February 25, 2005

Friday Funk

First off, I wanted to say thank you all for your comments over the last couple days. Even the ones on the post with no words, even if I didn't sound all that appreciative yesterday. They were all pretty funny, but I guess I wasn't in the mood to fully appreciate them just yet.

I'm still not feeling terribly perky about things, but the weekend is here and I'll get over it. In the meantime, however, I'll share the funk I was in earlier today. I read this article by one Michael Gorman, whose condescension made me see red for a little while. So, with apologies to Emma Lazarus, but none to Michael Gorman:

With quiet fingers. Give me your weary, your disillusioned,
Your unpublishable masses yearning to write free,
The untrammeled refuse of your ivory tower.
Send these, the "Blog People," media-belittled to me.
I lift my laptop beside the golden browser!

I find this man's posture annoying, though not surprising. And I certainly find the manner in which he characterizes bloggers, lumping us all together in a grammar-less, useless, meaningless, unworthy heap he terms "Blog People" to be lacking in both grace and intelligence.

How many times do you think Mr. Gorman has "Googled" himself to actually see what reaction, if any, the "Blog People" have had to his patronizing missive? High irony, indeed, if he has.

You know what, Mr. Gorman? Not all of us "Blog People" think Googleness is next to godliness. I've written before about how I came late to the Google party, and I certainly do not ascribe to it attributes or benefits it does not have. To many of us, Google is a tool, nothing more. And those of us who know how to use it do not find that the results are "in no very useful order." Perhaps that is whence your problem stems. You may not be a Luddite, but perhaps you are simply not computer-literate enough or, more accurately, Internet-literate enough, to get meaningful results out of what is a valuable tool. To suggest that it is anything else is, as you put it, "absurd."

Your obvious attempt to marginalize us by giving us, as a group, some B-movie moniker does you no credit in your bid to appear scholarly. Some of us "Blog People" are, in fact, "devoted to buying books and providing librarians for the library-starved children of California," although we do not have the wherewithal to affect how Google chooses to spend its R&D dollars. For you to assume otherwise is as mindless as you characterize our combined intellect to be. Your too-low-key-and-mild-to-be-a-rant rant should therefore be directed at Google the entity, not Google the product used by bloggers and millions of others.

As the founders of Google have announced their intention to fund a Google Foundation to do charitable works with an aim toward "ambitiously applying innovation and significant resources to the largest of the world's problems," perhaps they will do the very thing you criticize them for not doing, although I wonder if you took the time to find out what kind of donations Google has already made to our local schools, libraries, and other charities, which they doubtless have done as good corporate citizens.

The op-ed piece he mentions in the LA Times, which I'm not about to pay to access, has the subhead "The problem is, information isn't knowledge." I would agree with that. But, without having read the piece (see above about not paying), I can only argue that there is no knowledge without information, either. And Mr. Gorman did not gather enough information about blogs and "Blog People" to form an opinion that deserves much credence.