To offer some final thoughts on the blogosphere, here’s Freddie yet again:
I guess I just wish that the blogosphere (and forgive the collective indictment) at least demonstrated interest in the question, “how are we making knowledge?” Taken as a whole, I don’t think that there’s a coherent epistemology of blogging out there, even in the most elementary or general sense. For all of the navel-gazing that bloggers undertake, they appear uninterested in the fundamental questions of what value blogs are creating and what systems of accountability there are for ensuring that truth claims are actually true.
Freddie is begging the question here. Since when did creating knowledge become the primary goal? Even academic blogs I’m familiar with care more about knowledge dissemination than creation per se. The political blogosphere seems more interested in analysis and affecting public discourse than anything else.
It’s just so academic to think that creating better knowledge will somehow solve our problems, and that anyone even tangentially involved in the enterprise should care first about this task. But even if the blogosphere did develop a coherent epistemology, I’m not sure how much good it would do. The academy has a finely honed epistemology, and it still produces a lot of bad work that no one really cares about.
Good knowledge does not always equal useful or worthwhile knowledge. Knowledge in any form is not always the goal. The blogosphere implicitly recognizes these facts, and that’s a good thing.