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Friday, February 25, 2005

Michael Gorman, president-elect of the American Library Association, is Dean of Library Services, Madden Library, California State University, Fresno.

So says the byline on this op-ed piece he wrote.

Now, I am usually the last one to invoke the phrase "he just doesn't get it" -- because particularly in the blogosphere this is accompanied by a nudge and a wink to validate that we don't actually have to SPECIFY what it is that a critic doesn't understand, that it's all just so plainly obvious that blogging, RSS and the whole phenomenon is the best thing since sliced bread that to spell it out in words would be a silly waste of time.

But this guy clearly doesn't get it on so many different levels. His utter disdain for average people, and the notion that they might actually have something useful or insightful to say, is beyond belief.

I read his remarks as an indictment of the democratization of publishing and information access. Apparently in his world view, if you can't get a traditional book publisher to publish you, then you have no business getting your words out. Likewise, all your information needs can be satisfied by buying books, reading newspapers, and asking librarians for help -- there's no reason why one should have to use a Google or MSN Search to find information for one's self -- let alone get direct access to someone else's writings.

Well, if nothing else, Mr. Gorman has proven one thing. While he seems to claim that the lack of verbal eloquence in the small sampling of blogs he's read is an indicator of a lack of intellectual horsepower in the medium, he has equally shown through his own writings that even the most well-constructed missive can be utterly devoid of rational and insightful thought. There is clearly no correlation between command of the English language and higher thinking.

9:59:04 AM    ; comment []

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