Years ago, when I was living on the Other Side of the ocean, we (brother and friends) used to go out to Amsterdam and have (literally) ‘dine and discuss’ days. All of us were programmers, well-paid in most cases, so topics ranged from programming to Linux to Internet. Those were good days, particularly knowing that we all were programmers alike.

It was on one of those night when one of us (I can’t remember who) argumented how the Internet and Linux would benefit the political movements. And how the Internet would literally empower hordes of generations using Open Source programming as their social weapons to fight the social unjust.

The argument was not well-received: after all, as most of us replied, we’re just programmers because we love it for the sake of programming. Politics and programming don’t go well together because it limits the programmer’s reasoning ability. In programming, reasoning and rationality isn’t about black or white, red or blue as seen in many political debates: it’s a well-thought, compromising, irregular path to the best solution.

Which brings me to the current blogging state, as Alan seems to carve out in a couple of well-reasoned postings.

No matter what people will tell you, blogging will not result in the downfall of existing media. That’s because these bloggers who claim this, pretend things are simply black and white, right or wrong. They hold the media accountable but not themselves.

Have you ever seen a blogger publicly retract a posting, a personal opinion? I have not: neither sides of the blogging sphere has ever issued a correction in cases when they overstated facts. I believe this is leading to an extreme form of Internet Balkanization, where only opinion, not accountability, counts.

As informed people, with the power to look up different opinions with the press of a button (instantly), we should take reading blogs lightly: blogging is like overhearing or participating in a private coffeetable discussion where everybody is entitled to have his own opinion.

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2 Responses to Balkanization

  1. paul says:

    Actually, I have seen someone retract a posting (though I didn’t think he should have).

  2. Arthur says:

    Actually, I have seen someone retract a posting (though I didn’t think he should have).

    Never seen that one (any direct link to the story, Paul). If Bloggers want to be seen as journalists, they should share the same responsibility and accountability. I want to see big italics and (public available) boxes with corrections :-).

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