Saturday, November 04, 2006



Thinking about the multiplicity and complexity of contemporary social and informational environments, you can’t help noticing how popularity (ie Google searches or category-tags) can highlight the trivial. Much criticism of the most popular YouTube topics or the large audiences that bum-fights attract has been voiced. There are clearly as many affinity spaces for frivolous as there are for ‘worthwhile’ interests. Is this is a problem? Probably not, but it does raise the question of where we might find or develop an ethical and/or critical perspective in media, communication and information. New ways of knowledge-building and sharing call old ways into question. Pre-existing continuities of discourse are disrupted….. ‘The tranquility with which they are accepted must be disturbed’ (Foucault,1989:25). Popularity-ranked searching, reputation building and the creation of folksonomies seem to do just that.


Joolz said...

The bumfights stuff reminds me of the jackass series on tv a few years ago; I really hated the puerile violence in it - and this was tv!!

Guy Merchant said...

Yes, well I'm into popular culture, but not when there's violence etc etc. Hence the rant about ethics :)

Anonymous said...

Did you know they made a drunk tramp get 'Bumfights' tattooed on his forehead?
It was horrid! :(
P.s. You're going to kill me but you may have another tattoo to blog!!!!

Guy Merchant said...

Well (daughter!) you're old enough to make your own decisions now. Is it really in Hebrew? And I hope the motivation for the new tatoo isn't simply to blog it.

And how weird is this, doing this parenting-thingy so openly...openly, of course to the extent that anybody's reading this!

Joolz said...

and even ... Ruth this is the truth ... Guy told me to read the comments on the blog.