Bloggers and Discourse in the Internet (Part 2 and a repeat)

This post is actually a repeat of the post – Bloggers and Discourse in the Internet . Hence the title contains the word “repeat”. However, this post also contains new material, so the words “part 2” come into being.

This post is motivated by my observations in JY’s (Jed Yoong) post – Comments, some tips.  I was particularly interested by the comment by the cyber-identity witso. In the first instance I was tempted to reply back. But upon some considerations, I rather not. This is because I don’t want to go so low as to engage in an incessant debate in which there are really no conclusions, and in such a debate the opposing sides can’t  agree to disagree.  (See this post – Dear Readers, I have to say something ! ) Also my decision is based upon some observations I made earlier. And thus, at this point I will just repeat what I posted some time ago last year in the post – 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 civilizations’. So the thread starter has posted his views on the clash of civilizations. 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 other 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….

Perhaps readers may be able to understand what I mean. But on the other hand, perhaps they don’t. Also there is a possibility that some cyber-identities out there who just want to say – yeah I don’t understand, so please explain more…. just like witso in JY’s post – Comments, some tips.  That cyber-identity may perhaps be setting a trap…

Perhaps I will just recommend witso, his (her) friends or any other cyber-identities who wish to know more about Maluku that they read this article by Birgit Bräuchler:

Cyberidentities at War: Religion, Identity, and the Internet in the Moluccan Conflict.

Indonesia Vol 75 pp: 123-152.


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