Intellectual Trash

Malcolm King, former media advisor to the ALP and the Australian Democrats has a piece on Online Opinion (Australia's e-journal of social and political debate) this month about virtual worlds.

It's tantalizingly entitled "Virtual Worlds - it's time to take out the intellectual trash." All in all, the title is ... surprisingly apt.

As demagogy goes, it's a well crafted emotional piece, full of spun hype while paying lip-service to logic. The funny thing is that while all the premises are wrong leading to an amusing set of pronouncements - they're each, individually almost right, in a "The Internet is a series of tubes" sort of way.

Laced with subtle inaccuracies, most of it seems to both rely on and contest the fallacy of confusing the medium with the message (where something takes place does not invalidate what is taking place). I don't know the unnamed "cyber academics" he keeps referring to or anyone who actually holds or espouses the intellectual positions he claims them to. Perhaps he has misinterpreted them just as surely as he got Linden Lab's name wrong - or perhaps it's just a straw-man.

Anyway, while it's all a bit of an unstructured tangle - that doesn't mean it's not worth reading. It concludes: The famous aphorism that states that "data isn't information, information isn't knowledge and knowledge isn't wisdom" has never been truer.

Which I think, in the end, is my own point as well.

[via The Metaverse Journal]