A touch of irony in the morning

More than a touch of fog, too, but that’s just part of the strange late-October weather (85 on Saturday, 81 or so yesterday, foggy and cold this morning; in Monterey, 70 miles south, it’s supposed to be foggy much of the time).

Meanwhile, there’s this essay by Jaron Lanier entitled “DIGITAL MAOISM: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism.” (It actually dates from May, and I should have picked it up in the current Wikipedia essay, but I don’t read Edge and only encountered this third-hand, because Lawrence Lessig noted a post by Nicholas Carr referring to it…the wonders of meta!)

As to the essay itself, apart from the red-baiting title, I have no comment at the moment; it’s long, with a twice-as-long set of responses, and I’ll read it at my offline leisure. I did want to comment on an interesting juxtaposition.

Here are the first two sentences of the essay itself:

My Wikipedia entry identifies me (at least this week) as a film director. It is true I made one experimental short film about a decade and a half ago.

Lanier doesn’t like to be identified as a film director. He disses the short film he made so many years ago. He’s tried changing the Wikipedia entry several times and it keeps being changed back.

And here’s the one-line author bio from Edge at the very end of the long essay (emphasis added):

Jaron Lanier is a film director. He writes a monthly column for Discover Magazine.

Bwahahah…or is the proper response “Doesn’t anyone actually read this stuff before posting it?”

Update: See comments. Apparently I was too obtuse to get the joke.

5 Responses to “A touch of irony in the morning”

  1. Seth Finkelstein Says:

    “Whoosh” :-)

  2. Seth Finkelstein Says:

    By the way, I camped-out on that Wikipedia page as an experiment to get rid of the “film director”. It was annoying.

  3. walt Says:

    Apparently Lanier gave up after a while. And, of course, that Edge article serves as verification that the Wikipedia entry is correct–after all, it’s on Lanier’s own piece. [I'm so pleased to be obscure enough NOT to have an entry in the English Wikipedia...and to have the German stub just sit there. Not that I've checked lately...]

  4. jessamyn Says:

    it’s a joke. unless this is a joke. I had another wikipedia haxie note in a post today.

  5. walt Says:

    Jessamyn–Ah, you mean the bio line on the Edge article is a joke? Could be; which might also explain Seth’s first comment (It went right over my head?). Hmm. Maybe if the Edge piece hadn’t seemed so serious (on skimming: I haven’t read it in depth yet) I would have picked up on the humor.

    Oh well. I’ll leave the post as is, with these comments pointing out my obtuseness. Making it a double touch of irony, I suppose.


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