Bloggers and Discourse in the Internet

I would like to describe a common ‘trap’ that is commonly used by bloggers and cyber identities when they are into some kind of debate. At this stage, I don’t have a term to describe this trap. Perhaps some one can suggest.

I remember reading some threads in one of the Malaysian internet forums. (I won’t name the forum here).

I was reading some discussion on the ‘clash of civilization’. So the thread starter has posted his views on the clash of civilization. So he uses the term ‘Western civilization’. And then surprisingly, there was this cyber-identity who argued why should the term ‘Western’ be used at all.  I find this amazing as the term ‘Western’ has been used by historians – just go and type “western civilization” at www.jstor.org or any other academic databases and you see what I mean.

Unfortunately the thread starter has fallen into this trap. Oh… what a poor soul. The thread starter explained at considerable length what he means by ‘Western’ and ‘Western civilisation’. (Well, I can’t really say ‘poor soul’ – it may very well be that the thread starter enjoyed writing for the sake of writing).

However, in writing all the explanation of this and that, the original message is lost.

And, other cyber-identities who visited that thread pick up certain terms and demanded an explanation of why such terms are used.

It is very unfortunate….

I have seen this situation repeated several times…..

So, is it justifiable that from these observations – that the term – blogger Malaysia masih bodoh is valid?

Returning to the issue about what is a western civilization – I would like to wish the thread starter and readers in that forum to refer to this article by Lawrence Birken (1992) – What is Western Civilization? This article was published in The History Teacher Vol 25 No 4.

This saves a lot of time than rambling on and on…..

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