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Opening Arguments

Getting too nice out there?

Actually, I haven't noticed this much myself:

In the hours after Sandy made landfall, noted online wits doffed their aloof masks and hung their heads in solidarity; those who seemed insufficiently somber got chastised. The key word of the storm became hunker—a term that nearly oozes honey glaze and cocoa. “Much of the seen-it-all and isn’t-it-dumb seemed to leak out of my Twitter stream,” the media critic David Carr wrote a couple of days later.

For those of us who learned to love the web best as a hostile, predatory, somewhat haunted place, this kindness is startling—but not as startling as it might once have been. These days, life online has become friendly, well mannered, oversweet. Everyone is on his or her very best behavior—and if they’re not, they tend to be quickly iced out of the conversation. The sweet camaraderie that flourished during Sandy isn’t just for terror and crisis anymore; it has become the way the Internet lives now.

[. . .]

Ten years ago, the web offered the worldview of a disaffected apparatchik and the perils of a Wild West saloon. Brawls broke out frequently; snideness triumphed; perverts, predators, and pettifoggers gathered in dark corners to prey on the lost and naïve. Now, though, the place projects the upbeat vigor of a Zumba session and the fellow-feeling of a neighborhood café.

Sure, when disaster strikes, the weapons are sheathed and people help each other. That's reflected online as elsewhere. But day in and day out, I see the same old snark, not this alleged treacle. But maybe that's just me. What do you bastards think?


Tue, 11/27/2012 - 12:32am

Actually, the Iron Dome technology is relatively low-tech and appear to have the look and feel of the Patriot batteries that were installed during the Gulf War, but did not work as advertised.  The real technically competent missile is called David's Sling.  These Israeli-designed missles are designed to stop Syrian Scuds flying in at low altitude and which can be redirected in mid-flight.  Finally there are the  US-Israeli designed Arrow missiles which will meet up with Iranian long-range rockets in the stratisphere. 

Tue, 11/27/2012 - 12:34am

Sorry - posted to wrong place.  Not sure how that happened.