Thursday, January 21, 2010

Getting past the superficial

Hey guys, I wanted to let you know that I have re-edited the post about "memes at the extremes" to replace the colorful vocabulary with something more palatable to the large number of readers we have coming from a link that Barry Collins included in his second article on SL.

Some of you might consider this a cop-out or pandering to the masses...and I want you to know that it is nothing of the sort. It merely is a recognition that Mr. Collins' posting of the link to Ephemeral Frontier somewhat changed the dynamics of the situation.

This blog is not written for everyone. You regular readers are a select group with a special viewpoint and unique sense of humor. I have no intention of changing what I say or how I say things between us. But one thing I learned over the years is to speak to the audience and keep in mind the goals that lie behind what I am saying. My cussin' part of the persona of this blog is done primarily for my own amusement. You don't really think I talk like that in business meetings do you?

So sometimes that means I will adjust my approach.

When I wrote the piece about Percy and Deadwood with the hope that Hamlet would link to it, I certainly cleaned up the vocabulary quite a bit for mainstream consumption. After all, my goal there wasn't to amuse myself and have some yuks, it was to get recognition for Percy and publicity for Deadwood.

So at this point, Mr. Collins' act of linking to my blog changed the dynamics on the "memes" piece in an interesting way. Suddenly, I had 200 people a day looking at it. He in effect handed me a completely new and different audience.

So I wanted to adjust for that. I will be the first to admit that the crap I generate ain't exactly deathless prose. Unlike Cyrano, who "would not change a comma, thank you very much" I re-write and clean up old posts all the frakkin' time.

Therefore I have gone through and changed all the vulgarity and the most outrageous insults to something more palatable for a lace curtain audience. Where you see the term "gentleman" for example, I invite you to mentally fill in the appropriate noun--such as "knee-walking shithead" or feckless something-or-other, as you choose.

There were a few people who commented here and there that they couldn't get past the invective, or said they thought I was trashing the gentleman simply because he didn't like SL.

Obviously they missed the whole point and did not read very carefully.

Granted, people reading things online tend to skim them. Many do not give careful consideration to the words they are seeing in front of their eyes under any circumstances, and they just react to what they think they are seeing. So even with the invective replaced with with harmless numnums, more than likely a great many of these folks still won't do much in the old reading comprehension department. But maybe a few of them will. And for those folks, I wanted to make it a little easier for them to grasp the actual argument--that what Barry Collins did wasn't journalism or analysis, it was simply opinion. He has a right to his opinion. It actually was a perfectly valid opinion. But it was nothing insightful or carefully considered--it wasn't based on any of the work that one must do if one is doing real analysis. Again, I encourage people to look at Randall Hand's series on Vizworld to see real journalism about SL The series beings here:

We need to be realistic about SL if we are going to help it grow and evolve. We can't just either mindlessly buy into either the everything is "heading in the right direction" meme, or the standard "SL is dying" pap. We need to look carefully at what it is and how it is working, and what is right and what is wrong--and we need to keep working at it.

We are partners in a remarkable experiment, and we need to keep our eyes and minds open in order to see where it is going, and can go.


  1. Totally understand - I do the same, but no one would be fool enough to link to my scrawl!

    You might want to edit or delete my comment near the start of the comments list where I invoke a lovely piece of 4-letter Anglo Saxon ;-)

  2. Oh I don't think that's necessary, HB. After all, you're Brit, so you couldn't possibly have used something inappropriate like one of us foul-mouthed immature Americans, eh?

    Did you catch my mentioning that one of the places I picked up my really creative language habit was, in part, from hanging around for a time with guys from London Fire Brigade.

    Creative language as far as I can tell, knows no boundaries. It does however, have some connection to occupation and class.

  3. I marvel at the idea of going back and tweaking an earlier entry in the ordinary course of business. In, out, done, moving on. :) But I completely understand the idea of modifying something for a different audience. I'll have to go back and see what some of those comments are all about.

    But just between us, I was kind of sad to read that you don't curse that creatively in business meetings. They would be ever so much more entertaining that way!

  4. I think going back to redoing something to appeal to an audience is a laudable thing. It only makes sense to write/speak to your audience. Otherwise they stop listening.

    I admit that when I hear Dio starting in on some decorative language, a big smile comes across my face. I wish I had your facility with cursing.

  5. Actually, the lovely Miss Diogenes has expanded my not-inconsiderable vocabulary of invective and abuse. And my coworkers are grateful for the more creative and anachronistic cursing coming from my desk of a day.