Digital Buffoons

DIGITAL BUFFOONS….I’d be willing on general principle to link to any essay that denounces “neo-Luddite quasi-Mandarins,” but I’m especially willing to do so when the target is Michael Gorman, dean of library services at CSU Fresno and, for the nonce, useful idiot for the Encyclopedia Britannica empire. Jeebus. This guy was a nitwit when I first ran into him three years ago, and apparently he’s still a nitwit. I mean, does it even occur to him that it’s possible to use the internet and read books as ways of learning and doing research? It remains unclear to me why he seems to find this combination so unlikely.

This is via Henry Farrell, who has a PhD but nonetheless has the good taste to agree that Gorman’s attack on the internet is shallow nonsense, much of it little more than “an extended rejoinder to our old friend, Some Dude in a Comments Section Somewhere.” Sez Henry: “I can see why the Encyclopedia Britannica has an urgent interest in pushing this line, but I don’t understand why the intellectual standards of argument among its appointed critics is so low.”

Indeed. There really are some interesting things to say about credulous overreliance on Google as a way of performing research, but Gorman isn’t the guy to pull it off. Better attack dogs, please.