Lemmings at Internet speed  AUG 01 2002

Andrew Sullivan on what the Internet has done to media in America:

"Now, all sorts of entities and non-entities can reveal to mass audiences the agendas of these media machers. That's a huge gain. A reader pointed out recently that one of Tocqueville's deepest worries about America was its herd mentality, especially in intellectual matters. The internet is like a car-horn in the middle of a pack of lemmings. It disperses the throng; and some of the poor schmucks even avoid going over the cliff."

What a bunch of self-congratulating hogwash. Here are some Internet/lemming/horn similes that are more accurate:

"The Internet is a car horn honking frantically, herding lemmings off cliffs at an ever-increasing rate."

"With the Internet, the lemmings are now carpooling off cliffs in really fast cars."

"Andrew Sullivan has a big horn and his readers are lemmings."

"Individual media outlets on the Internet (i.e. weblogs) are like car alarms. They make a lot of noise, but no one pays any attention to them. Oh, and the lemmings, um, don't pay any attention either."

"The Internet allows lemmings of all sociopolitical viewpoints (even those that like car horns) to gather themselves into groups for the purpose of finding the right sort of cliff to launch themselves off of."

"Some lemmings, having recently gained the ability to honk, now think of themselves as big, shiny cars thundering across bridges instead of plummeting to their deaths with the rest of the riff raff."

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