“People don’t actually read newspapers. They step into them every morning like a hot bath.”
It’s 2018. People don’t actually read newspapers either. Instead they step on/in to social media every morning like a stinking cesspool.
Last night I tweeted:
1/ Thinking about what the minimum threshold information requires to qualify as news. Working theory is if information doesn’t meet the threshold it stays as information
2/ Working life example: I know a lot of information about celebrities but I wouldn’t qualify it as news.
I tweeted this in response to a piece of information that came across my feed:
Part of me wants to yell .. I mean WHO DOESN’T? But at the same time I find it hard to classify this sort of headline.
I got some interesting replies. One from @crwbot
@Crwbot / initial instinct is to say that threshold should be a combination of novelty & impact. celebs do weird shit like force coffee up their bums all the time, that’s not news. sometimes celebs provoke public health crises by denying shit like the effectiveness of vaccination. impact.
And one from @LondonPrmcultr
@LondonPrmcultr / If we take Bateson’s formulation that the elementary unit of information is a difference that makes a difference – perhaps ‘news’ is a difference that makes a difference to me
My feeling is I kind of end up in the middle of the two points:
‘news’ is a difference that (information) makes a difference to me is @crwbot’s – impact? Certain types of information have a subjective meta quality of impact (on me) which makes it news.
Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision affecting your life, your career, your business – compared to not having swallowed that piece of news.
The point is: the consumption of news is irrelevant to the forces that really matter in your life. At its best, it is entertaining, but it is still irrelevant.
– Avoid News Towards a Healthy News Diet by Rolf Dobelli, 2012
Now, I think this might be the 3rd of 4th time I’ve mentioned Dobellis essay on this blog over the years, and it’s certainly the second time this year and probably won’t be the last.
I’ve be wrestling with this for a long time. I think personally its the first step to admission that I have an information … problem. But then I suppose its a questions of what sort of information. When I apply the above to my life there is certainly a lot of truth to it. But at the same time I consume ~12-14 hours of Conspiratainment a month and pay to access a lot of that content. I consider (or at least tell myself) that bingeing on that stuff is like going to an ontological gym. But its not news… it’s – terrain setting?
My RSS is slowly filling up with old and new blogs that I like, but its nowhere near the stream of information I want it to be on every re-fresh like it was in 2012. But I prefer it way more than twitter at this point.
I’ve even perhaps lost a sense of what twitter is for . People I mostly follow I know IRL or are one/two handshakes out. Should I have conversations with those people there? I’d prefer a forum, Slack, DM’s, or signal. Is it posting interesting links? Is it boosting others only even tho I know a lot of the people that follow me have turned off seeing RT’s? I really dunno.
I do know that the longer the amount of time that goes by between each time I look at the intertweetz stream the happier and more productive I am.
News is like opinions. There is too much of it / them and almost all of them don’t matter.
There is a rescue mission and a salvage mission.
In this one I have thoughts on my Land As Platform project and Kenneth Olwig’s concept of ‘Landship’.
Also please feedback on the overall audio levels, theres a few jump cuts between takes – are they ok? I AM only recording and editing this whole thing in an hour after all.
I think this is the first episode experimenting with the form of a 5min audio window. Not sure all of ’em are going to be like this, but certainly I’ll do some more. One piece of feedback I got was better show notes linking to the stuff I’m talking about.
Dipping the stacks
The last month or so in politics has been media figures demand other media figures apologise for things they said on Twitter. And when they get one… it’s considered a victory? When in fact absolutely no politics occurred. Anywhere.
Both talks are bubbling up in my head. They are both 25 mins and i want to try and not repeat myself across. Both events should be announced next week.
I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘Blood and soil’ politics and the dangers of saying anything about landscapes in 2018. Last week someone went on a rant about solarpunk being fascist – which was news to me.
Thats partly why this weeks permanently moved came about. Land As Platform feels like the right term from a ‘The Lawrence Doctrine and the Post Industrial Rescue Mission’ point of view. But as Gordon White pointed out to me it’s a bit dissociative from an animist ontology perspective – which is also part of the overall project. I need someway of keeping Land As Platform on a parallel line to the Solarpunk future where Animist Ontology / Enchantment of the materialist west sits in my head. Its something I need to balance and sit with in more detail.
I also learnt a lot about how blockchain oracles work in detail this week.
I’m still leafing thought Improbable Botany But I have also started The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf as i’d like to get though it before I write these talks.
On the blood and soil and solarpunk topic mentioned earlier I’ve returned to Barbarians in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction over on Gods and Radicals.
Aesthetic is narrative. Aesthetic tells a story, and Jack Donovan’s story is of anti-modernism. It is not just because he is anti-modern, but he also senses what his increasing fan-base knows and most anti-fascists refuse to admit: the modern is fucking awful. The modern is alienating, full of empty images and promises after which we all chase. Progress brings us a new iPhone each year and more flavors of Doritos, jobs in front of screens and new identities to try on and less and less land in which to play tribe with your friends.
The risk of becoming labelled another Eco-Farage needs to be navigated with care.
Alert! EXID have a new single and it’s the most 90’s revival thing ever! That snare sound!
I also listened to s SHIT LOAD of Enya this week whilst I was walking into town by the old man… perfect backdrop.