[iDC] Re: The Ethics of Leisure

Trebor Scholz trebor at thing.net
Wed Jan 10 17:14:26 EST 2007

Thanks, Judith and Frazer.

There are varying intensities of participation and degrees of belonging-- from reading, and forwarding, to bookmarking (as in: "digging it") on to more intensive and time consuming
activities like writing and moderating. Inviting people to join a group (welcome to all the new subscribers) is not a call to light-hearted discursive entertainment that runs like a babbling
brook in the background. I do think twice about which "club" to join and did kiss goodbye several of lists before the New Year. 

Frazer, I am reading about 50 blogs every morning and dedicate one hour to this activity. These weblogs focus on my research area of sociable web media. I don't read through each and
every post. But I do read the articles that are relevant to me. I mention such pesky technicalities because they are increasingly important. Even the filtering tools matter when it comes to
working with little spare time. In this world, burdened with data obesity, it becomes more crucial than ever to make good judgments about whom to listen to, whom to trust. Surely
similar narratives circulated during the advent of the telephone and other communication technologies but now we are having potential access to higher numbers of people. Selective or
"slow participation" (I loved your term) is paramount and the recent thread on continuous partial attention included many useful recommendations for that.  

Judith, I was also stunned by the valorization of continuous partial attention and I of course agree that participation is gendered: we did ponder these questions here; finding even partial
answers, however, is not easy. Morally banning long texts is not the right response. There are, of course, women and men who read these rants. I can see it all the time-- they forward
them, blog them, use them for their syllabi or quote them in their books. 

Given all this, where do we go from here?  


PS: Margaret Morse' moderation period starts today. 

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