Mulled whine

Voice Card  -  Volume 17  -  Stuart Card Number 2  -  Sun, Dec 2, 1990 11:40 AM

This is ONE OF 2 responses to VC 16 John 11 ("But do we want it?")...


I had a long reply to one of your voice cards, a reply to Paul about the future of Archipelago. I was trying to underline a movie title and lost the whole reply.

[Editor's note: I have re-established the link. When formating text (adding underlines, etc.) be sure to use the control key and not the command () key. The Help Stack now includes a summary of these codes.]

My main assertion in the card was to make a point about the information explosion (all those cable t.v. channels, all those Xeroxed pieces of paper, all the information generated on computers and sent through electronic mail ways, etc.); viz., with all the emphasis on quantity, I hear very little being said about quality of information being spewed forth and multiplied into a world gagging on information glut. In such a world, information has the value of just another "unit" produced in a consumeristic world - you use it once and then throw it away. It's all just so much drek: information designed for quick use and quick disposal afterwards.

By making Archipelago a citadel where one can come, create, and savor ideas and words and passions, we participants are creating another sort of "real time" (as opposed to the "real time" discussed in Paul's voice card). I am reminded from a scene in the movie Rueben, Rueben, where the main character, a Dylan Thomas-like poet, encountering a couple of entrepreneurs who are talking about how much money they hope to make from teaching people to read faster, replies that he would pay people to help him read slower; he would pay to have people help him savor and mull over the books he loves. This character would love archipelago, I think.

And I don't think I'm being Philistine or undemocratic either. Democratic values are supported not only on the free flow of information, but also on such qualitative pillars as argument, on the formulation of ideas, on give and take, and on being heard - activities that take time. "Real time" in this case means having the time to mull our immediate whinings over and turn them into more lasting expressions.