If you click on one link today – make it this one. Geert Lovink writes on “Blogging, the nihilist impulse“.
There is a quest for truth in blogging. But it is a truth with a question mark. Truth has become an amateur project, not an absolute value, sanctioned by higher authorities. In lieu of a common definition, we could say that cynicism is the unpleasant way of performing the truth. … The question is therefore: how much truth can a medium bear? Knowledge is sorrow, and the “knowledge society” propagators have not yet taken this into account.
… Blogs express personal fear, insecurity, and disillusionment, anxieties looking for partners in crime. We seldom find passion (except for the act of blogging itself). Often blogs unveil doubt and insecurity about what to feel, what to think, believe, and like. They carefully compare magazines, and review traffic signs, nightclubs, and t-shirts. This stylized uncertainty circles around the general assumption that blogs ought to be biographical while simultaneously reporting about the world outside. Their emotional scope is much wider than other media due to the informal atmosphere of blogs. Mixing public and private is essential here. What blogs play with is the emotional register, varying from hate to boredom, passionate engagement, sexual outrage, and back to everyday boredom.
Blogging is neither a project nor a proposal but a condition whose existence one must recognize. “We blog,” as Kline and Bernstein say. It’s today’s a priori. Australian cultural theorist Justin Clemens explains: “Nihilism is not just another epoch amongst a succession of others: it is the finally accomplished form of a disaster that happened a long time ago.” To translate this into new-media terms: blogs are witnessing and documenting the diminishing power of mainstream media, but they have consciously not replaced its ideology with an alternative. Users are tired of top-down communication – and yet have nowhere else to go. “There is no other world” could be read as a response to the anti-globalization slogan, “Another world is possible”.