Tuesday, April 18, 2006

i've never met the guy, personally

I haven't had a chance to read Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling yet, but I am eager to, and I did order it for a library. I think Bruce has lots of valuable insight in regards to "ubiquitious computing" and design. Maybe it's due in part to his lack of training in computer science and designing -- the on-the-outside-looking-in thing has actually been valuable to him and to us, his readers. Or maybe he's just lucky.

I listen to his lectures when I can find them online, and I've read a few of his books. I have no idea what the man is like in person (never met him), but he certainly carries a rather striking air of cool confidence in his mediated persona and throughout his "visible" personomy. I came across Shentou's recent post over at Livejournal while looking for spime talk, and I don't think his dis on Bruce Sterling is warranted; is Sterling overly "impressed with himself"? I don't know, but I do know that personal disses take us away from debating the content of a message.

I don't hear very many people talking about the kinds of things B.S. talks about, especially in regards to all the Viridian stuff. William Katavolos, maybe. And an organic farmer I worked for in Mississippi. Maybe that Negroponte, with his tough little wind-up laptops for Africa. Very few folks seem ready to think and write and talk about some of the system overhauls that Bruce is willing to employ in his Viridian Manifesto. Furthermore, he's actually putting the ideas into practice. "Real is the new virtual."



shentou said...

No doubt the realm of personal disses lacks any sort of merit in the realm of discussion. But there's an inherent flaw in your citing my LJ in any sort of a serious article.

Take a look through the majority of my posts--does it look like the work of a blogger with a point? The vast majority of it is a conversation with friends, not so much a public discourse. I've I'd been going for serious discussion, I would've picked a somewhat less offensive title. The whole thing is by way of being a joke.

Blogs, by and large, shouldn't be taken so very seriously. Particularly not those found on LJ. :-p

Woody said...

I didn't realize that LJ got to be exempt from being taken seriously -- but I'm not an LJ user myself and am not very familiar with the format or style there.

Meant no offense, and definitely didn't mean to take your comments out of context.

I don't think any discussion on Blogger is necessarily any more "serious" than any discussion on LiveJournal. It's all just trading ideas. The fences don't work very well, and I'm glad they don't!

shentou said...

Oh, I don't know that LJ is necessarily non-serious. Certainly there are people on it who are quite serious. Just that it tends towards the diarist more than the writerly, and about 90 percent of the posts (mine included) are usually moody, angsty, or meant in some sort of cynical/sarcastic/humorous vein.

I'll admit to being slightly oversensitive on this one post, mostly because its the first time I've actually gotten quoted or referenced, which is *really* weird.