Wednesday, March 21, 2007

On the other hand...

Where Johnson seems to have a point is in his argument that electronic media "are certainly bad masters, but may be excellent servants, of the intellectual life." I don't honestly think it's happened yet, and my point is that the shocking shallowness and vapidity of most internet writing (sad to say, mine included) should be an indication that Sontag was at least partially right. But I think the potential is there. Honestly, I don't believe we will ever get a Dostoevsky or Rousseau out of the Internet, but perhaps the general level of Internet writing will, at some point, rise above the level of angry callers to AM radio programs. However, I do think that form shapes content in ways that Johnson denies. I suspect that an Internet Proust couldn't exist.

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