The internet is good for quick checking or buying a pair of shoes but as a repository of deeper thought and wisdom it has some way to go.
- Sebastian Faulkes in the Telegraph.

I am afraid he is right. I had more fun, more intellectual stimulous down the pub last night. (It's a Scottish pub, in the middle of nowhere and they do great food and fantastic live music and no, I am not telling you.)

I am lucky, I seem to attract thinkers. But on the whole, this is too hit and run, too diffuse emotionally and abstracted to be interesting.


Ruth@VS said...

I disagree and think the statement is indicative of the maker's attitude rather than what's really out there. Yes, there is rubbish on the internet and people with few brain cells to spare but I dare say you'd find that in the average pub too.

I value the discussions I have on various sites which can be very thought-provoking and in the days before the internet I would have found it extremely difficult to access the information and views of others on many such subjects.

Does the fact the writer is a member of the Dead Tree Press have anything to do with it? Once upon a time journalists performed a valuable function in society in disseminating knowledge - no longer, alas.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Ruth, Ah yes, but as I said, I get a few very decent commenters on here. The problem is one of intertextuality.

The evolution of thought is linear. It depended upon people writing long books and other people reading them and writing something in return - for example Burke and Wollstonecraft.

What you get with bloggers is noise or chatter - lots of contiguous rants that may or may not interact.

I could have a very satisfying conversation with you over a pint, but unless you have a parker pen and some Quink, correspondence, as we understand it in the early 20th Century sense, is dead.

Anonymous said...

I also disagree. Before the internet most people got their info from one newspaper or from the BBC or ITV news.
Now you can get a hundred different opinions on one subject in less time than it takes to go to the shops for a newspaper.
It makes you reconsider your opinion on subjects that you thought you understood. When I listen to the news on the tv or radio I ask myself who is speaking ? What's their agenda ? Have I read any of their blogs or newspaper articles ? Where are their loyalties ? Are they paid for by Murdoch or are they free agents ?
All things I would never have been able to do so well when there was no instant access internet.

Mrs R said...

"as a repository of deeper thought and wisdom [the internet] has some way to go"

Try looking in a local library - there will be kid's books, newspapers, magazines, journals, Mills & Boon novels as well as the "Classics". There will probably a range of DVDs as well as loads of reference books. Everything's catalogued either alphabetically or using Dewey, both of which have to be learned. It's then up to the individual to search for what they want and use it accordingly.

The internet isn't much different. Once you know how to use a search engine you can find almost anything.

Or are you referring only to the blogging world?

Ruth@VS said...

wrinkled weasel

Yes, old-fashioned correspondence may be dead but that does not mean the content of the debate has died, simply the means of transmission.

Yes, there are loads of trolls on blogs (just as there are hecklers/pissheads in the pub) but to state that because they exist, there is no thought is rather a non-sequitur, I think.

These days we communicate most frequently in short bursts rather than in long expositions such as Wollstonecraft or Thomas Paine did. That was how communication worked in their age - ours is just different, that's all.

I wander the blogosphere every day and generally I succeed in filtering out the ridiculous stuff. But I have entered into debates and had my views changed by some of them. No, I didn't write a treatise, but my thoughts have certainly evolved.

So, don't be a grumpie! Intellectual thought is alive and well, if a little hidden at times!

strapworld said...

Without the internet we would all be totally frustrated. Unable to get the truth out about politics and politicians.

We cannot rely on newspapers of the televised/radio news programmes for unbiased accurate reporting.

God Bless Blogs! and,of course, our host Wrinkled Weasel!!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Of course, the more I engage with my erudite commenters, the more my argument de-constructs itself.


Ayrdale said...

Well, the above comments have (almost) said it all Mr W. The net is what you make of it I think, and if you make a start at ALDaily.com for breakfast you've a world of stimulation waiting. Not to mention mickysmuses.blogspot.con.