May 10, 2005
Yes, I Actually Submitted This in a Paper
I turned in, and did rather well on, a paper including the following two passages:
1. Just as eBay is an esoteric marketplace of goods for buyers and sellers whose interests are not in the mainstream, the internet is – for those on society’s fringe – a marketplace of ideas, the likes of which Justice Holmes could never have anticipated.
2. If the internet can nurture a social deviancy as extreme and unusual as Jake Baker’s, it can probably do the same for many less violent peculiarities society would rather quash. However, as long as there are answers when lonely voices cry out in the digital wilderness, physical communities and offline social groups will not have the control they once did.
Sometimes, I even amaze myself. I mean, really. Prose like that can't be necessary.
Posted by buddha at May 10, 2005 06:16 PM
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What, no mention of low-hanging fruit or the view from 20,000 feet?
Posted by: shoepal at May 10, 2005 09:37 PM
No mention of the view from 20,000 feet or the low hanging fruit, thankfully. (The Holmes reference is itself low-hanging fruit to law students... It's just barely short of outright pandering.) I also refrained from using 'impact' as a verb, discussing the monetization of eyeballs, mentioning which levers we can pull, or being on the same page as someone else. I did, however, go into great detail about leveraging online communities to achieve certain goals, as that was a major aspect of the paper.
Posted by: buddha at May 10, 2005 10:41 PM
So I take it that the choice of metaphore and phrasing is based on the language used at a previous job?
Posted by: jubro at May 10, 2005 11:02 PM
Actually, the metaphor in the first quote comes from Justice Holmes himself:
But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas -- that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.
Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 630 (1919) (Holmes, J., dissenting).
The voice crying out in the digital wilderness is, among other things, a reference to my alma mater (and, coincidentally, that of my professor as well). It wasn't so much me trying to work an angle as much as it was a familiar phrase came to mind when I was writing.
All that said, the first one sounds very much like something that would have been written in dot bomb marketing materials six years ago. I'd just have to throw in a little more meaningless jargon and a few more buzzwords.
Posted by: buddha at May 11, 2005 01:16 AM