Newmedia on Mon, 1 Nov 2010 16:11:15 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> Weekly Standard: Shirkyism

Well said -- however, the real problem lies in the absence of a
COMMUNICATIONS theory on the part of both Clay Shirky and his critics.
After all, this is why he gets away with what he does. Nobody involved
really knows what they are talking about.
The Internet is *fundamentally* different from television but what does  
that MEAN?  What did television actually do to people?  How does that  differ 
from the impact of radio or newspapers or magazines?
To get into these topics means wrestling with FORMAL CAUSALITY, which in  
turns means wrestling with Marshall McLuhan and his LAWS OF MEDIA.  And who  
dares to *really* do that?
Shirky hasn't.  Neither has Gladwell.  Nor Shirky's other  critics.
When asked if he was an optimist or a pessimist about technology, McLuhan  
gave the only reasonable answer, "Neither.  I am an APOCALYPSIST."
What he meant was that he was attempting to provide  *revelation* instead 
of "enthusiasm."  
Any takers?
Mark Stahlman
Brooklyn NY
In a message dated 11/1/2010 9:32:18 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Good to see a smart person calling Shirky out. Criticism of him
(actually a ridiculously easy target) is virtually non-existent in
the U.S., presumably because it makes people look like dinosaurs who
"don't get it." (See the extreme overreaction to Malcolm Gladwell's
recent article about Shirky and Twitter. Gladwell's no Walter Benjamin
either, but the response to his criticism was absolutely hysterical,
as in "hysteria.")

Nettimers may be particular amused by an interview with Shirky
published in the New York Observer a few months ago, in which he made
these bizarre statements:


#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info:
#  archive: contact: