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October 09, 2010


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C. DiDiodato

I seem to have the opposite problem: some of the conversations I'm being dragged into these days don't leave room for any polite gaps. Every pause filled to overflowing with ego,self-interest & some form of greed.

And when I "let down the guard", what happens? Nothing of much consequence. They keep right on talking.

The Mathmos

Insightful observation.

I've always thought it strange how difficult it was for conversations to be (forcibly or not) oriented toward "important", "real" (i.e. contentious, potentially depressive) subjects or issues. It's as if the very medium is balking, at least at the level of civil conversations -- discussions between friends can still be much more pointed, provided there is shared interest.

It may be that one of the many deficits of the Left in political economy has been its loss of conversational "relevance" -- by which I mean, relevance to current conversational standards. Sports, culture, media are all colonized by mushy corporate consensus to an extent, and the horizon of casual political discussion is impossibly constrained.

For all its faults, the Web may be a countervailing force, by arranging for fringe conversations to find just a bit more purchase.

The Mathmos

I just realized I fell into the trap of calling Internet discussions "conversations". I can hear Neil Postman turning about.

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