Everybody loves you now!

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Irony, it seems, is like nitroglycerin: too tricky to be good for much, and so best left in the hands of fanatics or trained professionals.

The Internet is, therefore, still very much a college town and shares much the same ambience as Cambridge, Iowa City or Berkeley: a dysfunctional blend of liquored-up freshmen and polymorphously perverse deconstructionists. The politically correct atmosphere may help to explain the generally frosty stance toward humor exhibited on usenet, where people either use it badly--at the level of toilet stall graffiti--or categorically reject it; usenet is the kind of place where people can seriously (without smileys) discuss the proposition that humor is an intrinsically aggressive, nonconsensual act.

Smiley's People - Stephenson

Whoa. Let's slow down for just a minute here. I never thought that someone could genuinely hate the smiley so much as to write a decently long article bashing it. Stephenson's hate of the smiley is rooted in much more than the annoyance with a symbol of fanciful fun. He truly believes that the smiley is ruining our writing styles because no time is taken in revision anymore. Why revise your writing to say what you really mean when you can throw in a smiley and skip using that extra time?

Stephenson seems to hate not only smileys but college students on the internet who use smileys. He states that the internet has become overpopulated with "a dysfunctional blend of liquored-up freshmen and polymorphously perverse deconstructionists". That's a pretty picture to paint of today's youth, I would say. It seems that Stephenson is holding many grudges and prejudices against the internet and its users.

My favorite part of the article, though, is this: he changed his mind. Not only did he change his mind, but he wrote a post amending his previous thoughts. He felt that he had been wrong and he admitted it to the entire web community. I really liked his point when he said this, "The problem with the Internet is that nothing fades away there. And so a silly little opinion piece like this one lives on forever." This brought up thoughts of my first blog. Anything you say on the internet can, and will, be used against you. And it doesn't disappear.

1 Comments

Aja Hannah said:

"Why revise your writing to say what you really mean when you can throw in a smiley and skip using that extra time?"

I think we should at least go over our writing to make sure we haven'e spelled anything wrong and see if, maybe, another word works better. But, I agree with you. We are in a world of the immediate and we need to respond quickly. Besides, flamewars can be so stupid.

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