Saturday, December 29, 2012

Link Love

Many commentators discuss how the internet is making people stupider. This easy observation has evidence for it, and yet misses the point and actual growth dynamic of which cyberspace is merely a symptom. That is a topic to be sketched more fully at some later date. 
But since a basic characteristic of stupidity is thinking you know something you do not, I cannot resist pointing out how much easier it is now to appear well-informed rather than actually be well-informed.  In the older olden days, before we were even a speck in anyone's eye, people could create a visual demonstration of their intellectual interests. The book shelves weighed down with books which could be taken in at a glance. The faded colored bindings hardly need their titles to be scanned to convey a picture of their seriously intellectual owner. As Jan Cox pointed out, this common practise, says nothing about whether the books are actually read. Most likely they are not, they exist to bolster the self-image of their owner.

Now you can do that with much less effort. I call it link love. You do not have to expend money at all, certainly not on books, on book cases, on floor space for such furniture. Now you can save money and convey the same impression, of an intellectual gravity which may, very well may, be unearned. I refer to the artfully referenced link to a certain subject, or even to a list of links regarding some topic. You needn't even spend money or TIME, creating this impression: you use a search engine to compile a list, find an apt sounding reference. As with everything modern, creating a good impression is easier now. The timeless of course bolsters, nourishes, invisibly, and can temporarily be disregarded. The dimensions of reality  continue fresh with an attitude to constantly learn more. Such makes referencing links trivial. 

Jan's point about books made the same point I do here, analyzing not -- links, but the use of links among ordinary people. You cannot put your credibility in the cloud, you cannot put it in the eyes of your peers. You cannot put ii in any interior speech or picture. You can only put a real worth in a quiet place, where 
no one 
see it.

But that realization of course does require effort. As Jan Cox said decades ago; I call this enterprise the W.O.R.K., because that is what it is--- work. Not a job for the ordinary.