Tuesday, February 22, 2005


The Isolationist Dot Com Culture

When we observe the increasingly polarized political climate, it is striking how insulated we've become as a culture - or rather as a set of many, many subcultures. We enter into the cozy echo chambers of our choosing, therein comforted by like-minded opinions expressed through the mediums of cable tv shows, blogs, radio shows, etc.

This is part of an unhealthy and growing trend, which is being further enabled and exacerbated by technological advances. And it extends beyond the scope of politics. Whether we are considering the internet or the iPod, we find ourselves in search of constant diversion and escape from "society" in the traditional sense. Our thought life is diminished when we fill our minds with selected diversions which comprise our very own customized worlds filled with only those views, interests, and people of our choosing.

In an illuminating article in the Times of London, Andrew Sullivan explains how "Americans are beginning to narrow their lives." As Sullivan puts it, "Technology has given us a universe entirely for ourselves - where the serendipity of meeting a new stranger, hearing a piece of music we would never choose for ourselves or an opinion that might force us to change our mind about something are all effectively banished. Atomisation by little white boxes and cell phones. Society without the social. Others who are chosen - not met at random. Human beings have never lived like this before."

So it is with acute sensitivity to the irony involved that I begin my own blogging adventure, or shall I call it my own little internet world. The goal here and what I hope to share with readers is the following: Attempt to delve into all types of thought out there, with the ultimate goal of extracting and assimilating nuggets of truth wherever they may be found.

The only requirement for consideration in the world of PlaidBerry is intellectual honesty. This is an attempt to open the dialogue and rebuild a small segment of an increasingly detached and isolated community, if you will. And so the journey begins.

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