Welcome to xtcian 3.0, the third major overhaul in my blog since I first logged on in June 2001. To be honest, I didn’t start writing religiously until April 2002, but I get credit for early adopting, right? Actually, no: my brother Steve does. He has been spot-on in some of his technological predictions, and blogging was one of his best. He made a blog for the Pink House movie that I thought we were all going to use, but by the time our lead actor was in the hospital and a typhoon washed away our set, I figured that probably wasn’t going to happen.
Steve did get one thing wrong – I think he once said that people will stop using home PCs with any sort of computing power; they will simply be dummy boxes with the main processing unit outside the home. Perhaps he underestimated the video game culture, or the security concerns of having all your secret documents (porn) outside your immediate control. Or maybe I’m misquoting him and he didn’t say any of that.
Anyway, you’ll notice no real external changes here, but my ability to post and DELETE SPAM has taken a quantum leap forward into the 21st century. Coincidentally, this happened on a weekend when blogs themselves became the topic of conversation (again) in the New York Times and Slate – two very different articles, but both offering predictions of where the medium will go in the next few years.
When people start talking about the Power of the Blog, I get that same uncomfortable feeling I had in the early ’90s when I was pretending to speak for Generation X – trying to force any movement to your liking is a one-way ticket to heartbreak and cringe-worthy prognostications. I don’t feel like any particular blog will ever have the power of say, Fox News, but the living organism of the “blogosphere” – which will include one nugget of info from 4,000 different blogs – will. For instance, I’ve written in this diary for a long fucking time, and it’s my belief that when all is said and done, I will have provided this entry, this entry and perhaps two future entries as my tiny contribution to the national debate on anything.
Which isn’t bad. But I certainly don’t believe that my power as a modestly-popular blogger extends any further than that.
Besides, the mercurial vacillations of Americans never cease to prove paradoxical. What if someone came to you in 1990 and said: “there will be a forum called the Internet on all computers by 2004, and every little theory and rant on the Powers That Be will be accessible by millions at the touch of a button.” You might be tempted to think, “well, I guess that will be the end of all government shenanigans, and our leaders will be held to a higher standard, and the voice of the people will drown out the agenda of major corporations!”
And yet, the opposite has happened. So while blogs may be some mitochondria of future power, but they could also be just one more way that your voice is ever more meaningless in a cruel, uncaring universe. Here’s to my futile stab in that black, gaping existential maw!