Digital Turrets

Before I get started let me state that I am not trying to offend anyone.  I am using this opportunity to do a little bit of ranting myself while also reflecting upon the required readings.  Tim Hitchcock, in his article “Academic History Writings and its Disconnects” spends a bit of time describing how he wrote it.  He states that it was originally written in a ranting voice with a slightly adolescent tone.  He goes on to tell that the articles reviewers flagged it as a text “intended for personal, verbal presentation.”  Well done reviewers! I believe that many blogs, tweets, etc. should be reserved for personal and verbal conversations.  Although I do not have a problem with Hitchcock’s article, it did just reenforce my current stance that certain things should be saved for personal conversations.  Or, if a person really desires to blog or post something, what they intend to say needs to be of some value, and formatted in a responsible and logical way.  Because so many people across the globe continue to post things that have not business being on the Internet, I have coined the phrase “digital turrets.”  Digital turrets is the condition where random blogs, videos and related materials are posted without the authors ability to control what they are doing.  Here are a few examples;  Not everyone posts such garbage.  However, if traditional scholarly works are dying out in favor of digital scholarship and being made accessible to the masses including people like those in the links above, does future scholarship have to take on a more conversational tone in order to become appealing?  Will the vernacular of non-academeics become the medium that scholars must use in order to make their works accessible?  Even Hitchcock finishes his article by stating, “. . . I have suddenly moved into blog mode – and it is simply more fun than academic writing.”  I hope that the “fun” of blogging doesn’t cause academic writing to completely regress into conversational prose.  


By the way, watching that lady eat the pepper cracks me up every time.  I guess nonsensical postings do have a purpose!


One thought on “Digital Turrets

  1. Pepper-eating lady included, I agree with you that most of the stuff that is posted to the net is often more entertaining than educational. Can there be a middle ground? You voice a hope that academic writing will retain aspects of its traditional form. Haven’t we already seen this decline in so-called “popular press histories”? Do we not already have a distinction between academic and general texts? How does the internet make this more problematic, if it does?

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