Saturday, April 05, 2008

Web Journalism at UT

The Seminar at UT?...I can sum it up really easily...

Mixed messages, mixed media, mixed results...Awesome graphics!

It's like opening up an artist's box of the most amazing colors ever, being handed every type of paint brush known to humankind with more on the way, an unlimited canvas, and not knowing what to create nor how to pay for your next meal.

They fed us.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the free meal by one of the allstar panelists, Blogfather Randy Neal, of KnoxViews and several other places. We were treated to an amazing amount of flash and left with the gnawing question of future relevance.

The real question of the internet is the same as it was for the printing press, the radio, the television...How can we use it to tell the truth to people in such a way as to let them enjoy it?

Television had this promise. It could have been used to bring Science and Literature and philosophy to every human on earth. Instead, we have advertisements instead of information.

The web takes all mediums to another extreme in that it is capable of overwhelming reality altogether...perhaps with finality. The most successful genre on the internet, porn, substitutes itself for human relationship.

For now, bloggers can offer observation and opinion, but transcendance takes money. The question is, "Who will pay for truth?" Lies, it seems obvious, will make you rich. The real money in this new medium is in creating untruth. As long as we use the web to replace reality with false experience, humankind has a short future, geologically speaking. Incapable of governing ourselves, we will ultimately suffer the population crash inevitable with all blooms, crushing our planet's ability to keep us alive.

The answer is elusive but in my current thinking seems to lie in creating a multi-dimensional boundary within which lies a juried content, judged by critical reasoning and the scientific method. Science is nothing more than the process of not fooling ourselves, after all.

The promise and the problem with the web is that it is such a powerful paintbrush capable of painting with astounding colors both fact and fiction with such perfection that they may become indistinguishable.

The Web currently promises salvation and apocolypse with awesome graphics.

Until we can create a canvas upon which truth is profitable...The more likely outcome is obvious.

Peace,

Steve

*****

Katie's thoughts (Thank you dear, for the very kind words)

Randy's collection of who and what...Go there

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