It's marvelously funny that most of the time, when someone on the internet is accused of listening to only their own echoes, they answer most emphatically, "NO! I meet lots of NEW people! I have heard lots of NEW ideas!"
Yet where are the links? Where are the examples?
Of late, the new fad is google+ - which google has been selling hard these last months, and towards which I am expected to run like a moth to a flame. I am expected to rouse myself from this boring blog format and learn a NEW format, where I will meet marvelously NEW people and find marvelously NEW tools at my disposal. The pitch is strong, it is pervasive and it is everywhere ... and so naturally there are a great many formerly bored people who have rushed into its arms with the commitment of a newlywed lover. It is everything they could have wanted, and more. On google+, there are discussions about D&D - for instance - that have simply never been able to exist on the web before! Rich, exciting discussions that you are missing right now! Rush, rush, rush to hear all the things you could never learn from bulletin boards and blogs, because google+ is THE SOLUTION to trolls and poor thought processes and boring old rehashed D&D. My, what a wonderful world it is.
I am, unfortunately, a jaded old bastard ... and I am too lazy to crawl out of my slow-wittedness to let myself be manipulated by google's marketing department. I just feel, somehow, that my efforts are better applied to the rather mundane habit of putting words in an order that conveys an idea, to be read by people prepared to puzzle the ideas out.
Don't get me wrong. I like having a nice stage upon which to present the play. I would much rather have the scope and width of a city theatre than an acre of grass at the local park - not that grass won't suffice to have the protagonist down the antagonist once again. Blogger makes a nice stage. It is a nice performance venue ... but the writing is the writing, regardless of where the writing is written. Google+ only offers me another stage to write - it cannot write the words for me. My part remains the same.
Oh, I might more easily banish others with google+'s wonderful tools for banishment. So far, however, I haven't needed a tool to do that. I have a mouse. I have a finger with the power to click that mouse. I have a will. I "ignore" by habit. It isn't something I need automated. I don't doubt that some people need that sort of thing farmed out and managed outside themselves ... just as some people need lists of friends on a computer to be reminded of who they are.
We are quite the species; when we cannot master ourselves, and our needs, we develop tools to master those needs for us. I think I should write a sci fi novel about a 40-year-old fellow who is the slave of his former, 30-year-old self, who dictated ten years ago who the older fellow's friends would always be, and who decided the sources to which the older fellow would listen. Our elder hero is a sad, closed little man, diligently returning to those approved sites and friends that his younger "big brother" determined would be appropriate for him ... and though the younger fellow is long gone, never to be seen again, the enslavement is total and irrevocable.
That is how it is. Comes a day when you DECIDE, "This is what I shall believe, and this is what all incarnations of me that shall come hereafter shall believe ... and so shall it be judged, and so shall it be written, from now until eternity, praise google+ and all the institutions of man that do aid me in knowing myself, now that I am certain who I am."
And so it was written, and so did the human embrace the bell jar that would suffocate him unto death.