Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Professor Cronin is now famous

SLIS IUB > News > Dean's Notes: BLOG: see also Bathetically Ludicrous Online Gibberish

SLIS Dean and Rudy Professor of Information Science Blaise Cronin, reprinted from SLIS Network spring 2005:
... Lately, I’ve been wandering around Blogland, and I’m struck by the narcissism and banality of so many personal blogs, of which, if the statistics are to believed, there are millions. Here, private lives tumble into public view, with no respect for seemliness or established social norms. Here, as the philosopher Roger Scruton said of Reality TV, '[a]ll fig leaves, whether of language, thought or behavior, have now been removed.' What desperate craving for attention is indicated by this kind of mundane, online journaling? Surely, one writes a diary for one’s personal satisfaction; journaling is, after all, a deeply private act.

One wonders for whom these hapless souls blog. Why do they choose to expose their unremarkable opinions, sententious drivel and unedifying private lives to the potential gaze of total strangers? What prompts this particular kind of digital exhibitionism? The present generation of bloggers seems to imagine that such crassly egotistical behavior is socially acceptable and that time-honored editorial and filtering functions have no place in cyberspace. Undoubtedly, these are the same individuals who believe that the free-for-all, communitarian approach of Wikipedia is the way forward. Librarians, of course, know better.
I don't think this will rank with early predictions on airplanes and the necessity of home computers, but it's not bad. I really liked "sententious drivel"; I want to use that -- but how can sententious mean both "pithy" and "pompous"?

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