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Guest Post 9(b): Ken Schles on “Infinite Stupidity”

Our repetitions and replications (Internet echo, photographs and otherwise) are crucial to pass on cultural practice and serve an important social function—even if on the face of it our actions appear, not only infinitely stupid, but repetitive, a bit outrageous, counterintuitive to logic, may serve no obvious purpose or may even hijack what A. D. Coleman and I both thought might be a productive thread. Our dumbness may kill us, or it may save us. The jury is still out. […]

Guest Post 9(a): Ken Schles on “Infinite Stupidity”

The Internet in many ways and on many levels promises freedom when, in fact, it can deliver quite the opposite. Its multitudinous and disparate voices can give us all ADD. Walls around institutions have become nearly impenetrable, if only for the sake of the sanity of those within. Discussions remain fragmented and remain, not for lack of intent or purpose, within closed communities. Conversation is encouraged and simultaneously (intentionally and unintentionally) degraded and elevated via the form of its dispersion and by the practice of its participants. […]

Forumization and Its Malcontent (4)

This forum participant interrupted a cordial and collegial exchange among a number of more informed parties, jacked the thread, issued a string of the most bizarre pronouncements, adamantly maintained insupportable claims, sidestepped every polite invitation to provide evidence validating her extremist positions, flamed me — and neither the moderator (who’d asked me to participate in the first place) nor any of the forum participants took her task for any of that, or took her aside to correct her behavior, or responded at any length to even her most indefensible assertions. […]

Forumization and Its Malcontent (3)

This challenge seemed to me a reasonable proposal, one that would require an equal amount of labor from both of us in her proving her point and me trying to disprove it, placing our resulting efforts in front of an impartial professional jury for evaluation. How better to engage with the question of what makes the opinion of a person who’s knowledgeable about a given subject more valid than that of someone who doesn’t know shit from Shinola about it than by putting it to the test? My interrogator would have none of it, however . . . […]

Forumization and Its Malcontent (2)

I frankly don’t know how to respond to the question “What makes the opinion of a certain highly informed person more valid than that of someone who is not informed?” To paraphrase, what makes the opinion of someone who knows something about a subject more valid than that of someone who knows nothing about it? This query seems to conflate the belief that everyone’s entitled to an opinion (with which I agree) with the notion that all opinions carry equal weight (with which I certainly disagree). […]