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February 01, 2003

Reflections on the Blogosphere

starting today, every blogger and his mama are going to be talking about the shuttle disaster. you will read through a million blogs before you find out more about what actually happened to cause the explosion. you certainly will have a wealth of tangential information (if you can call that wealth), but the core truth of the matter will become distributed like light through a house of glass and mirrors after an earthquake. take away one shard/blog and what do you have? an imperceptible loss of value. add another million shard/blogs and what do you have, very little more light.

now the analogy breaks down because these blogshards are more like transducers of light with their own power supply than inert glass, so they add their own light which may amplify, distort, color and block out the original source. but they do so without any coordination or direction. they merely zoom in on a few reliable sources of light, link and then do their translating/transducing business. what you get is a marvel of emergent behavior, but it is still incomprehensible. you cannot ask anything of the blogosphere and get a coherent answer. for that, your best bet is to go back to the source and make your own interpretation from that.

now that i've used the word 'coherent' in the context of light...

what if you could smartly coordinate all these blogshards in such a way that they continually reflect upon their collective reflections and transductions? what if you made it impossible for light to escape the blogosphere until it had reached a certain threshold of uniformity? what if you designed a chamber in which all the little mirrors with all their own sources of power focused issue by issue until they had a resolution? and finally what if you looked not at the reflection business but the resolved light? you would be blinded by the power of that light because you would be staring into a laser!

building that chamber is my aim. until that time, i view the blogosphere as a house of broken mirrors reflecting the news of the day every which way. very nice for the connoisseur of the eclectic, but practically useless for seekers of verified knowledge.

Posted by mbowen at February 1, 2003 08:36 PM

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