Contradict yourself!
Ralph Ammer

The very nature of this medium, which Medium is part of, trivializes important ideas. How can we take anything seriously when it is one click away from video of kittens getting brain freeze from eating popsicles? This means that trying to convey a notion here that you care about or put some serious effort into is a bad idea from the get-go.

Consider the Charlie Rose show on PBS: within the same episode the head of the World Bank talks about the future of the EU, and a former child celebrity talks about what it’s like to film a nude scene with the production crew watching. This doesn’t just make the TV actor more interesting, it degrades the discussion of the EU. The best examples of the supposed power of television to educate — Charlie Rose on PBS — reveal how fundamentally craptastic the medium of television is, for doing anything much beyond entertaining. Just so the medium of blogging or online diary-sharing or ‘today’s journalism’ or whatever you want to call what is going on here.

OTOH, Ralph Ammer’s illustrations for this post help get his point across in a way that printed paper would have a harder time doing, maybe. If he had put out a ‘zine with a circulation of 200 photocopies that he left in local bookstores and coffeeshops then I would have never heard of him or this post. So this medium has some strong benefits compared to what was possible in earlier technological regimes. Do those benefits outweigh the problems that come along with the new gizmos? Maybe so. Probably not. Depends on what I’m paying attention to…

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