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May 30th, 2005

Diamond Questions

Went and heard Jared Diamond speak today.

I've never read any of Diamond's books but, of course, I've heard of Guns, Germs, and Steel, which has a really solid reputation. Diamond's got a new book out called Collapse and so he's out touring the world as his fame allows and is in Australia as part of the Sydney Writers Festival, promoting it. I went along to his lecture out of curiosity and got a fair bit out of it, even though I thought that the audience who had already read Collapse got nothing more than a synopsis of the book. Still, it was interesting, and Diamond is clearly a professional lecturer, in part no doubt to his position at some College somewhere in the States. Something about the blazer he wears and the comb over he supports made me think of some place with prestige, but I certainly don't know, and ultimately don't care. (For what it's worth, I've found, in my limited University/college experience, that the less prestige a place has, the more open and interesting its subjects and lecturers are. But that's just my experience, and certainly not one to use as a guideline.)

Still, like I said, he was good value, but the most interesting part for me was when the question time came up and Diamond made the point of saying that he would give preference to young members of the audience who wanted to ask questions. He started off at the age of twenty, then upped it to twenty five, and made a comment about how it was they who would inherit the world and implement the changes, which was a nice sentiment, but looking around the lecture hall, one that would not perhaps reach the people Diamond wanted. It wasn't that there weren't people under twenty five there, only that they were minority, for whatever reason I couldn't begin to speculate outside broad generalisations.

I got to thinking about the youth audience after that, however. I'm not sure if it's Diamond's goal to have his book in youth culture, but I wondered a bit on how he would go about that, and because I'm naturally a self absorbed kind of author I wondered how I could go and get a book into that kind of demographic and ultimately didn't get far with...

Shit.

I just used the word demographic. Fuck me.

Blog Culture.

The other day I saw a link to Blogebrity, which lists popular bloggers in A, B, and C levels of fame. I saw the link about seven or eight times, because all bloggers appear to be doing at the moment is blogging about blogging (which is nothing like this post). Still, I scanned the list for blogs I read, found some, and was surprised by what was considered a B grade blog, as I would've thought it was a A blog or a C blog or a nothing blog, then did some thinking about how this blogebrity list was being worked out, then a minute later came to my senses and went and stared out the window for half an hour, as it was more productive.

Then, today, Neil Gaiman blogged about the traffic through his popular blog, since he has two counters, and the different numbers registered:

One sees 11.5 million in April, the other 11.3 million.

...

(None of the numbers having to do with this website and journal mean anything anymore. The last time they meant anything was around September 2001, and I learned that we had around 20,000 readers, and decided not to stop because, well, 20,000 readers was an awful lot of people. These days it's no longer an awful lot of people, it's just abstract numbers.)


An A-List blog, obviously.

I wonder how long until bloggers become celebrities in their own right, and blogging becomes an aspiration. Blogs are a tool that promotes the culture of personality and are, in the end, equal what makes reality TV shows like Big Brother and Survivor and so forth popular, and the audience is drawn back not by the work that the blogger has outside his or her webspace, but by a response that he or she has to the personality on the page. That's how Gaiman's blog works, though you'll find that it's a little different in sites such as Boing Boing. Still, I don't think the difference in the sites is enough that you can deny the place of the Boing Boing personalities, which are tied into what information is put through. In twenty or so years, there will be books written on Boing Boing and these will focus on the five personalities driving it, and what happened to them once the band went their separate ways, and what their influence on kitsch pop culture was.

I don't reckon it'll be long until the new geek cool is to aspire to be a blogging band, which will result in books/films/articles/whatever about a group of outcast geeks setting up a net hub in their garage.

Lets all hope that the sex and drugs carry those fictions, yes?
I really hate that Crazy Frog animation on the Mobile Jamster ads that sell ringtones. I hate him with such a fucking passion it's unfuckingbelievable. Whoever created that blue frog shit deserves spikes through their ears and eyes, since they're obviously misusing them to begin with. I can't even begin to imagine someone paying money for the tones he burbles out, but I guess people must, since he's still on TV with his groin blacked out so no one gets offended by his tiny blue cock.

But now the Crazy Frog Ringtone is at the top of the British music chart, beating out Coldplay's new single...

You British people ought to be ashamed.