Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Blogging in the Early Republic

While I was out of town the latest issue of Common-place went online, and it includes an essay I wrote on "Blogging in the Early Republic." Thanks to my fellow Cliopatria bloggers, Ralph Luker, Sharon Howard, and Jonathan Dresner, and others for linking! Feel free to use this post as an open thread for comments and criticisms; I'm interested in hearing from bloggers about my tentative interpretations of blogging, since "tentative" is exactly what they are.

Collective Improvisation:
Thanks for a thought-provoking read. I'd love it if blogging were to herald a new and richer form of intelligent democracy; but I don't see it as anything like certain. In the midst of the information overload of our days, it seems to me the overwhelming tendency is to infantilise or idiotise the receivers of that information, or for the vested interests to find ways of using it in a controlling way. None of this helps to develop a discerning readership who use that information to change things for good. Witness all the parts of the world that don't even want democracy, and all the democracies where, far from having people power, the power is in the hands of the rich, greedy, and militarised. 

Posted by tony

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 7/07/2005 04:13:00 PM : Permalink  

Hi Tony. Thanks for the comment, and sorry to be so slow to respond. I share your uncertainty about the democratizing potential of blogging, and part of what I was trying to do in the piece was find a middle ground between triumphalism and dismissiveness with regard to blogging. I'm not sure I succeeded in steering between the two, and my conclusion especially veered jarringly toward the triumphalist pole. 

Posted by Caleb

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 7/11/2005 12:24:00 AM : Permalink  

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