This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Out. For. A. Walk. Bitch."
11980 members | you are not logged in | 23 June 2018


July 10 2007

SF writer John Scalzi opens up discussion on Web reality. "Overheard recently: 'The problem with using the Web as a model for what's really going on is that on the Web, Ron Paul is a presidential front runner and Serenity is the greatest science fiction movie ever made.' Discuss."

Using Web as a research tool to find out what's really going on:

Go to google.

Looking up 'greatest movies ever made'.

Serenity isn't on any of the lists on the first page. Or the second. Or the third.

I've no idea where they're looking to find this. Maybe or
I think it might have been the results of that SFX poll filtering through to umpteen blogs.
Ah, that. Well, we're certainly pretty obsessive :D
It's a fair point that those who shout the loudest on t'intarwebs tend to get heard but it's also true that what they're shouting isn't necessarily false just because it's loud.

Still, wise to be skeptical about the net's ability to affect mainstream change, it's pretty easy to get caught in the fishbowl and fooled into believing everyone can see the castle's grandness.

(not really into military sci-fi, has anyone read any of his stuff ? Any good ?)
"Serenity" does come up under a Google search for "greatest science fiction movies ever made." And we do dominate polls on a fairly regular basis...
Looking up 'greatest movies ever made'.
That's not what he said. He said "greatest science fiction movie ever made." Do THAT search, and you'll find some Serenity mentions.

Also, I've never heard of Ron Paul.
Ron Paul hasn't heard of Serenity either.
Off-topic here: Scalzi, well, I've read Old Man's War and a sequel, The Ghost Brigades. I normally avoid military SF due to the Ever-Escalting Badass Factor. Scalzi's work is pretty good. It's not Armor or anything (if there's one military SF you must read, it would be that), but he's worthwhile.

But, yeah, he's right: the Internet is frequently one giant echo chamber. People forget that they frequent just a teensy tiny slice of it.
Mal does have a Ron Paul libertarian, you can't take the skies from me streak in him, though. I think that's part of what he's talking about.

A big, strong powerful government not being able to stop the signal, and all.
The difference between Internet and just ground-level reality, IMO, is the awareness that yet another level of reality is being considered and debated, and regardless created. It's sort of like literacy, except that there are a lot of literate people who don't care about it. I used to be one of those. I think I was wrong.
I dunno, sometimes I wonder about that awareness of the other levelness in internet debates. I love that people care about these things and will happily spend hours nattering about them myself but sometimes folk seem so, so upset about a fictional occurrence it seems almost as if they've taken the whole post-modern thing about not 'privileging realities' completely to heart.

And thanks Ocular might check out some of Scalzi's stuff and will almost definitely have a look at 'Armor' (even if I keep wanting to stick a 'u' in there ;). From a couple of reviews i've since read it sounds like military SF in the same way that e.g. 'The Forever War' is or in the way that 'Catch-22' is a WWII story.
Like with the original kind of literacy, there's no correlation with intelligence, or common sense, or not having a crippling personality disorder. It's not the medium's fault.
It's sad but true about Ron Paul, I'm afraid. The online buzz about him is huge, like the early Howard Dean days. It seems like people who are exposed to Paul, (at least in my circle) can't believe there's a guy out there like this, and that they'd have so much in common with him when it comes to world view. He's the first politician that ever made me actually think about things differently after I'd heard him speak. Typically, I listen to these guys and just move them into one of two columns on my mental legal pads. "He's one of them." or "He's one of us." Pretty sad state of affairs, especially as I usually have just about as much use for the prats in my column as I do those from other side of the page.

And then I heard Ron Paul, and I actually felt my opinion changing based on his incredibly smart, sensible and unique way of looking at things. I'm not on board with everything he says, but how refreshing to have a third kind of voice not weighed down by arrogance like Nader. Unfortunately, I don't sense that his online audience is in any way reflective of the U.S. population as a whole, who would likely string him up for his libertarian assertions on drugs and the like.

[ edited by barest_smidgen on 2007-07-11 15:45 ]

[ edited by barest_smidgen on 2007-07-11 15:46 ]
Unfortunately, I don't sense that his online audience is in any way reflective of the U.S. population as a whole, who would likely string him up for his libertarian assertions on drugs and the like.

barest_smidgen, there's not a lot of factional political discussion allowed on this board, and I respect that. I think it's ok to say, though, from my own experience that Ron Paul is not a breath of fresh air in the part of Texas that he and I both come from. There he's been an elected representative since before I could vote, and he hasn't been strung-up... I probably need to stop there, please email me if you want more of my perspective.

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home