Longreads has always been arrogant sophistry for dummies.
And it takes a special kind of stupid to churn our its babbling dreck.
The article The Internet isn’t forever is a classic case of Captain Obvious dreck that still gets it completely and hopelessly wrong.
That the Internet has led to the erosion of databases and archives of previous articles as well erode the actual product in various other forms is something I have discussed before here, here, here, here, and here.
But the author of this rambling and forgettable lecture misses the bigger point: that yes, the Internet is forever because it forever changed our habits, expectations, limitations, thoughts, and wants.
It finally wrest control of information flow out of the hands of the traditionalists whose hubris was always out of control. It made their lording over public opinion a thing of the past. It ensured their vindictiveness was challenged, their lies exposed, and their shortcomings become glaring.
But it came at a price: it erased the collective long-term memory.
That newspaper archives have vanished is something I have discussed before, with more facts, and with far more brevity. The bottom line is publications cannot afford to retain their old databases, and libraries also aren’t able to keep on to the past.
But there is a reason for that: people do not want to explore the past. They live in the now.
No respect to the past which is our reference, and no thought about the future which is our reward.
That gives them a present with no purpose.
Journalism failed to deliver. The end. That is no one’s fault but journalists (editors, publishers, owners, and other news producers). You need focus and discipline for things other than feeding your own ego. Publications such as Longreads contribute to that intellectual cancer by making a short story long. It is not about impressing your mom and dad with your prattling sophistry and not knowing when to quit.
People have different priorities, options, and thinking patterns. That is the Internet’s legacy, and now you have to deal with it.
Journalism is a concept whose time has come and gone. We need alternatives.
And for the record, radio and television always had that fleeting nature, and their databases were always harder to come by — and yet we never had whiny, writhing babble-fests about that.
But that takes thinking, which is something Longreads has never managed to get the hang of, anyway.
Because if they could scrape together two thoughts amid their mountain of verbiage, they’d see that journalism greatly primed audiences for those shorter attention spans. Television started it. Newspapers and magazines jumped on the bandwagon, with USA Today making it their selling point. It is cheaper to offer opinion and easy-to-find facts. Journalists became a zombie army for Captain Obvious: finding easy information, and then writing cringeworthy narratives to prop up some ill-informed opinion.
The Internet took over from there and mass produced that tiny attention-span, and the shorter the attention span, the less likely you want to waste time combing through archives to read even more from the past.
The world went on without journalism, and yet it is that profession that still hasn’t gotten the memo on their redundancy yet.