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BUGS and the Internet Age

Posted by Bob on January 25th, 2010 under Coaching Session

A commenter sent me a link where a man who was a literature major has found that his whole mentality has been altered by the Internet. Where he once proudly treasure huge tomes, he is now impatient if a person can’t get to the point in a couple of paragraphs.

I keep repeating that you must always ask WHY a piece of information has been produced. In this case it is a matter of HOW it is produced.

IN order to say ANYTHING publicly, you used to get a maximum of one shot. Most didn’t get that.
You had to get name recognition, you had to get published. And when you got published you had to anticipate what the questions would be,.

Once again, using the Semmelweis Rule, the explanation of this is so simple it does not inflate the ego. What has happened is that the dam on information has been breached. It used to be a matter of slowly digging your way through the publication process or being accepted by one of the major networks. The process was very cumbersome.

Now you can simply say what you have to say and answer objections on the Internet the next day. You can hit people with an idea without being a respectable Buckley persona for the networks waiting months for the reviews.

So the heavy duty reading that went with the cumbersome old methods are as out of date as etching on stone.

In the new age you have to know what you are doing to say and SAY it.

More important, your reputation today is as a New York Intellectual will not make people read another whole book by you when they can hear others who simply have something to say and say it quickly.

If this method does not sound familiar to you you haven’t been reading BUGS long.

  1. #1 by warweaver on 01/25/2010 - 11:02 am

    Nice post, Bob:

    BUGS has infected my thinking.

    The other day I told someone that I am always suspicious of people who want to use government to muzzle people who say things that they dont like.

    The fellow responded that he just wanted “to restrict their ability to force their agenda.”

    So I said, yes, I understand, you want to ‘restrict their . . . agenda’ by limiting their speech.

    The fellow then responded, “I dont want to limit their speech, I just want to temper their impact on elections.”

    So I said, look, just because you dont see it that way, doesn’t mean that isn’t what you want to do. You dont like what some people have to say, and you want to use the government to shut them up.

    Then I told him, if you want to shut people up, at least have the balls to admit that you are intolerant.

    MAN – you should have seen him blow up. He told me about how all of his friends think of him as a very tolerant person (because he isn’t racist, presumably). And I must be an asshole because he will not be told by me what it is he really wants to do.

    I didn’t even bother responding. I blew that kid up using his own words and taking a step back and looking at the reality of the situation . . . a skill I’m honing here at whitakeronline.

    I felt it was solid BUGS procedure: I used his own words to blow up his position, and I wouldn’t let him hide from the consequences of his position behind WORDISM.

    It was a sort of mini-mantra moment for me.

  2. #2 by Dave on 01/25/2010 - 11:43 am

    “If only I had known” is twin to the universal lament, “Why me?”

    Accordingly, the sheer volume of instantaneous reporting on the Internet is a godsend.

    Since knowledge comes from experience, and only tertiary from study, the Internet makes it possible for the experienced to report NOW.

    And out of all those experienced people busily reporting what they know, a few of them are actually articulate. They shine through like a cop’s 500 lumen flashlight.

    Consequently, there is no room anymore for the gimmicks of the academic because there is no way to hold anybody’s attention long enough to pull it off.

    That’s what “real time” does for you.

    We are back to having a real conversation, which a big piece of learning is about anyway.

  3. #3 by Simmons on 01/25/2010 - 1:20 pm

    Of course. No one tell me that they read the articles anymore in the newspaper online editions, because I won’t believe you. At most you will do is skim the article because you already know what is in it. Like me you head straight for the comments section for background to the story.

  4. #4 by Simmons on 01/26/2010 - 11:51 am

    A fine example of this phenom is the WaPo opinion piece on Haiti immigration followed by 72 comments of reasoning and fact.

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