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ledocs
01-23-2009, 01:26 AM
I have suffered from something akin to postpartum depression since Nov. 5. And, for a while, my interest in bhtv waned considerably. I just want to say that during the last two weeks or so the quality of the diavlogs seems to have picked up again, and part of this, dare I say it, is attributable to the age of the contributors. The site was becoming overwhelmed by diavlogs featuring callow youth, and recently more middle-aged people have come to the fore. The young just aren't that interesting, if I may be allowed a generalization. I am afraid that reality conflicts with the likely need for bhtv to appeal to a younger demographic.

On another note, why are there so many kooks on the Internet? Better, why is it that kooks feel obliged to express themselves in online forums such as the bhtv user forum? Is it because the general population is filled with kooks? Why am I not a featured presenter at Davos this year, or any other year?

Francoamerican
01-23-2009, 05:51 AM
I have suffered from something akin to postpartum depression since Nov. 5. And, for a while, my interest in bhtv waned considerably. I just want to say that during the last two weeks or so the quality of the diavlogs seems to have picked up again, and part of this, dare I say it, is attributable to the age of the contributors. The site was becoming overwhelmed by diavlogs featuring callow youth, and recently more middle-aged people have come to the fore. The young just aren't that interesting, if I may be allowed a generalization. I am afraid that reality conflicts with the likely need for bhtv to appeal to a younger demographic.?

My opinion entirely. Listening to the "youngsters" on bhtv is a bore, and confirms my belief that American education is even worse than when I was an undergraduate and a graduate student in the US. O tempora, o mores!

On another note, why are there so many kooks on the Internet? Better, why is it that kooks feel obliged to express themselves in online forums such as the bhtv user forum? Is it because the general population is filled with kooks? Why am I not a featured presenter at Davos this year, or any other year?

I often tell my French friends that there are more crackpots per square mile in the US than in any other country. This is difficult to translate because there is no exact equivalent of "crackpot," or kook for that matter. It has always been so, I am afraid. Tocqueville has some interesting observations on the influence of democratic manners on matters of the intellect.

uncle ebeneezer
01-23-2009, 08:58 PM
I disagree. Generally speaking, not about last week.

I think the young guns that Bloggingheads features (Yglesias, Ezra, Will Wilkinson, Eli, Ross) are great. That's not to say there aren't some that are pretty lame (cough...Meghan, cough...Matt Contineti, cough...Conn Carroll). But I don't think it's any different for more mature BHeads. For Every Glenn Lowry, Josh Cohen, Brink Lindsey, (yay) we also have a Jim Pinkerton, David Frum, Ann Althouse and (violent gag) Bob Kagan. I just don't see this as any thing other than a typical breakdown of quality. And then there's the in-between's like Dan Drezner, Heather Hurlburt, Rosa etc. So I just don't see age being a very consistent factor.

With the young guys you get a bit more snark, but more open-mindedness to new ideas/arguments. And with older guys, you get more experience and wisdom, but more tendency not to budge from the positions they've spent decades defending.

A good example is Lowry vs. McWhorter (or Ta Na-Hesi for that matter.) Glen seems to be a bit more reluctant towards new ideas/outlooks than John McW. But he also has more of a historical vantage-point and knowledge of the past. That's not to say either or is better or worse. They just bring different things to the table.

And to me that's the great thing about BHTV. It's the first place I've seen where it's not just the old guys club (like Meet the Press, Crossfire and all the other shows I grew up on.) It's cool to see the yungins and the elders interact. Except Mickey who's still apparently afraid of Ezra.

bjkeefe
01-23-2009, 09:40 PM
Well said, uncle eb.

One question:

And then there's the in-between's like Dan Drezner, Heather Hurlburt, Rosa etc.

In your view, are they "in-betweens" by virtue of age or quality?

uncle ebeneezer
01-23-2009, 10:03 PM
Age, of course. Sorry, i should have clarified. They are 3 of BH's finest. And by "FINE-ness" I'm referring to quality not attractiveness ;-)

Speaking of age/generation dfferences/discussions, I assume you saw this:

http://ta-nehisicoates.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/01/antiboomerism.php#comments

Wow, talk about heated. Who knew that this issue would be more contentious than almost anything between Libs/Repubs, Obama/McCain, Christians/Muslims etc.?

bjkeefe
01-23-2009, 10:52 PM
Age, of course. Sorry, i should have clarified. They are 3 of BH's finest. And by "FINE-ness" I'm referring to quality not attractiveness ;-)

Oh, come now. Drezner is Teh Hawt!!!

Speaking of age/generation dfferences/discussions, I assume you saw this:

http://ta-nehisicoates.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/01/antiboomerism.php#comments

Wow, talk about heated. Who knew that this issue would be more contentious than almost anything between Libs/Repubs, Obama/McCain, Christians/Muslims etc.?

Heh. Yeah, I did see that.

Maybe I'm missing something, maybe because I was born on the cusp of Boomerdom and GenX, but I've never even begun to understand why this could possibly be worth getting worked up about. Oddly enough, I take some comfort from scenes like this -- I think if people are wasting time fighting about something this stupid, life must not really be that bad.

graz
01-24-2009, 12:05 AM
... Listening to the "youngsters" on bhtv is a bore, and confirms my belief that American education is even worse than when I was an undergraduate and a graduate student in the US. O tempora, o mores!


There you go again (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkAUrPHLkA8)

uncle ebeneezer
01-24-2009, 01:43 AM
Ya know, watching that clip complete really confounds me as to why that became such a culturally iconic moment. It was really just an empty response. Is it really that much better than I-know-you-R-but-what-am-I?

graz
01-24-2009, 01:55 AM
Is it really that much better than I-know-you-R-but-what-am-I?

Not much, but appropriate for the occasion now if not then.

bjkeefe
01-24-2009, 01:59 AM
Ya know, watching that clip complete really confounds me as to why that became such a culturally iconic moment. It was really just an empty response. Is it really that much better than I-know-you-R-but-what-am-I?

It was made big by the liberal media, who were in the tank for Reagan.

uncle ebeneezer
01-24-2009, 02:04 AM
Graz, your use of it was fine (and funny.) It was like one of those catch-phrases that gets moved into so many contexts that later on you finally ask "what does that even mean?" in exasperation when your opponent uses it. I mean, Carter's point about Reagan's lack of concern over healthcare coverage seems pretty on the mark.

Francoamerican
01-24-2009, 06:10 AM
I think the young guns that Bloggingheads features (Yglesias, Ezra, Will Wilkinson, Eli, Ross) are great. That's not to say there aren't some that are pretty lame (cough...Meghan, cough...Matt Contineti, cough...Conn Carroll). But I don't think it's any different for more mature BHeads. For Every Glenn Lowry, Josh Cohen, Brink Lindsey, (yay) we also have a Jim Pinkerton, David Frum, Ann Althouse and (violent gag) Bob Kagan. I just don't see this as any thing other than a typical breakdown of quality. And then there's the in-between's like Dan Drezner, Heather Hurlburt, Rosa etc. So I just don't see age being a very consistent factor.

With the young guys you get a bit more snark, but more open-mindedness to new ideas/arguments. And with older guys, you get more experience and wisdom, but more tendency not to budge from the positions they've spent decades defending.

A good example is Lowry vs. McWhorter (or Ta Na-Hesi for that matter.) Glen seems to be a bit more reluctant towards new ideas/outlooks than John McW. But he also has more of a historical vantage-point and knowledge of the past. That's not to say either or is better or worse. They just bring different things to the table.

And to me that's the great thing about BHTV. It's the first place I've seen where it's not just the old guys club (like Meet the Press, Crossfire and all the other shows I grew up on.) It's cool to see the yungins and the elders interact. Except Mickey who's still apparently afraid of Ezra.

Your assessment of the oldsters, Frum, Pinkerton and Althouse and Kagan, is completely wrong and is probably based on your politics. They all bring to the discussion experience, judgment and knowledge that can't be picked up by cruising around the internet. Of the younger crew Wilkinson and Lake are the only ones I would endorse....for the same reasons. All the others bore me. They are echo chambers of the news cycles, and, frankly, much American news commentary is just so much chattering about some overblown nothings, lightened by a little "snark", as you say. This in fact seems to me the main flaw of Bloggingheads. But what is a flaw from my point of view may be a virtue from yours.

I only watch a few of the dialogues, having already made up my mind about the participants. Perhaps I should give them another hearing. But life is short.

nikkibong
01-24-2009, 08:06 PM
I only watch a few of the dialogues, having already made up my mind about the participants.

ok, it's official: you cannot be real.

you must be a ruse! so: bjkeefe, is that you? twinswords? very funny work, guys!

Anyuser
01-24-2009, 09:03 PM
My opinion entirely. Listening to the "youngsters" on bhtv is a bore, and confirms my belief that American education is even worse than when I was an undergraduate and a graduate student in the US. O tempora, o mores!Wow, I could tell you were highly educated! What was your graduate degree in?

uncle ebeneezer
01-25-2009, 03:57 AM
Your assessment of the oldsters, Frum, Pinkerton and Althouse and Kagan, is completely wrong and is probably based on your politics.

Actually it's based on the reasons I spelled out specifically. They are very predictable, never budge and rarely show any interest in questioning or challenging their own views. There are people on the left that I think suffer the same problem. Alterman, Jane Hamsher sometimes. I love their views but they're not always the best diavloggers. I agree with far more of Mickey's political views than Ross Douthat's, but i think Ross is a much better diavloggers.

I detect a pretty obvious "age-ism" on your part. You're entitled to judge wisdom based on whatever factor you like, but I think the focus on age, is misguided. My whole point was that there are +'s and -'s to both ends of the age spectrum. And that the breakdown of good/bad diavloggers seems roughly the same regardless of age.

Francoamerican
01-25-2009, 07:58 AM
ok, it's official: you cannot be real.

you must be a ruse! so: bjkeefe, is that you? twinswords? very funny work, guys!

Nikkibong, I assure you I am real, although I sometimes feel, like Benjamin Constant, that "je ne suis pas tout à fait un être réel." It is a trait of self-abusers to think the world is an illusion.... s'abuser = to be mistaken

Bjkeefe and Twinswords, I am sure, are full of imagination, but do you think they could invent a froggie born in Connecticut who offends nearly everybody?

Francoamerican
01-25-2009, 08:03 AM
Wow, I could tell you were highly educated! What was your graduate degree in?

Oh you know, one of those worthless subjects that are so often debated on bloggingheads by people who know nothing...perhaps you are one of them?

Francoamerican
01-25-2009, 09:00 AM
Ageism? If you like. But that wasn't my point. The problem is that too many of the dialogues are nothing but echo chambers of the news cycle. I'm just not interested in listening to people who spend all their time blogging, reading other bloggers, trawling the internet and watching TV.

uncle ebeneezer
01-25-2009, 03:12 PM
The problem is that too many of the dialogues are nothing but echo chambers of the news cycle.

Gotcha. We just disagree on which diavloggers are the guilty parties and why they fall into those tendencies.