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In Defence of Total and Utter Drivelling Idiotic Illiterate Stupid Moronic Etcetetra

Quite soon, for the first time in history, an actual majority of British people (at least) will be regularly using the written word for fun. As a form of entertainment. Their written words, produced by them. And all thanks to texting, online forums, blogs, and the prefabricated convenience mini-websites of Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and the rest. All the names reeled out by the print media (especially) as examples either of our decline into some semi-human swamp of narcissistic sloppy self-indulgence, or as examples of a rising tide of Barbarism which will destroy everything fine and decent. Exactly the same hysteria which has greeted every surge in mass literacy since Gutenberg.
But the shift from being mere consumers of information to producers and distributors of information is something which has never happened before, and will obviously have massive implications for the way people marshal and present their arguments, and even for the way people think. Which is why the gutter press and the sneering classes hate the very idea of the social media which make this revolution possible, and will do everything they can to demean it and stigmatize it as a Vale of Fools.
In fact Facebook and Twitter are only representing the standard level of discourse throughout human history. 99% of every word ever spoken or written has probably been inconsequential trivia. Why forecast the end of civilisation just because we can see it and hear it for the first time?

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