On knowing, a new pillory

John_Waller_in_pillorySomeone has reinterpreted the pillory–it was only a matter of time, really. Right? It might make me an awful person, insensitive to a whole range of questions (I hear your future rants, ranters), but I am experiencing a certain schadenfreude in the very concept of this blog, Public Shaming, where certain types of social media detritus are exposed.

In all seriousness, I have become very interested in social media (like the rest of academia) and its role in the creation of knowledge. Because, clearly, this type of trending seems self-perpetuated where the volume of believers outweighs the ‘facts.’ (Not that this is new, cf belief)

I know because they know instead of I know because I checked.   This isn’t a new by any stretch of the imagination. But with the instantaneous proliferation of ‘knowing,’ is common knowledge even knowledge anymore?

Knowing is hard.

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About ChrisB

Sinner is a humanities doctoral student in a large, overbearing city who should be writing his dissertation, or grading 90 papers, or grading 90 essays, or meeting with students, or reading productively, or reflecting diligently on productive reading. He finds the world complex yet in no way mysterious. He wishes people learned what came before so what comes now would be less baffling and more apparent. He is disgruntled, tired, enthusiastic, dedicated. In a word: he's an academic puppy. View all posts by ChrisB

3 responses to “On knowing, a new pillory

  • WAP

    Knowledge may be hard; but acquiring it is harder. I did my BA thesis at Berkeley in a graduate course, due to my advanced reading. On Joyce’s Ulysses. I have a testimonial from a Pulitzer Winner and a National Book Critics circle award winner. I started a semester of of graduate school in the same Berkeley department and found out it was all humbug.

    These kinds posts, that I am reading now, remind of Mailer’s approach towards sexuality and academia. They didn’t go together very well. If you have read the book, refer yourself to his discussions about the critic MacDonald, and his relationship with Goodman, all three of them.

    It would interesting to know whether an academic puppy is someone not qualified or someone who has decided, after a degree in top-notch institution, to scuttle it.

    I have published real paper books; and I don’t like blogs actually. I find crass; I find too ‘I’; I find myself in the horde, where writing can’t reach the level of achievement which we expect in sentiment and sincerity, and downright sexual dirty grist.

    I never did like blogs. The Weblog of the 90s by one’s personal FTP server was much better.

    • Sinner

      Thanks for sharing WAP. This academic puppy is still working on a dissertation involving new media and physical objects. My own preference for the book in its paper form lead me to that road. I’m on the fence about blogs and social media, in general. I go back and forth (almost every time I consider the question) on quality, quantity, appropriateness. And every time I find a new knot that leads me down paths of what does ‘valid’ mean, who is ‘valid’, whose voices should be shared? should all voices be shared? Is the ease of making your thoughts known in anonymous print through a digital medium TOO easy? I’m sure I’d love to read your paper books. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

  • stevench23

    While I agree with your points there is something about blogs that can unleash a stream of authenticity from even the most unexpected places

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