Lolcats: A Sign of Human Cultural Progress

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Clay Shirky makes a very compelling argument for why internet memes and the other creative collaborative phenomena of the internet (like Wikipedia) can be seen as an impressive human achievement, and a sign that our society has made a significant leap forward.

He draws a distinction between our current cultural setting and that of the pre-internet era, based on the ability of the internet to give us a “media landscape that lets us work collaboratively, cooperatively, cumulatively.”

The range of creativity is not limited to the civic-ly valuable actions.  But even if we take Lolcats and we stipulate, as the lawyers say, that this is the stupidest possible creative act… the stupidest possible creative act is still a creative act.

Doing something is different than doing nothing.

The internet as the next distinct stage of human cultural evolution?  It’s not like, as bloggers, we don’t have anything invested in promoting this idea.

(via Neatorama.)


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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.