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Internets Serious Business

Alexan DriteAlexan Drite Registered User regular
edited April 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
Tycho wrote:
People seem to think that by posting in threads and agreeing with other people they are changing the world. They are not. They are posting in threads online. The universe will not be altered by forum threads, even those which are very wry. Being outraged online is a form of entertainment, and refreshing a thread to receive a hit of consensus packs the thrill of genuine activism without requiring any sweat. I'm afraid this test may require more from the community than a sardonic jpeg.

The Way I see things, there are three possible answers to this.
1: Tycho is correct, posting on the internet is incapable of bringing about real change. But that is true of a great many things, in fact, almost all things in this world. Let's take voting for instance. As Thanatos once said
Thanatos wrote:
Voting is one of the least effective avenues of change in this country
And personally I agree with Thanatos when he said this (or at least I believe it was him, if I am mistaken I'll take it back). The individual vote is irrelevant, and even in the event of sweeping revolution, under the current system inertia keeps most institutions in check until the next revolution to restore.
Even Media, such as the news or the press, are incapable of bringing about change. Rather media institutions work as a sort of masturbatory service for the public. Giving symbols and distractions rather then actual news or reality. 6 months of coverage of Natalee Holloway did nothing to bring her back. 6 months of coverage of Michael Jackson did nothing more to prove him guilty or innocent. 6 months of coverage on Hurricanes did nothing to prepare the nation for Katrina. 6 months of dancing around Terri Shaivo did nothing to bring her from her coma.
Even when the media covers legitimate news or politics, that too is built around info-tainment articles. Rather then cover legitimately important topics or debates, they instead focus on events and policies and scandals that will bring in perceived outrage and as such more viewership for their commercials. Instead of bringing about better governments and politicians, they instead create a new breed that caters better to this cycle and politics.

That leaves, what, conventional marches? Protests? Standing in front of a building waving a sign does nothing these days. It makes you look like a jobless hippy with nothing better to do then stand in front of a building with a sign. Marches and protests were once legitimate avenues of change. This we can not deny. I believe the increase in mediaization, along with the over abundance of trivial protests have ruined these. Only the most outrageously large or hugely symbolic of protests are capable of bringing significant change. Or alternatively when you hear a protest from the unexpected, and in those cases only when our government or organization truly knows what they're doing is wrong.

Instead, the biggest changes to the world come from monetary protests. Dump a stock, or boycott a product, and wait for results. If enough people do that, then yes, corporations will respond. But hasn't that simply shown that money is capable of change, and not PEOPLE. We already know that money can bring about change, that is not in dispute, the problem is the power of the people, or more importantly, the individual to bring about change.

So that leaves the internet. I think it was shinto who said,
The internet is the only legitimate forum for debate
. And yes, this it true, the internet is the only forum that allows true anonymity, and the ability to pause and develop our ideas while staying informed and fresh about information, and have a large volume of sources easily available to debate. But, if the internet is incapable of change, then we are left with nothing. There can not be any avenue of change in the world.

Instead, the only real avenues of change in the world either involve money, or a considerable amount of time and patience to change it. You could write a half dozen best selling books on changing the world. You could have a tv and/or radio program with millions of viewers, and you can still be ignored. Instead, actively lobbying for politicians, or better yet, working long hours and donating time and money to help get a candidate who shares your views into office can work.
Sort of.
Until he becomes another drone of the system.

No, instead, you have to rally in protest and rage. Not against your opponents, but against the people you support. Remember Harriet Miers? When, for one brief moment, an entire base just exploded with rage against the hundred slights the administration had done upon its base. Some say that that had been the plan all along, just to get Alito in. If this is true, then, I'm sad to say nothing can be done. Even the best rage and panic amongst the people can be manipulated. Personally, I believe that the people in office are not that smart. Seriously, Bush can't even swallow a pretzel.

2: The second possibility is that Tycho is correct, but that his statement should only apply to the internets. The virtual nature of the web by definition makes it detached from reality. This would be easy or convenient, to argue, but it happily ignores the serious problems within institutions, or the few cases of internet change. Can we not point to say, internet rumor sites like the Drudge Report, the rise of the bloggers in the 2004 elections over the old media? Can we not point to moveon.org or the other sites along those lines? Are we to say that there changes to the world are equally as artificial?

3: The final possibility is a hopeful one. That the internet is not just a valid avenue for change, but in fact, one of the few and best avenues of change. I find the evidence for this sparse at best. The internet's power is not in our ability to gather and rant and rave, but in the abundance of fast, up to the date information, from sources we otherwise can not get. Web Forums play a part in this. I would not have seen, or known about thousands of things if not for this forum. Half of using the internet is knowing places to get good information that's fresh and relevant. The gathering of people here lets new ideas or even just a sort of pulse on the 'feel' of the internet at large. Other sites can do this, and some probably do it better, depending on what niche or specific groups you're into.

But yeah, Tycho's right, ranting on the internet isn't going to do anything. Hell, he doesn't even read forums.
Tycho wrote:
I still can't get my head around forums... that method of communication is impossible for me. Like, I can't keep track of it. I'll think "Ok, well, now it's time for me to contribute something", and then the next post is like "KITTIES!" And there's these cats, and they're in a basket, and I'm thinking "Well, they have an excellent point..." .
I would point out that this makes Tycho an amateur, and his less then expert experience does not give weight to his argument.
But he is still right. Still why bother? I guess it's fun, and let's one have an illusion of power or a sort of release of built up thoughts.
Like a communal diary or something.
==
Personally:
I find it disturbingly sad that one of the world's most successful bloggers would contend that posting on the internet isn't serious business. I also agree with him that it is entirely a true statement. I think Tycho has actually stumbled onto something larger and more general about our culture at large. Many of the avenues in our world that we recognize as avenues of power or change, or artificial. The individual is incapable of moving the world in this new era of info-tainment. Governmental forces and global forces act completely independently of the whims and desires of the public. Individuals can only make exceedingly minor shifts in the direction of the world, and that all convenient avenues of change are frauds, designed as road blocks to stop the more easily pleased.

Internet forums: Nothing you say or do on the internet has any conceivable weight or merit in changing the world. No amount of debate here will bring about change. Instead it acts as a circle jerk, as a sort of intellectual game, or simply an ego booster. Debating here is about as important and as influential as playing a video game, and sometimes just as fun. ;-)

Before anyone posts it, I know Tycho doesn't read the forums. It makes it even more, is ironic the correct term? Making a post on the internet on how debating on the internet is pointless?

Discuss!

Alexan Drite on
«13

Posts

  • OtakuD00DOtakuD00D Can I hit the exploding rocks? San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I LIKE KITTIES

    OtakuD00D on
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  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    It's not a forum per se, but bitching in the comments of Major Nelson's blog matters (if only a little). He says he passes comments back to the folks that actually roll out XBLA content and DLC. You've just got to know who to talk to is all.

    Besides, if a community grows large enough, a forum post could have an effect. I'm not sure if it would be noticed or not, but if we all stand together and don't purchase the GH2 3-song 500-point packs MS could notice that they're selling less packs than expected as compared to number of GH2 bundles in the hands of gold subscribers.

    People talk. That's how shit gets started.

    jclast on
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  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The arguments against forums, except for the kitties one, could be made against any form of communication.

    Yar on
  • drinkinstoutdrinkinstout Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    PUPPIES >> KITTIES

    edit :(

    drinkinstout on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited April 2007
    Internet posting doesn't "make a difference" in the same way that hippies protesting the Vietnam war made an (overstated) difference. It doesn't "make a difference" in the way that organized boycotts occasionally make a difference. It doesn't "make a difference" in the way that class-action lawsuits make a difference.

    But the simple act of passing around information and trading opinions and views is critical and necessary to a healthy democracy, market and world.

    Irond Will on
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  • OtakuD00DOtakuD00D Can I hit the exploding rocks? San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    PUPPIES >> KITTIES

    KITTIES >> PUPPIES

    MY MIND HAS BEEN STIMULATED THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT ARGUMENT

    SURE BEATS GOING OUT AND DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT

    OtakuD00D on
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  • The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I might as well just chime in and say that, personally, what little respect I may (or may not) have for the conservative viewpoint was largely formed by reading ElJeffe's posts on here.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    Great post.

    Internet can be a very effective tool for bringing about change. We just haven't discovered how to use it effectively and distinguish our content from all the noise.

    Think about how things were before the Internet. Self-expression, while still free, was limited to a person's economic power. If you were rich and/or famous you could go to a media station for an interview or something and express yourself to the masses there. You could write a book, hoping that not only will a publisher agree to publish it, but that enough people will buy it so that it will make a difference. Or you could call your local radio station every morning or night and beg for a few seconds of air time to get something off your chest.

    Things are different now. Look at sites like YouTube and Myspace and their what seems like thousands of clones and how they have revolutionized the way people express themselves. Think about blogs, or small, local newspapers who now thanks to the Internet have a chance to expand their viewership. Think about forums and mailing lists and online chat rooms.

    The Internet may not be enough by itself to bring about change. But it is actually more powerful than that, because ideas and opinions can now move across the globe with just a mouse-click and influence the way other people think about topics. This in turn influences the way they act, the way they vote, the way they go about organizing campaigns or informing their friends at their weekly happy-hour get-together.

    If someone on these forums reads a post and is moved by it, and goes ahead and creates a Facebook/MySpace group, and that group grows to become something bigger, there you go, the person who originally made that post has changed the world. They may not be the person who actually took action, but you have to remember that behind every action is an idea, and every idea is generated in someone's mind.

    ege02 on
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    What's funny is I think Tycho would get along great here in D&D.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • drinkinstoutdrinkinstout Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I don't know about mastubatory, but forums do allow people to express their views whereas many do not have that option in their day-to-day life. Forums offer a near limitless number of topics and contributors from all walks of life who may live all over the world. Discussing things with people in general I feel is satisfying and doing so about things that "real life" might not give you the chance to discuss is pretty awesome. Oh and you can do it all by yourself! wait... it is kinda mastubatory, huh? hrm...

    drinkinstout on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited April 2007
    Yar wrote: »
    The arguments against forums, except for the kitties one, could be made against any form of communication.
    Yeah I reread Tycho's post. It seems to me to rest on the idea that people on the internet believe that their opinions and words will somehow magically and directly translate into "world change". Like if I hate on George Bush enough on the internet he's going to have to resign. Which would be a silly position to hold. I'm not quite sure where he gets it, though maybe he frequents different message boards.

    Irond Will on
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  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    Everyone look at my kitty.
    Kitty slashed my bandwidth.

    ViolentChemistry on
  • Alexan DriteAlexan Drite Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Internet posting doesn't "make a difference" in the same way that hippies protesting the Vietnam war made an (overstated) difference. It doesn't "make a difference" in the way that organized boycotts occasionally make a difference. It doesn't "make a difference" in the way that class-action lawsuits make a difference.

    But the simple act of passing around information and trading opinions and views is critical and necessary to a healthy democracy, market and world.

    Is it? Have seen our democracy become healithier from the advent of the internet? Has our democracy improved from the coming of the 24 hour news station? There seems to be an inverse relation between the quality of democracy and the number of talking heads.

    Let's do a simple comparison. Which is better, Shows that rely upon callers, or shows that rely upon experts? The first is closer to our, general populace of info coming out from the public, and the second is an informed and educated opinion. Which is better, the articles in the news, or the Opinion-Call in line?

    I think that, instead, the cheapness of communication has lead to a spread of inferior and bad ideas, who have always out numbered the good, both in the amount of supporters of it, and their general quantity. Bad ideas chasing bad, and giving the illusion that something meaningful has come from it.

    Alexan Drite on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2007
    THE NEXT PERSON TO POST SOMETHING ABOUT KITTIES OR PUPPIES OR SOMETHING THAT IS NOT THE THREAD TOPIC IS GOING TO FIND AN INFRACTION CARD PLACED HASTILY AND UNCOMFORTABLY WITHIN HIS POOP CHUTE.

    ElJeffe on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    The arguments against forums, except for the kitties one, could be made against any form of communication.
    Yeah I reread Tycho's post. It seems to me to rest on the idea that people on the internet believe that their opinions and words will somehow magically and directly translate into "world change". Like if I hate on George Bush enough on the internet he's going to have to resign. Which would be a silly position to hold. I'm not quite sure where he gets it, though maybe he frequents different message boards.

    I suspect he's familiar mostly with MySpace blogs and the rantings of self-important web comic artists, and doesn't spend a lot of time with the more "serious" internet movements and blogs, nor with actually intelligent forums such as D&D. D&D, as an example, does not change the world in any dramatic fashion, but as celery implied, it can change minds. My opinions over the past few years have changed a fair bit, in no small part because of the people I chatted with here. The internet is a medium for discussion, and it can be used to great effect, or it can be filled with erotic furry fan-fic. At it's best, though, the internet is a powerful tool for communication and change.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    The arguments against forums, except for the kitties one, could be made against any form of communication.
    Yeah I reread Tycho's post. It seems to me to rest on the idea that people on the internet believe that their opinions and words will somehow magically and directly translate into "world change". Like if I hate on George Bush enough on the internet he's going to have to resign. Which would be a silly position to hold. I'm not quite sure where he gets it, though maybe he frequents different message boards.

    It does magically translates into world change in some instances, though. Just as some of the coffeehouses and pubs of decades ago led to changes in their world.

    or
    jclast wrote:
    People talk. That's how shit gets started.

    moniker on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    Anyone who thinks online debates can change the world is out of their fucking minds. Most of the population don't even know what a forum is. What they are is largely a) a fun way to let off some steam, b) bizarro written performance art, c) somewhere to hone your own beliefs, assuming you're lucky enough to find a forum that isn't full of shitcocks.

    The Cat on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Anyone who thinks online debates can change the world is out of their fucking minds. Most of the population don't even know what a forum is. What they are is largely a) a fun way to let off some steam, b) bizarro written performance art, c) somewhere to hone your own beliefs, assuming you're lucky enough to find a forum that isn't full of shitcocks.

    I think that c), though, taken in aggregate, actually can change the world, even if it's only to result in a large number of people having put more thought into their opinions and beliefs. The fact that it's not a focused change on par with removing a world leader or curing polio doesn't make it irrelevant.

    ElJeffe on
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  • The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Anyone who thinks online debates can change the world is out of their fucking minds. Most of the population don't even know what a forum is. What they are is largely a) a fun way to let off some steam, b) bizarro written performance art, c) somewhere to hone your own beliefs, assuming you're lucky enough to find a forum that isn't full of shitcocks.

    I think that c), though, taken in aggregate, actually can change the world, even if it's only to result in a large number of people having put more thought into their opinions and beliefs. The fact that it's not a focused change on par with removing a world leader or curing polio doesn't make it irrelevant.
    Exactly -- "every word understood is a transaction."

    Online communities can have real, non-negligible effects on people, and when combined, can be real components of gradual cultural shift.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
  • FawkesFawkes __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    What Jeffe and (omg!) celery said.

    I think Tycho is correct, forum debates change nothing. I also think he's wrong, and that changes in invidivual minds through debate are all the change there is. In fact, my mind can bounce quite happily from thinking that nothing changes anything, to everything changes everything, without skipping a beat, and without any particular contradiction.

    But I don't think there was anything in that post which specifically argued against forums. More stating that he thought forum posting was, in the end, fairly useless, and casting a scathing tongue over those who overrate the importance of their online contributions. This, of course, is an easy position to take for someone who has essentially a personal blog read by (apparently) millions.

    Find it quite interesting, however, that so far the posters here who tend to be of the more liberal high-ideals'n'beliefs persuasion have little faith in the capacity for individual change, and the allegedly more dogmatic conservative types are the ones espousing the milk of human potential.

    Fawkes on
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Tycho has a track record for regarding public forums as a lower plane of communication and debate, and he isn't wrong. I doubt he truly believes that forums are, say, worthless, afterall, his livelyhood is essentially one big forum thread that only he can post in.

    Problem is that forums, especially public forums, even more especially public pop-culture forums are cespools for ego stroking and other brand-named bullshit, which Tycho references on multiple occasions. The idea of a forum itself is really the definitive medium for debate. That internet forums generally come uncensored and loosely moderated does make them inherently less effective at what a more structured debate system would deliver in the same amount of time.

    Jasconius on
  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Fawkes wrote: »
    Find it quite interesting, however, that so far the posters here who tend to be of the more liberal high-ideals'n'beliefs persuasion have little faith in the capacity for individual change, and the allegedly more dogmatic conservative types are the ones espousing the milk of human potential.

    That's standard. Non-voting is higher on the left.

    My personal theory, constructed this very moment, is that broadly speaking, conservatism is correct to feel less thwarted by the American system, which is carefully designed to impede change and force compromise and/or gridlock.

    Mahnmut on
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  • ED!ED! Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Posting on the internet alone wont change anything. Posting on the internet in order to rally the masses, who in turn get in the "Real World" and start moving will. Im sure someone thought that watching news coverage of Vietnam wouldnt change anything - we see how well that went for "The Establishment".

    As for the whole "voting isnt affective" - balls. Sure your vote may seem meaningless when its one of 100million. But how about that local vote, or that vote of thousands that puts the right senators, council members, representatives in office, or approves a bond that provides funding for more schools or local shelters for the homeless or battered women or etc.

    ED! on
    "Get the hell out of me" - [ex]girlfriend
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    ED! wrote: »
    As for the whole "voting isnt affective" - balls. Sure your vote may seem meaningless when its one of 100million. But how about that local vote, or that vote of thousands that puts the right senators, council members, representatives in office, or approves a bond that provides funding for more schools or local shelters for the homeless or battered women or etc.

    The bolded part is what we're saying.

    If you feel strongly about something, voting is the absolute least effective means of seeing it get done. Because your vote as one person out of 300 million is insignificant.

    ege02 on
  • ED!ED! Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I understand that - but were talking about ONE election your voting in.

    That I think is the problem with the glamorizing of politics lately - so many folks have tunnel vision and think politics begins and ends with George W. Bush.

    And sure your one vote, on its own isnt much. But neither is one push-up; when you vote you arent voting to change things yourself, your voting to support the person who voted before you, and who will vote after you. If you merely see voting in terms of a single person, then of course the system in and of itself will fail because your thinking is designed to make it so.

    ED! on
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  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited April 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Internet posting doesn't "make a difference" in the same way that hippies protesting the Vietnam war made an (overstated) difference. It doesn't "make a difference" in the way that organized boycotts occasionally make a difference. It doesn't "make a difference" in the way that class-action lawsuits make a difference.

    But the simple act of passing around information and trading opinions and views is critical and necessary to a healthy democracy, market and world.

    Is it? Have seen our democracy become healithier from the advent of the internet? Has our democracy improved from the coming of the 24 hour news station? There seems to be an inverse relation between the quality of democracy and the number of talking heads.

    Let's do a simple comparison. Which is better, Shows that rely upon callers, or shows that rely upon experts? The first is closer to our, general populace of info coming out from the public, and the second is an informed and educated opinion. Which is better, the articles in the news, or the Opinion-Call in line?

    I think that, instead, the cheapness of communication has lead to a spread of inferior and bad ideas, who have always out numbered the good, both in the amount of supporters of it, and their general quantity. Bad ideas chasing bad, and giving the illusion that something meaningful has come from it.
    Ideas discussed among non-experts will always be less informed and intricate than those from experts. However, the most refined opinions dictated over mass-media or discussed within rarified journals and policy papers do nothing for the general population. There's something to be said about ideas and viewpoints being percolated around and from the general citizenry, especially when it has the capability of breadth the way the internet does.

    Irond Will on
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  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited April 2007
    Heirarchical forums is an interesting discussion, but not really germaine to Alexan's topic. I'll spin it off into its own thread.

    Irond Will on
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  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2007
    Could forums/blogs change minds? Certainly. I'm just not sure if the norm is going to places where everyone agrees with you, or just generally mixed forums, though.

    Elki on
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  • Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Exactly, what's the alternative? If I want to express my opinion, where else am I supposed to do it?
    As a concerned non-expert do I not have the right to express my (admittedly) non-expert opinion just because it serves no real purpose?

    When I post here, I'm not doing it to change worlds, I'm simply using it as an avenue of expression and see how my opinion gels with other members of a certain community.

    So, maybe it's just a shallow desire for validation. So what? Where was it implied that forum posters think their posts are that important?

    Romantic Undead on
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  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited April 2007
    Elkamil wrote: »
    Could forums/blogs change minds? Certainly. I'm just not sure if the norm is going to places where everyone agrees with you, or just generally mixed forums, though.
    If DailyKos and FreeRepublic are any indication, the latter. But even that - the crystalization of previously unexpressed demographics - can be an important facet to society. I mean; before the internet, it just wouldn't have been possible for most internet communities, including this one, to exist.

    Irond Will on
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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    This seems to assume that people never bring their arguments out of the forum.

    I took my internet-derived arguing skills to the university's free speech area, to deal with the hateful rantings of born-again preachers.

    It started small, but before I left, there was enough buzz going around that we had large crowds gathering on a daily basis, and every once awhile another person would feel empowered enough to argue against the hate, and ask questions they'd never asked before, in an extremely conservative, religious city.

    There was even an outright day of protest by a group that temporarily formed in the wake of the original speakers that was enough to get on the news (and I am in the video for .0001 seconds!).

    The changes there were, of course, small.

    But hundreds of people had little choice to be aware of it. Some of those may well have been changed by it.

    And who knows where that might lead.

    Incenjucar on
  • NocturneNocturne Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The argument about how powerful the internet and its forums are as a form of change is a good one.

    However I think the real issue here is why the hell Tycho is basically saying we're wasting our time and need to do more for him. I feel directly insulted as a frequenter of these forums, and also insulted as a long-time fan of PA who has supported it in multiple ways throughout the years, and now basically being called unimportant by Tycho.

    It comes off as an immature and condescending jab. Congratulations, you have a website frequented by thousands of people a day, one of the biggest events in the gaming world (PAX), and raise money for charity. You have a very strong voice. And you have the audacity to point out our lack of influence?

    I just found the last part of the post extremely patronizing.

    Nocturne on
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I tend to hone my ideas or change my ideas on these forums because the people seem to not be largely retards.

    But, re: Tycho condescending. This isn't really the first time he's managed to miss the point of something. The notable example coming to mind is his hatred of wikipedia, which let's face it, happened because wikipedia decided it has one goal and they failed to setup their own wiki.

    electricitylikesme on
  • SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Ideas discussed among non-experts will always be less informed and intricate than those from experts. However, the most refined opinions dictated over mass-media or discussed within rarified journals and policy papers do nothing for the general population. There's something to be said about ideas and viewpoints being percolated around and from the general citizenry, especially when it has the capability of breadth the way the internet does.


    Considering that political reform is more respondant to perception than anything else, it could be argued that how the masses see, view and value things is more impacting than expert discussion. How things are taken is often rendered more important than what those things actually are.

    Sarcastro on
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    Nocturne wrote: »
    The argument about how powerful the internet and its forums are as a form of change is a good one.

    However I think the real issue here is why the hell Tycho is basically saying we're wasting our time and need to do more for him. I feel directly insulted as a frequenter of these forums, and also insulted as a long-time fan of PA who has supported it in multiple ways throughout the years, and now basically being called unimportant by Tycho.

    It comes off as an immature and condescending jab. Congratulations, you have a website frequented by thousands of people a day, one of the biggest events in the gaming world (PAX), and raise money for charity. You have a very strong voice. And you have the audacity to point out our lack of influence?

    I just found the last part of the post extremely patronizing.

    Franky, I appreciate Tycho's honesty. He's the kind of guy who bluntly states what he thinks, and that's one of the reasons why I respect him as a person.

    He gave his opinion that forums are an unimportant medium of communication and forum posters are wasting their time if they want to change the world. What is it to you? It's just his opinion.

    ege02 on
  • DynagripDynagrip Break me a million hearts HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    I don't think Tycho is interested in any form of communication that doesn't involve a thesaurus in one hand and himself in the other.

    Dynagrip on
  • Ain't No SunshineAin't No Sunshine Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    . And yes, this it true, the internet is the only forum that allows true anonymity, and the ability to pause and develop our ideas while staying informed and fresh about information, and have a large volume of sources easily available to debate. But, if the internet is incapable of change, then we are left with nothing. There can not be any avenue of change in the world.

    Intriguing post, but I feel that this is only half-true. The Internet is non-anonymous enough that my lawyer has case law regarding what folks with practicing licenses should say on internet forums. If I want to add something to an H/A thread on somebody's cold, I'm advised to make the same disclaimers that I'd make in person outside of the office, because of how traceable these interactions actually are.

    Worse is probably the lack of expert information on any given subject, and how debate tends to center on the shallow end of the evidence that constitutes "free internet". I'm not sure how much good info is around on free sites in different specialties, but I do know that as far as health care goes, it's pretty unimpressive stuff unless you buy into a peer-reviewed service.

    I do have hopes for pushing more online opinions into the political sphere - even if it has to be something like speaking to the Hillary-Bot in Second Life. Many politicians are starved for direct attention from the public, specifically because lots of people complain about a given policy at the bar or over lunch, but never get around to writing physical letters and sending them in - or, if you're the type, asking to discuss the issue over lunch. The advantage of forum discussion is that the results are already in written form and ready for editing and synthesis. Why not send the best points of a political thread the way of your local house representative? Why not leverage them into earning the ear of someone who relies on public opinion to do their job?

    Ain't No Sunshine on
  • GooeyGooey (\/)┌¶─¶┐(\/) pinch pinchRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The internet is full of down-on-thier-luck nigerian princes, scary bondage porn, some actual legitimate debate, and yes, kitties. Very cute ones.

    I've always stood by the tried and true internet addage "Arguing on the internet is like competing in the special olympics..."

    I have to admit that at times I get a little hot-headed debating the topic of the week, but for the most part I do it just to push people's buttons and to see the insane defenses people come up with to justify the other side of the argument (read: the wrong side). Only an idealist would believe that they are somehow actually influencing the way another person thinks by trading wit via electrons through a series of tubes. Plus, it's a fabulous time-sink when work is slow.

    Gooey on
    919UOwT.png
  • ALockslyALocksly Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Bear in mind that on a lot of forums, particularly popular ones like this one, there are a greater number of peole just lurking and watching the debate then there are actually participating. When somebody comes on makng some wild claim about physics or politics or what have you there's an audience. Maybe some of that audience doesn't know much about the subject. If the forum is a good one they will see arguments presented rationally and backed up with references and they might actually take some new knowlege away from it.

    ALocksly on
    Yes,... yes, I agree. It's totally unfair that sober you gets into trouble for things that drunk you did.
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    jclast wrote: »
    It's not a forum per se, but bitching in the comments of Major Nelson's blog matters (if only a little). He says he passes comments back to the folks that actually roll out XBLA content and DLC. You've just got to know who to talk to is all.

    Besides, if a community grows large enough, a forum post could have an effect. I'm not sure if it would be noticed or not, but if we all stand together and don't purchase the GH2 3-song 500-point packs MS could notice that they're selling less packs than expected as compared to number of GH2 bundles in the hands of gold subscribers.

    People talk. That's how shit gets started.

    Really? Because I recently made a comment about broken DLC that was refused by a moderator at his site.

    Drez on
    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
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