second hand

i suppose nowadays that pretty much everything you write about in your blog is doomed to be second hand. orginality does not seem to be the thing that draws people to a blog and it is not the thing that makes them stay there. most blogging is little more than scrapbooking — a nesting together of links. we are a marginal step away from the cut-up technique of burroughs invading and informing all we do. we blog surf in the same way that we used to channel surf and information inextricably gets spliced together — well, it does for me. you watch people like warren ellis gathering together all these disparate threads into something like a coherent whole and his work emerging from that patchwork quilt of ideas. things are culled from everywhere — i find a link on one site, add it to my blogroll — find another link on that site, and so on. there was an idea a while ago that i read about called metatextual reading — where you don’t just read a single text — you read all of the workss that inspired it and all the works it inspired. in a hypertextual world where you can  smear on links all over the place there is no limit to how  far and deep you can read into something — every piece can become one of those rambling conversations you have with your friends that take you through the night and around the universe. each idea becomes gradually more well-worn. is this a good or a bad thing? neither — it is an inevitable thing. if you think of information as being mapped into a physical space then you could see it as having once mimicking the urban sprawl where things spread out and cover a vast area. as the amount of information you accessed increased you had to build upwards so it became a vertical system. well now the whole thing has collapsed in on itself — it has been brought down in it’s own footprint — the separation has been replaced with the sense that every single separate piece of information is actually existing at a single point simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. you can pack culture down into the first letter of the alphabet because the hypertextual potential of that letter is exponential. maybe.

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