What will it mean when blogs are decades old?

Reading the philosopher Daniel Little’s reflection on eleven years of Understanding Society, I found myself wondering how blogging will be seen when we are surrounded by personal blogs which are decades old? The blog you are reading is eight years old this month, superseding a sequence of blogs which covered a further seven years before this. Its form and content have changed significantly in that time but its underlying purpose has not, cataloguing my intellectual engagement in a more or less thorough way during that time. It has ranged from what C Wright Mills called fringe thoughts through to elaborate reflections, even documenting an entire program of research on asexuality from start to finish.

It seems likely to be something I will stick with, leaving me wondering about how I will feel about it in twenty, thirty or forty years time? What will be the significance for intellectual culture when there are many of these elaborate texts of such an age? How will they be interpreted as what Ken Plummer called documents of life? In my more pretentious moments, I’m starting to wonder if the sheer fact of sustaining a blog like this over a long period of time has intellectual significance in and of itself, above and beyond the many ways in which it provides the soil from which other more familiar intellectual endeavours tend to grow.

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5 Comments

  1. This has crossed my mind also. I figure by the time I die there will be 50 years of my blogging and people will be able to do sort of a meta-analysis on whole subjectivities.

  2. … Also, I feel that the more data we have recorded will only allow for more control over human beings. But I don’t mean this in a bad way; I mean this in a purely logistical functional way.

    I’m from the generation of the uni-bomber, and I think generations before the 90s were really skeptical of technology and view technology is something inherently bad, is if human beings get involved with technology then it it will only lead to an abuse of power authoritarianism and despotism; like 198for big brother.

    I think this sentiment persists.

    But I think human beings are so resourceful that the abuses that come from technology are merely a sort of “conscious control” if you will; as each abuse arise it is it is not only checked, but that checking becomes another plot point and knowledge of how to go about controlling human beings effectively.

    Extrapolate this idea out a few chapters in a book, and I feel that what will occur is the very idea of freedom will change and away to wear its meaning will not change for the human being existing and living in the world of the unknown future, but only in reference to the past, say our time right now, will freedom have changed into a sort of “not freedom”.

    Our sense of freedom isn’t complete rejection to control without consent. And I think this will always be the case but the conditions under which we qualify what controllers and wet consent is will change with the effectiveness of how human beings are able to control the aggregate or mass of human beings.

    So I think that blogging and just the sheer massive data and Shira representative quality of individuals on the Internet will one day be able to be analyzed in such a way that will only contribute to our understanding of how human beings actually function and exist to be happy and content . which is to say control.

  3. … lol. You’ve allowed me food for thought!

    I mean just think about crowd control.

    I was a punk rocker back in the 80s and I remember going to shows where there would be like five bands playing it would cost like $15 to go. Bands like bad religion, Subhumans, Black flag, exploited. And some of the shows with just being a giant concert hall in they would be a lot of people there and you can get up on stage and sing with the band and then jump off into the stage and it would just be a giant slam pit (this was before the idea of “moshing” ). And people would come out blurry and still smiling. They’re close would be torn in people would be laughing and it would be a fucking good time.

    But by the time the grunge bands started getting popular, the people who put on shows, and the new audience of people that was into this more underground hard rock all of a sudden, didn’t understand that kind of communal release, and the promoter started getting security guards, and they started putting up what we called “the trough“ which was between the stage and the audience. A practice which is standard now.

    Security and venues move people in and out and control what occurs inside of the concert almost perfectly. And what is occurred is that people now have fun, but it is a controlled fun, they defined they’re phone within the parameters of what’s expected to occur at a rock concert. And there is security guards everywhere to make sure that everyone stays within these parameters. They got it down to a science just like the light shows and the sound systems.

    This is what the world will become. But people don’t like to think about it because we still have this sense that freedom is something essential if nothing else is. It will only be in the gradual process of control and then the reflecting back to the past where people will be out able to understand this slow and gradual limiting of freedom, but most people will not be able to really grasp what these words from the past actually mean . And by then those people who do understand it will be easily checked.

    But this won’t be a bad kind of authoritarian kind a despotism wear the big hand of big brother is coming down to suppress everyone’s freedom. It will be the natural course of ethical sensibility of just being human in the great light of progress.

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