Thursday, 1 August 2013

Everybody shut up for a bit.

User-generated content - better or worse than no content at all?  I know what I think.  Even if, by some slim chance, there are new and interesting things the world has yet to hear, I want to hear them from an author or a journalist or an expert of some sort, not from some tool from Rotherham who thinks he's the first person ever to have thought of toilet paper.

You know when you're reading a discussion on something, and someone jumps in after fifty or sixty posts, not having read any of them, and asks a question that was answered days ago, thus triggering a whole new cycle of subquestions and suggestions, and sometimes enquiring after the health of a cat that died six months ago on page eight of the comments?  The whole internet is now, basically, that.  No-one is actually reading.  No-one is consuming.  We are all about output, and none of us is absorbing any input.  

Sometimes, if I'm out in the garden, I can hear a small child attempting tunes of varying levels of atrocity on the recorder.  Let's think about the recorder.  Has anyone ever said: "You know, I'd really like to listen to some recorder music"?  Has anyone ever bought a "Now That's What I Call Primary School Music Class" cd?  No, and the reason is that everyone wants to play the recorder, but no-one wants to listen to it.  It's an instrument solely for the pleasure of the person playing it.

Does that sound like it might have something in common with your keyboard?  Honestly? Because I, for one, am tolerably well educated, well travelled and well read, but there are a billion people on the internet who know more about any one subject than I do.  If I chip in an opinion on, say, dentistry, doesn't that run the risk of someone assuming I know better than the actual dentist, and thus doing something that makes all their teeth fall out?

And that's why I don't participate in forums much any more.  I have simply run out of useful things to say.  Of course, I'm still contributing to the problem by posting this.  And making matters worse every day - I'm writing a novel, and every word that I coax out is haunted by the fact that there are probably already enough novels in the world.  Look at all the remaindered book shops - full of perfectly interesting stuff that no-one bought.  Because everyone's writing their own books, they don't have time to read everyone else's verbal excretions.

So what sounds like a rant here is actually an apology.  I am incontinent, and I am pissing into the flood.  Sorry.  

I'll be quiet now.

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