Look! It’s the Internet!

The Fucking Obvious Fact of the Day is this: doing physics all day makes me cross and ranty. Today’s target is from the New York Times:

But it is in everyday social conversation where the Web is having the greatest impact. Fact-checking’s effect on talking is like a loud thud on the floor, a real conversation stopper, linguists say.

“Today’s Parisians and most other Westerners do not need to come together to exchange information, because they get it on the Web or television or a newspaper,” said John L. Locke, a psycholinguist and author of “The De-Voicing of Society,” adding that the information age has made person-to-person news dissemination obsolete.

[link via Tinka, again]

Okay, am I the only one whose parents routinely get up in the middle of dinner to look up the capital of Booglestan in the mildewy 1965 encyclopedia? But that’s not the real issue here; the real issue is that I can’t get my gossip over the Internet. You see, it’s reached the point where I’m more interested in romantic prospects at home than in Denmark. So I think I can accomplish something by guessing at my future love life, but these guesses are all based on fragmentary and outdated information. And this is what post-cyber-ological gossip is all about – glances and subtle implications that are too speculative, and frankly too stupid-sounding, to put down in any permanence, but they keep you informed of the local social hierarchy so you can manipulate it at your convenience. It’s the kind of shit that, when amplified, makes for trashy reality television. And people watch it, eh?

Possibly the feudal Japanese aristocracy played these kinds of games as well. Or possibly not. The caffeine in my tea has finally worn off, I’ve given up studying (I won’t be getting any useful credit from this class anyhow) and I’m going to bed. But I’m still crabby. Boo. Hiss. Growl.

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