank Darkness for spending a whole day with me, it has been a privilege sir!
Long live the brotherhood!
(This has been brought to you by your friend Brotherhood Controller, Aurora / Written by [lead] Aurora – Darkness / Vollariane / Cerebus / Memphisto / Prometheus / Politics Economics/ Sociology – ES 9908218D Part III – The Brotherhood Press 2007)
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