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I am too a special snowflake

One of the art bloggers I read is having a bit of a hissy about negative criticism from commenters (not going to link — blog feuds are the lowest form of traffic whoring). Made me think for the umpty-umpth time about how big the internet is. And how, on the one hand, it allows any old Joe Schmoe to show his wares to the world. On the other, it allows any old Joe Schmoe to find your stuff and inform you that it sux dix.

Even harder to take, though — it puts you in direct competition with, like, the whole world. If you’re a one in a million talent, there are still thousands of others in your league. I don’t care how good you are — If you don’t find trawling the internet humbling, you don’t go to enough places.

Long ago on the header of Christopher Taylor’s blog, he said there were 90 million blogs on the ‘net. I don’t know where he got that number, but I suspect it got away from him pretty quick (like McDonald’s — remember when the signs bragged about the actual number of millions of burgers sold? Eventually, they gave up and put “metric asswad burgers sold”). That was a pretty daunting competition then, whatever it is now.

I got curious about the current number of connected world citizens, but I’m not good at math (I think “umpty-umpth” and “metric asswad” are actual mathematical concepts). So check me here. Wikipedia says the world population is 7.1 billion of which 61% are not using the internet. So, that means 39% are using the internet, and 39% of 7.1 billion is…2.77 billions, yes? Which looks like 2,770,000,000 writ out with all them zeroes, yes? And if you’re a picture blog, you’re pretty much accessible to all of them, regardless of language.

I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty easy to find people who don’t like your stuff.


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: March 12, 2014, 11:56 pm

I’ve maintained for far longer than there’s been a World Wide Web, or even the Internet itself, that if your aim is to please everybody then you are doomed, DOOMED I SAY, to failure. It simply cannot be done given the diversity [1] of any group larger than about five.

So, you do not have to expend any effort to find people who don’t like your stuff. Quite the opposite.

1. Kindly note that I am using that word properly. I know, it is so unusual that it may take a moment for that to sink in. I mean diversity of personality.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 13, 2014, 12:11 am

Oh, hey, that’s right — it’s the 25th Anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal for the World Wide Web.

I read his white paper about it in 1990 and declared it stupid hippie nonsense. People giving away loads of content, totally free? Bullshit.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: March 13, 2014, 1:01 am

90 mil you say?
And I only go to four or five, and am getting sick of the bickering.

House bound in the winter, nothing else to do. Pathetic really.

If I had money, I’d start drinking.

Comment from Randy Rager
Time: March 13, 2014, 2:44 am

People learn real fast not to give a damn what others think about them on the ‘net, or they go nuts.

In related news, I am considering writing a book titled “The Healing Power of Apathy”.

Comment from Oceania
Time: March 13, 2014, 2:55 am

Who it Lt Colonel Jason Gresh at the Us Embassy in Kiev?

And why did he order an attack against a Ukrainian airfield and supply depot on Sunday (Monday) afternoon?

Comment from caseyreno
Time: March 13, 2014, 10:48 am

@RRager – If I could become more motivated, I might buy a copy…

Comment from Pupster
Time: March 13, 2014, 1:33 pm


Every day I read or see something I like, even love, and make no comment.

I’m much more likely to be critical than complimentary with feedback, but I have no idea what the real world ratio would be.

*pulls a number out of my arse*

Let’s say less than 8% of the people you meet are butt-holes, that means 92% of the visitor’s to your blerg either like or are indifferent to the content. That’s an A-.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: March 13, 2014, 2:01 pm

One of the things about the net that fascinates me (since I failed to anticipate it) is the rise of intellectual tribalism. I am not a big believer in the concept of “One Absolute Truth” anyhow, but the Web permits people of like beliefs -no matter how crazy and wrong*- to cluster together and reinforce each other. Disbelievers are labeled as deniers and trolls, not to say that trolls are not real (I do believe in trolls, I do believe in trolls). Opposing opinions get shouted down, and or the poster banned. Truth has become a popularity contest. ‘Appeal to authority’ arguments are worse than useless as one used to have the Encyclopedia Britanica to end them, but not there are as many ‘expert opinions’ available as there are assh….,well, nevermind. When people list scientists as authorities I like to remind them of the people they knew in college, and ask them if they believe that those people became any less crazy after they graduated. You can find them spouting ‘truthiness’ on just about any subject you choose. Certainly, for me at least, I treat the announcement of almost all new scientific discoveries as unproven bullshit these days. Cold fusion, anyone?

In any case, finally meandering back to my original point, given the opportunity, humanity has regressed back to the dark ages of localized (in cyberspace) gods and beliefs. I suspect none of us here would dare wander into the land of the DailyKos except incognito for fear of being accused of heresy, and burned. None of those there go places where their great one is not respected as the light-bringer. We are already, only 20 years into the Net, in a place where colleges have lost the thread of creating culturally uniform middle class – where are The Englishmen of yesteryear? The only classically stereotypical American youth left these days are Mormons, and we know how popular they are.

How many generations will we wander in this desert before a Moses of the internet comes with a tablet (iPad?) with 10 commandments, and breaks all our idols?

*Crazy and wrong in my opinion

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: March 13, 2014, 2:02 pm

On the internet I am Anonymous…..

Comment from AltBBrown
Time: March 13, 2014, 2:49 pm

The fascinating thing to me (and I venture into both light and dark corners on the ‘net) is how many sucky sites there are that actually get any hits.
I’m all for a digital live and let live policy, but some of those site builders should be ushered onward, along with their minion(s).
On top of the sucky sites, they know zippo about security and hapless visitors who know zippo about security get zapped.
‘Coure if you’re searching for “free” mp3’s, screensavers or Miley Cyrus, you prolly deserve it.

Comment from AliceH
Time: March 13, 2014, 6:33 pm

I don’t care how good you are — If you don’t find trawling the internet humbling, you don’t go to enough places.

That’s as maybe, but I have yet to stumble onto a place or discover a person who knows more than I do about running my life. As an example of some currency: what is the optimal cost/benefit health care insurance policy for AliceH? The internet gives me millions of answers, but the correct one is: no such policy exists.

Comment from BJM
Time: March 13, 2014, 8:52 pm

Is metric asswad the EU equivalent of the Imperial measure of a shitload?

Seriously, I too visit a lot of art sites and I’m continually amazed and inspired by the sheer volume of talent on the web.

Have youse guys seen this one?


[Note the awesome storm sequence at 2:45 -3:15.]

Halverson’s work is much more inspiring than the hacks who produced the allegedly “new” Cosmos for Fox (Click thru to his site for moar).

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 13, 2014, 9:20 pm

I wondered how the new Cosmos went. The silly children on Imgur are gushing about it, I’m guessing because it stars Black Science Guy.

To be honest, I really disliked the original Cosmos. Sagan gets up my nose.

Comment from AliceH
Time: March 13, 2014, 9:34 pm

Mostly, they spent most of the first Cosmos episode being a promotional commercial about how awesome Cosmos was going to be, but still managed to say many stupid things.

I liked this Federalist Critique very much.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 13, 2014, 10:47 pm

Thanks for that, AliceH.

Comment from BJM
Time: March 14, 2014, 5:02 am

@Weaz “I really disliked the original Cosmos”

Yeah…me too. I never understood why everyone was so taken with Sagan.

I totes agree with Campbell’s critique. It’s the Obama curse, everything the man touches turns to shit.

Comment from Timothy S. Carlson
Time: March 14, 2014, 8:36 am

The only thing I remember about Carl Sagan is “bill-yuns and bill-yuns” – and I’m an old fart and probably saw a few episodes of Cosmos when it was fresh.

About blogs – yeah, it’s nice to throw your stuff out there and get whatever faint praise may come, but mostly it turns into bickering, name calling, requests for you (the blogger) to give something free or do something free for someone you don’t know from mud.

And that’s why I turned on moderation for my comments – and I don’t moderate. Screw that, I have better things to do.

Comment from Timothy S. Carlson
Time: March 14, 2014, 8:40 am

Whenever I feel cocky and that I’m doing something extra special, I think of my favorite motivational poster and just settle the fuck down:


Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: March 14, 2014, 6:50 pm

I have no concept how many blogs there are out there now; it was from Technorati data but after all this time who the heck knows? I’m not sure anyone does. But if you dial it down to “blogs that post more than once a week” its probably in the low thousands.

Comment from Forklift
Time: March 15, 2014, 6:04 pm

Yeah the problem is not that there’s going to be a lot of people out there who don’t like what you made.

Instead it is that the internet makes already selfish and conceited people entirely solipsistic. Everybody thinks the world (the net) exists for their amusement only. If they don’t like something, it’s not enough to just not look at it. They have to tell that thing “go die fucker get off my planet”. In reality they’re really remarkably thin-skinned (irony) and covering it up with a display of arrogance and hostility.

For their part a lot of content creators already have the typical insecurity that comes with putting personal creations in public (this is human and normal, nothing to be ashamed of.) Sometimes they don’t understand what’s really happening and get hung up on wanting to please everyone. Then get mad when nobody is pleased.

End of the day though… I generally fall on the side of the creators. The net is full of bored idiots with nothing better to do than imagine they’re hurting someone by leaving junk commentary.

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