It Came from the Blog

So recently there was a fairly unimportant topic regarding WoW that came up.

Lots of people talked about it, but you really don't care about any of them.

I read a lot of blog posts on the subject, partly because I found them interesting and partly because I didn't have time to sit down and read a book.

While I was reading these blogs, I began to notice something odd. It was present in most of the blogs and obvious almost from the moment I began reading, though I shrugged it off the first few times.

I noticed this, almost every sentence was separated out by two carriage returns.

Really, it looked exactly like this. Nearly a dozen blog posts where the sin of joining two sentences together was only brooked when one was sufficiently short.

I'm a person who's fairly big on writing and the theory behind doing so; these kinds of minutiae tickle my cerebrum in happy ways.

I can only describe this style of textual organization with one word, disjointed.

Reproducing the effect is difficult for me because I simply do not write in that style, but down to the very core of the text each sentence felt like a separate, lonely thought loosely connected to what came before and awaited after, drifting in a sea of confusion.

Some blog entries had the good grace to figure out halfway through that people were now in it for the long haul and one might be allowed to write complex sentences or even paragraphs -- sweet relief!

Not many did. This caused me great sadness.

Usually the last sentence was very short, as though the author petered out.


I can no longer maintain that facade, as doing so is causing my sanity preservation systems to suffer intolerable stress. Do the people of the internet truly think in minuscule, disconnected chunks? The nature of the byte is such, but surely not humanity. To continue would be to lessen myself as a sentient being, or at least deny my nature until I am forever broken.

Perhaps it is the modern education, or modern media, that has effected this madness.
We live in a culture of sound bites and flashy, brief declarative statements made without useful context or connection. The use of such constructs like paragraphs or even letters fades in the face of ever briefer bursts of communication. In concordance with our shorter attention spans, we are inclined to process data in smaller chunks.

Woe to us, however, if this permeates our psyches to the point where even our very thoughts become microscopic. There is beauty in the connections between ideas, events and memories, in the smooth flow of a whispering, fluid stream of mentality. Blending each instant of consciousness into the next is our assurance -- alas, the dreamless night that robs us of our security -- of our connection to our past and future selves. When thought itself becomes a series of brief flashes of notion, separated by clean breaks without context or binding ties, we lose the breadth and width of creation for a tiny, shallow world where nothing exists outside of the moment.

Perhaps I go too far in my waxing of philosophy, but even that askewed or even abusive misuse of the idiom warms me with ties to memories of my father chiding me for my malapropisms and many other connections which, in being stirred together in one motion, creates something both fearful and joyous. If I go too far, I at least have the confidence that my error only leads to dreams and abstract notions that encompass more and more of creation.

Still, I wonder if I am a time-lost relic, for as often as I am similar to my peers I am again so dissimilar as to wonder if I wasn't left on the doorstep of my generation by fourth dimension-traversing gypsies.


360 Trooper said...

"Do the people of the internet truly think in minuscule, disconnected chunks?"

Hello and welcome to The Internet. I see you're new here. Either that or I've grown more and more cynical regarding human intelligence.

Magellan the Red said...

The philosophy may be tricky to get right, but it's certainly true that paragraphs are a gift of the writer to the reader.