Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sharpening the memetic razors

If there's one thing slightly more annoying than blog posts the existences of which are due entirely to some minor irritation on the part of their creator it is post subtitles on CiF [1] that are laid out in the manner:

"We need a [insert your choice of damnfool idea here]"

The first thing that annoys me about this habit is the presumption of any journalist or blogger deciding that "we" need something. The audacity.

The second thing that annoys me about this habit is the wholly unintentional Royal Pronounity of the form. Like the author thinks they're the Queen. Damn their eyes etc.

Despite this Robert Sharp is excused, not so much because he didn't annoy me, but because he actually talks sense [2]:

Despite the robust nature of much of the debate online, I do perceive a sort of online Omerta, a Way of the Blogs. This states that if you have been offended or disrespected online, you can always fight your corner by setting up a counter-blog somewhere else. The idea is that you do not attempt to suppress the offensive material, legally or otherwise, but instead use the same medium to counter and debunk it.

More diverse memes and more aggressive selection pressure ensures that only optimal ideas are amplified and replicated.

And such is the power of liberal pluralism. If you can't stone them to death then join them.

[1] I know I promised to stop reading CiF after NNT advised that newspapers were full of tosh, but as CiF is theoretically a blog aggregate and as such a Public Forum I am entirely justified in finally dropping my ill-thought-out New Years Resolution.

[2] And in any case he is actually identifying a blogging phenomena rather than actually advocating one. I blame the copy editors for the silly (and blood-pressure-increasing) subtitle.

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