Looking back on the blogging experiment
Sullivan himself, in explaining his decision to shut down The Dish, acknowledged his own frustrations with blogging. “Although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing,” he wrote, “I yearn for other, older forms.” He wanted to “have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged,” and to “write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me.”
It’s a fact that more artists and writers tailor their works with the Internet viewer in mind. There are artists who make trendy abstract paintings in bold, unmodulated colors so nothing is gained or lost when one sees them on Instagram or in the gallery; these paintings are as easy to apprehend online as a color swatch for a sofa, which is ideal for the collector who doesn’t have time to experience the product in person. Similarly, there are more writers who write with transparent compression, knowing that their phrases could be atomized into tweets, chiseled into self-sufficient, endlessly linkable fragments.
[How Instagram replaced Kodak, not a simple moral fable]
Far from problems with supply chain issues being entirely caused by technology or the logic of disruptive tech companies, we’re dealing with basic geopolitical issues concerning outsourced labor. Such issues concern work occurring at a massive scale (and not its elimination, which is what Keen concentrates on) and the associated struggles surrounding worker compensation abroad and the domestic desire for inexpensive consumer goods. To get a handle on these matters, nuanced analysis is required that reckons with how governments, corporations, and citizens are dealing with global commerce.