A river that needs crossing political and tech blogs - On the political side, there is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side there is naivety and over- complexity

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Is the value in stirring up the past?


looking at the actavist groups I have been involved with. Its interesting to try and record your view of what happened and why it happened. Though as most people will have internalised a different view to yours  this can be painful for thoughs who lived through this history. This rises the question of is this a useful thing to do? 

"those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it"  George Santayana

The is deferentially a problem of circler behaver in media activism and wider issues:


* Problem of liberal views of activist history 

* Problem of activist memory hole - our web resources are transient and the backups disappear. The mentality of activists tend to be “we invented this – this is new – we are the first”

* Academics will work with authoritative sources – this is inherently biased

* ...

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Omg . there's more of this stuff!

Hamish is once again taking the extremely arrogant position that his history is the true one, and those of us who have a conflicting version are in the "activist memory hole", most insultingly that we are simply "forgetting". It's a very good point about the death of actviist sites - that's a real problem for historians - but I just hope that the history is not written by this author, who will serve up everything conservative historians need to tell a story of internal strife and failure. (btw, my first degree was in history.....)
Posted on 03/04/13 00:59.
Well, he is trying to be the Thersites....in fact, if you look at the web, stuff is disappearing all over. This is not a problem with activism per se, but the faith people are putting into a relatively transient medium generally (paper also erodes, but not as quickly/mysteriously). I must say that the idea that thought does not progress, but is simply repeated, was born on me forcefully at a recent 'feminist' debate which seemed to feel it should include the discussion of make-up - and it was distressing. But yes, the attitude which says 'you should just learn from other wiser people who have gone before you ' - and therefore excludes anyone who can't read/has no access to books/is not part of a circle - is also an extremely distasteful one.
Posted on 04/04/13 23:57.
So it is a question, or rather a series of questions, which at least this has raised, and quite interesting - to the extent that abstruse philosophising is quite interesting, but grassroots more so - handsome is as handsome does, for example.
Posted on 05/04/13 00:23.
Rich i think you misunderstand the idea of blogs... they are the thoughts of the person who writes them... the world has moved on from gatekeepers and even the idea of "truth" is a more vague thing... maybe a diversity of opinions is a good thing but in activism we generally don't even have this...
Posted on 05/04/13 23:25 in reply to Richard Hering.
Interesting to read up about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thersites

I think thought dose progress, just that in activist circles I have seen many of the same (failing) thoughts to many times repeated... and I have been around to see this (:

Activism can be very excluding and this is one of its many repeating failings - when it cross fertilizes it burns - narrowing to monoculture... hummm sad.

When activism catches fire its exciting stuff. How do we learn now that is an interesting Q. for a film maker, will write more on this.
Posted on 06/04/13 00:05 in reply to t.
NB The wiki entry on Thersites is not helpful - Thersites in Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, for example, is a complex and not unsympathetic character who represents the saying of things that other people do not want to hear. Sometimes they do not want to hear them because Thersites is right; sometimes, however, he is plainly wrong.
Posted on 07/04/13 16:37.