If we consider twitter an extension or usurpation of the social space/function that blogs used to inhabit/perform, then this talk by Chris Weingarten can be read as further evidence of the ‘creative nihilism’ that blogging exhibits. If the “real time web”, as Weingarten calls it, completely destroyed the things which loss he is here lamenting and didn’t bring anything new with them (even if it doesn’t properly replace them) it might be valid to describe the process as pure nihilism. But since it is in fact bringing somethign new, what Geert Lovink calls a “dense cloud of impressions” around a topic, it’s useful to describe it as a creative nihilism. Weingarten is here just focussing on the destructive/negative aspects of that creative nihilism.
On a more positive unrelated note, I read this news article about an as yet unpublished study from the UK that found public servants who responded in the 80’s to a questionnaire by saying they were bored were more likely to be dead now than their non-bored colleagues. Not that I needed further convincing, but this seems like compelling evidence for Jim Rossignol’s thesis that boredom is a serious and important issue. Obviously, there’s a lot at play here – personal dispositions and temperaments for one, the kind of work one does, for another – but I see a lot of potential good that could come from the collision of games and the elimination of boredom.
At 2am yesterday I was in a 24hour internet café with a couple of friends, and putting aside the horrible quality of the PC’s, it was actually a pretty sweet experience. It was never boring – even the boring bits weren’t proper boring – because we had entered into a space with the express purpose of playing videogames. It’s a special kind of thing the internet café – just make sure you pay the extra $1 to get the good computers, or you’ll end up spending all your time waiting for the games to load.