by phil on Tuesday Mar 3, 2009 2:12 PM
medium is message stuff, rhetoric is thinking

The topic of Internet griefing communities has hit the mainstream media consciousness. The Washington Post recently did an interview with Christopher Poole, the founder of 4chan. The New York Times did an interview with an infamous troll. Another example is the Chinese human flesh search engine. Every month you hear another horror story of trolls on the Internet swarming like flies.

It's come to the point now where Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet, now regrets the anonymity of it all.

Internet communities fascinate me. I'm slowly building up an understanding of what they really mean. In some ways, Internet rhetoric is similar to graffiti wall rhetoric: the game is to have the last comment that can't be responded to.

I believe that rhetoric is ultimately how we store important thoughts. And so the way in which society's rhetoric evolves will be met with an evolution in our thinking.

How Internet conversations develop will determine the future of how we think

Look at how the broadcast medium of television, with its pandering to the lowest common-denominator and its avoidance of all offense, has helped make society more politically correct.

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