Monday, May 19, 2008

Monkey see, monkey do: Death of an opinion

The internet is in a state of frenzy. After the dust has settled down on the general euphoria surrounding ‘social media’ and the ‘blog’ revolution in India it is time to take stock of the situation at hand.

The blog is supposedly a tool to revolutionize thought, message dissemination and freedom of opinion. The panacea to unbridled thought, free expression at its ridiculous best!

But the irony is the fact that most bloggers, including some bastions of independent opinion, regurgitate the same repetitive fare dished out across the board. The concept of individuality which the haloed blog is supposed to uphold is drastically convoluted to function as a generic voice which reflects all other noise absorbed randomly.

The boon of technology is replication of data with a miniscule effort, somewhat like an organism which replicates its genes to form new characteristics. Individuality revels in this unique progression. Evolution ensures survival.

But, this very fact can become a sorry excuse to mirror someone else’s thoughts, concepts and ideas and pass them off as one’s own.

Original work, I feel, is quite an overrated commodity. Derivative work forms a major chunk of all new developments, thoughts that appear. These may seem sporadic and unrelated but the genesis of the same could be traced in a primitive form to a source. This hindrance of reaching the right source is what most bloggers bank on to reach deep into their pits and spew the most generic bile that one could muster on to their blinking pretentious screens.

I do not claim to be any different but yes, I do give due credit to the source.

The medium is at crossroads. Its evolution is largely dependent on the unbridled freedom that it has enjoyed till now. But, credibility has remained a contentious issue. Should we have some sort of gatekeepers to mind this space? Is regulation in the offing to make some sense of this chaotic environment? Or should the message never be controlled, let the ravaging romp of words, ideas continue to pierce through a cross section of cultures.

I am not quite sure whether aligning your self with a blog search, or a group or a creative commons license is the best approach for this medium. Aren’t we evolving through similar systems which exist in current
MSM space?

The tendency of a human being to congregate, to form groups, to exchange ideas, to share thoughts and accept different perceptions lead to a more complex system whose dynamics could change the way we think. But, is it safe to assume that those aligned with certain groups or have some form of certification or validation from a more ‘experienced’ blogger is reason enough to tolerate mediocrity.

There are still many questions which plagues this space and its eventual resolution through exchange of opinions and consensus will significantly change the models of messaging and thought dissemination that exist. Nonetheless, the system will perforce lead a revolution that will redefine the ideas that threaten to stifle innovation and stagnates dynamic process.

Until then, there exists a void which gnaws at the very foundations of this medium.


Theodorus said...

For sure there should be a monitoring authority or something equivalent to it for checking content.
What exactly are these measures though?????

Vinny said...

But thats what i am arguing against.. . regulation as a norm kills any form of free unrestrained idea which could change the norm.. The sporadic nature of the medium helps it to evolve... And a gatekeeper, like in the case of institutionalized regulation will only harm the free nature of this space..

Also, there may be some debate on the very nature of such an regulator as, an individual or a group, would be subjective and so not necessarily inclusive

Theodorus said...

Ths monitoring authority could chek if ppls ideas are their own...thts it...they cud b anythn...but shud b their own....