December 15, 2009

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Blogging Books at the New York Times Top 5 at a Glance 1. GOING ROGUE, by Sarah Palin 2. STONES INTO SCHOOLS, by Greg Mortenson 3. HAVE A LITTLE FAITH, by Mitch Albom 4. ARGUING WITH IDIOTS, written and edited by Glenn Beck, Kevin Balfe and others 5. OPEN, by Andre Agassi via www.nytimes.com I'm testing the "Blog It" feature on TypePad. To do so, I've clipped the above selection of bestsellers from the NYT nonfiction list. Apparently, you're supposed to add a comment of some sort when you clip from another website... so here's mine: the most "emailed" and "blogged" book-related stories on the NYT website clearly indicate that the readership of the paper isn't very interested in NYT bestsellers. This could be charitably interpreted to mean that readers of the NYT books section have more discriminating literary tastes than your average book-buying bumpkin (i.e., a Regnery aficionado). Most people who use sites like YouTube are, presumably, the same people responsible for rocketing garbage to the top of bestseller lists. When they go online, they offer no original content; they merely absorb material provided by others. If the "Blog It" feature I'm using for this post is any indication, the modern blogger is also loathe to provide fresh, original content. Even the most astute bloggers seem to be deeply dependent on the content of others. These aren't new observations, and this post is yet another example of the low-culture snark that dominates online discourse... but can it really hurt to mention it again? I don't think so. I don't think that people are, generally speaking, bone-ignorant jackasses. I just don't think that online discourse is anywhere near achieving its potential because the brightest minds are simply not participating. There are so many people who read carnivorously, think about the big issues, and derive great satisfaction from being well-informed... but, for whatever reason, they choose not to voice their opinion or their expertise online. What we're left with are the voices of the most exhibitionistic, extraverted, egotistical blowhards and wannabes. Glenn Beck has an audience and a fortune. Anyway, these are some passing thoughts. I'm posting them because I'm online and I'm testing a new feature on my blogging platform. Now I need to get back to cruising the Internet for mindlessly entertaining bits of digital chum.

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