[iDC] Keen as amateur media theorist

Tom Matrullo matrullo at gmail.com
Sat Aug 25 00:36:41 UTC 2007

Mr. Keen reminds me of certain fusspots of the Renaissance who disparaged
efforts to use the vernacular tongues of Europe for serious work (whether
scholarly, artistic, diplomatic or commercial).

With the evidence of Dante and the Troubadours before them (and later
Cervantes and Shakespeare), they continued to bewail the trend toward
barbarous tongues. Seriously out of touch dudes were still writing epic
poems in Latin at the end of the 17th century. Many believed that they
belonged to a higher world in which all who speak of art or science had been
vetted, and even received into some secret society. Their frontispieces made
sure to kiss the arse of everyone in their fields who wrote in Latin.

And with some readily comprehensible concern, they feared the break-up/down
of knowledge, the chaos sure to follow upon the loss of a common sign system
enabling men of Science to understand each other.

Then, poof.

Tom Matrullo
matrullo at gmail.com

+ My background has roots in comparative literature and in journalism. I've
been profitably reading this list for a while - first post.

On 8/24/07, Stephen Downes <stephen at downes.ca> wrote:
>  Hiya,
> I wasn't thinking of Jeff Howe or Wired when I wrote my comment, but...
> Howe, Jeff wrote:
> The fact is, if you fail
> to show up for the debate, the other side wins. No one in the audience will
> know your absence signals your belief that your opponent is beneath
> contempt. We don¹t get to pick our ideological opponents.
>  I wrote this and posted it widely, calling Wired a sell-out and corporate
> shill.
> http://www.downes.ca/wired/conclusion.htm
> The writers at Wired never responded, of course.
> Now either I won that argument, and Wired was a sell-out and corporate
> shill, and I am therefore not unjustified in making such remarks today, or
> You *can* pick your ideological opponents, in which case, I am not
> unjustified in wondering why Jeff Howe and others would promote someone
> peddling such "snake oil" to prominence.
> -- Stephen
> --
> ---
> Stephen Downes  ~  Researcher  ~  National Research Council Canada
> http://www.downes.ca  ~  stephen at downes.ca        ** Free Learning
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matrullo at gmail.com
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