The blogosphere will be the end of us all.
Blogoculture (shut up, that is so a word) allows us to select what we read from a vast panoply of subjects written from an infinite range of viewpoints. And we all choose to read those opinions we already hold.
Right-wing bloggers read other right-wing bloggers, and sycophantically work each other into a conservative frenzy (wow, there are two words you never thought you'd see together). Then they rail against
liberal media bias every time they peek outside their own self-imposed claque and notice that the rest of the world is less right-wing than they are. This merely encourages them to withdraw further into self-reinforcing lunacy, which is how people start to believe that the retarded son of a former President is the Second Coming.
Of course everyone else is more liberal than you are. They are, by definition, not you.
I read Charlie Brooker, Wil Wheaton, Ben Goldacre, Feòrag, and you lot. All are people who, I already know, will tell me things I already agree with. All keep me safe and comforted in my protective blanket of fear. It's okay, Paul, the voices whisper. You are wise and correct in all things
, and strong against Catholicism. The mean different people out there cannot hurt you inside our protective bubble of the known.
It is this process that means I can get away with saying
shut up, that is so a word without any evidence or justification. (Arrogance also helps, but that in turn is helped by the self-supporting nature of the blogocube in question.) Later in this article, I plan on getting away with a generalization from `stuff I do on the internet' to `stuff everyone does on the internet', but you should stick with me. (I know you will, because everyone reading this is already inside my self-referential blogocube.)
Googling for information is the act of stepping outside of one's protective shell and venturing into a less familiar landscape. It's the informational equivalent of walking into a random bar while wearing football colours. Are you going to be bought a pint, or will you presented with one at a significantly higher and less comfortable velocity?... the only way to know is to peek inside first, and, if necessary, run away before anyone spots you.
We already do this on the internet. Every time I google for something and discover a new page, my first impulse is to determine who wrote it and what their agenda might be. This initial filter stifles any possibility that I might be exposed to conflicting opinions.
Extrapolating into the future, we are going to see the balkanization of the blogosphere. It will not be a series of tubes, it will be a series of independent cliques who never communicate with each other and become more and more tribal as time goes on. One of the most disturbing aspects of this process is that we will be able to refer to
the internets without being ironic.
Also, it means that the US two-party political system is permanently, irredeemably fucked. But then we all knew that anyway—of course, that is to say that we all knew that anyway, but those in separate blogocubes know differently.
(The word blogocube is already listed 831 times on Google, but that won't stop me trying to sequester it for my own purposes: at least until somebody teaches me enough graph theory for me to use the appropriate information-theoretic terms.)