It’s not as if I don’t agree much with you, Michael Gorman

And it’s not as if you haven’t already read about it on the Britannica blog.   I’ve made my comments already at the source where it belongs.   And I commented too on Andrew Keen’s “me too” post.

But I decided I don’t want to write a blog post about the Michael Gorman thing.   I want to highlight somethings that I’ve seen that support the idea that we [society] needs a break from Web 2.0 and then I want to highlight things that I’ve seen that support the opposite.

I Thought Gorman-y Thoughts When. . .

  •  I first saw the “Keep Your Fucking Hand Down and Shut Up — No One Cares” Facebook group  “For all those students who want to repeatedly stab themselves in the eye with a sharp object when some moron raises his/her hand to answer a rhetorical question, relate his/her life story, or pointlessly argue with the professor and thereby needlessly prolong class.”     Well, I suppose it’s not that bad, since they are talking about the extreme case where someone talks their head off without letting other people talk.    But I’ve also seen cases where a desperate prof looks as if he/she is trying to pull hen’s teeth to get a comment out of a dumbfounded classroom.    No way.   Put your hand up and ask a (relevant) question — 2 times per class at minimum.   You’re paying for that damn education and listening passively to a lecture is just about the worst way for you to be remembering what you are being taught.   If Web 2.0 is about bullying people into an anti-intellectual stance, then I say forget it!
  • I hear about/see stupid kids videotaping themselves beating each other up.    Never should such a thing be considered entertainment.   The same applies to the voyeuristics that occur with the Iraq beheadings and other atrocities.
  • When a list of nauseating sexist/classist/racist comments appears on a website and someone tries to defend it as “funny.”   Nope.   Only funny in the way that people would laugh when they saw you slip on ice and crack your head on the pavement.
  • When I read “me too” comments.  ‘Nuff said.
  • When I think about my personal desire and inability to publish something significant.   It could be about funding or time, but mostly I think it’s about TMI.

I Thought Gorman is just Sooooo Wrong when. . .

  • Five weeks to a social library happened.  Months later I still heard from students who claimed that they learned more from that course than from any other course they paid for.
  • I got to read the spoilers for the Saw movies without having the embarrassing experience of wetting myself in a public theatre.
  • I saw Wafa Sultan speak on Al Jazeera this evening via YouTube.    The ability to see and hear Arabic television could only be a dream prior to Web 2.0.

The obvious response to all of the Gorman concerns is that he is right and he is wrong.   The world is changing.   We will lose some things and we will gain others.   I don’t think the world will blow up though.

But if you consider the trees lost to published materials though.   That might cause the world to blow up.


One thought on “It’s not as if I don’t agree much with you, Michael Gorman

  1. I agree with your agreements and disagreements.

    I don’t know if 2.0 could be blamed for teen/post teen angst, but it definitely gives it a more high profile viewing.


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