“Yo yo” cry the deer

I salute the birth of a sister blog: Barbarism as Method, animated by Elvin Meng. If you heard an echo of Asia as Method (Takeuchi Yoshimi, Chen Kuan-hsing) and of Barbarolexis (Alexandre Leupin), you’re in the right neighborhood. You’ll find intensely material attention paid to old books in languages few speak, with interludes on the Book of Changes, monks with guitars (okay, qins), and dogs that do and don’t bark.

I sometimes think the promise of the Internet faltered at the precise moment when people deserted blogs for the shorter, easier, and often non-verbal communication of FB, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok and so forth. If a few brave scribblers are ready to get back on the leaky vessel of the blog, that’s a good sign. You have enough space in a blog to say something that goes beyond the knee-jerk, and may even involve such turn signals as “But,” “however,” “nonetheless,” “considering that…” and “At the end of the day.” And if you are moved to add a comment, it had better bear comparison with the foregoing, or you’ll feel that you showed up to the party with nothing but an empty trick-or-treat sack. So join the party. In the words of the Book of Songs,

“Yo yo” cry the deer
As they feed on wild bracken.
I have a noble guest:
With harps and strings sound the welcome!

One thought on ““Yo yo” cry the deer

  1. I think the Internet lost its promise in 1995 when the government began to allow its commercialization. (Now, you could legally sell things or advertise on the Internet, which had hitherto been fiercely anti-commercial). I remarked to my co-worker that now the Internet would become “television with a buy button.” Time has proven me entirely right. All the other technological developments — the image, the web browser, the form, and so on to copy-protected video (which is a stab to the heart of anti-commercialism.) — could have developed in an anti-commercial way. The PNG image type is an example. Tom Boutell saw the need for a 16-bit-color, lossless image format and freed it of any of the property encumbrances. Mr. Boutell never saw a penny from that work, but it is crucial to anyone who deals with images. Jean-Loup Gailly did the same thing by implementing the zip compression algorithm. Now, 90% of Internet traffic is composed of proprietary video, and I find that repellent both on simple principles of economy and on the vast corporate mental wasteland that it has spawned. Blogs were an atavism, at least until many of them started featuring commercials, product placements, and so on. Thank goodness there are still a few left.

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