What’s wrong with the world wide web today?

I am. (To adapt a Chesterton line of uncertain authenticity.)

Don’t get me wrong. It’s great! – it’s hopeful! – we are gathered here today to celebrate 20 years of Crooked Timber; meanwhile Twitter seems to be splintering. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, we agree.

Microblogging killed blogging. Sadly, there’s no way to put blogging back together by lashing together several microblogging platforms.

To repeat, it’s my fault, not Elon’s. Nobody forced me to stop blogging and start tweeting. It was the wrong choice, overall, morally, intellectually, culturally, politically. It wasn’t even a choice, of course. A drift.

If folks were less liable to make poor choices at the margins, Silicon Valley social media Masters of the Universe wouldn’t stand a chance.

So I stand before you today resolved to do better – be better. Get back in shape. Back to the land. Back to blogging.

I’m hoping none of the new Twitter clones achieves dominance. We’ll lose efficiency – but win back autonomy, alleviation of temptation, retardation of enshittification. One may hope.

Let’s recall what was great and good about blogging in its heyday. Let’s revisit a few good ones. (And, of course, no need to exaggerate OG quality of the medium. I could start a Substack.) [click to continue…]

Sunday photoblogging: Berlin Alexanderplatz (3)

by Chris Bertram on July 9, 2023

Berlin Alexanderplatz