I caught myself doing something that makes me nuts when it's done to me - the fifteen second reading indulgence. I had followed a link to a column that former litigator Glenn Greenwald writes for Salon.com
. The topic, mentioned in an email news list, that caught my attention was a critique of a reporter's coverage of John McCain, but I accidentally stumbled onto an earlier post about the unintended consequential results of hate speech laws
. The topic caught my attention - I think that there are probably enough laws to cover pretty much anything that one person might do to another, and that legislating intent and thought is both dangerous and more than a little useless.
I finished reading, nodded to myself, and then was ready to head off elsewhere and suddenly knew that even though I just read two pieces back-to-back from the same author that seemed solid, I had no intention of checking back in the future for further posts. There is something more than a little peculiar about how many of us approach the world as readers, these days. We see something of value, but it is as though these items appear out of nowhere, have no connection to any one person, and certainly could not be evidence that more of the same might be found there. It's as though much of humanity had become thoughtless intellectual cattle, roaming about, grazing here and there, but never drawing any conclusions as to the best places to munch based on experience.
I'm sure people do bookmark spots, I do at times, but perhaps there is just too much out there and trying to keep up with it all has become more burden than freedom. Or maybe there is just so much out there that some of us are sitting tightly in a pool of serendipity, figuring that the interesting things will show up eventually. But I'm wondering how much of value I miss because I don't follow up - even for the few sites where I have a paid subscription.
Labels: Internet, online, reading, web, writing