Consider the source | Bleader

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Consider the source

Posted By on 12.28.06 at 12:48 PM

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"The technology of ink on paper is highly advanced," writes Joseph Rago, assistant assistant editorial features editor at the Wall Street Journal at Opinion Journal, "and has over centuries accumulated a major institutional culture that screens editorially for originality, expertise and seriousness."

Blog journalism, on the other hand, "appears to be a change for the worse. That is, the inferiority of the medium is rooted in its new, distinctive literary form.... Instant response, with not even a day of delay, impairs rigor. It is also a coagulant for orthodoxies. We rarely encounter sustained or systematic blog thought -- instead, panics and manias; endless rehearsings of arguments put forward elsewhere; and a tendency to substitute ideology for cognition."

Overgeneralized twaddle like this is nothing new, and substituting ideology for cognition is what most people do most of the time in any medium available.  But it's especially instructive to hear it from a publication that has just published ten articles on "Poverty: The Search for New Solutions", in which race is mentioned, very briefly, just twice.

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