Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I don't think that they're betters. And I'm pretty sure they're not even my olders.

This, from Newsnight, really got the old blog-juices a-flowing (like they knew it would): The Cult of the Amateur, or, How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy

Way-hey! The gauntlet is down. And like a petulant, ego-maniacal latter Robin, what blogging, web two-pointer worth his or her salt could resist drawing up their bow and, in fine homage style, ‘aim close to the target’s centre, letting the splinters of the previous champion’s split shaft fall where they may’.

So... “If we are all amateurs, there are no experts.”

Or... looking at it another way: “Leave it to the experts, because they have done such a good job so far. Not.” Discuss.

First, though, I have a few, I guess amateur, questions....

What, exactly, is ‘informed political commentary, seemly home video, proudly professional music and readable poems, reviews, essays, and novels”?

Or, perhaps I should rather ask; who is to say? Those unelected, self-serving ‘club’ members who have been doing so until now? I think... hope... not.

If blogs are “collectively corrupting and confusing popular opinion about everything from politics, to commerce, to arts and culture”, what can be cited from the mythical, godly mainstream that has, is and will not?

How about a liberal-left quick-hit on the TV about the Middle East, or a paper campaign on plastic bags or 4x4s, when only today I found out, and blogged on, a real and massive effort to tackle the real big issues facing the climate (link in my signature... I’d appreciate the reader numbers. You see we amateur types fancy getting paid for what we create, too, but by owing allegiance to no one what we often have to say is less prone to... influence).?

If Wikipedia perpetuates a cycle of misinformation and ignorance, then more fool those who read it without a well-cocked eyebrow. If YouTube is inane and absurd, then, er.... don’t watch it.

And if old media is facing extinction, who is more to blame?
I for one am quite happy to bid farewell to all experts (who qualify as such how, again, exactly?) and cultural gatekeepers (ditto... plus who put them in charge anyway?), if these are those who have decided what I get to see and hear based on very human motivations, ranging from self-interested to greed, and agendas that are much less edifying if not down right sinister.

That you ask what, in any case, can be done, is too facile and hilarious to really try and answer. Go Canute... go, man, go! The tide is coming, and you might squeeze a few more ratings out yet before you end up being, as well as looking, very wet.

ps: Some great replies, fellow posters. Ta for a good mid-pm read and a mind-expanding giggle or two. Peace out.


This is a first for Junkk.com: a page dedicated to supporting a cause we truly feel is going to make a real difference: Cool Earth

No snappy headline, because this page will get revisited a lot so we can ensure it gets pushed to the front page of Junkk.com whenever we add something new. I think it is that important.

I became aware of it yesterday, when it launched, thanks to a short piece in Newsnight, which I blogged on earlier.

Frankly I cannot understand, with all the claimed media support for climate change initiatives, why this was not front page news, but maybe the return of the cold war of Big Brother is more pressing to some (or sells more papers and/or get more ratings).

One thing sold me. The entire annual carbon output produced by the USA is exceeded by the carbon sink LOST by deforestation. This puts d*cking about obsessing about carrier bags and 4x4s in stark focus. This planet will only be saved for our kids when we sweat the big stuff, and stop pandering to petty, negative issues (Junkk.com is a very small, but positive issue, so please keep on supporting us!).

I have already managed to contact those involved, who are very approachable.

And I will be checking out the site more thoroughly, and will revisit (I intend to score a few acres of our own to oversee) regularly with updates.

My main concern was the trading aspect, which set off some alarm bells and red flags.

I have been reassured that when you buy an acre, it is yours and will remain so, though there seems some variation on duration which I need to verify. It is also not for trading, as I very much would not want anything I had invested in being used to buy off bad behaviour elsewhere.

So, with great optimism, and the best will in the world, I am happy to say: Watch this space!

I can see the forest... and the trees!

If there is one thing to check out, I'd say it is this. To my initial way of assessing enviROI, it does add up, and could be the most exciting thing for a while in actually DOING something to help the planet: Cool Earth

Well, assuming we don't go up in a nice, quick nuclear ball of flame thanks to the new generation of small-willy testostocrats, if we are to avoid a slightly slower cook to oblivion maybe Mr. Eliasch has a more attractive long term plan to consider.

As I can't figure and/or trust most carbon sink enterprises, whose PRs get sent to my enviro site almost daily, I am prepared to give this one serious consideration.

Buy a bunch of suits' daft notions to skim off a major wadge of wonga claiming they go and plant something that will take decades to grow (assuming it works)... vs. paying a suit to help ensure an existing chunk of Earth's lungs - that's doing a nifty job already - doesn't get chopped down to make way for bio-fuel crops. The chart of the US carbon emissions vs. the consequence of deforestation says it all.

Well, D'uh.

I just hope that he's doing it for the right reason and not to make a vast killing, but even if he is it seems waaaaay better (though I shudder to hear Carbon Credits mentioned) than most alternatives.

Assuming Messrs Bush, Putin and Blair don't get us first, I'd say it seems a pretty decent idea to pursue.

I haven't seen it advertised anywhere as yet, and look forward to being pointed at it (if your PR agency is reading this, Mr. Eliasch, I'm at info [at] http://www.junkk.com, willing and happy to help - or I'm sure Google will get me there. I really like the idea of a live feed of my acre to help with the monitoring).

How it is the new colonialism is an interesting, if odd question in the circumstances, and just seems a tad of a PC stretch the way I saw it billed.