Thursday, August 5, 2010

Weird Rearranges as Wired - is that Good? Part 1.

On a whim (that I have been considering for about 2 weeks) I decided to purchase a copy of Wired Magazine and flip through it. There is always something (many somethings) that amaze, surprise, intrigue, entertain, or puzzle me. But rarely bore me. In fact, I suspect, that is one of the reasons that Wired has been so successful over the years: it is flashy, sometimes controversial, weird (rearrange the letters W E I R D and you get W I R E D) and, well fun.

Somewhere, within the last year or two, somewhere that I cannot seem to resurrect (darn it) I read a hard edged assessment of the magazine that accused it of  reinforcing all types of socially unhealthy stereotypes and activities. Because I cannot locate the source, or even recall now if it was a book or article, I err on the side of caution and won't try to be more specific. Besides which, at the time I felt conflicted and not sure whether I agreed or not.

Lately, thinking about the need for more attention to be paid to socially beneficial computing activities, I have been thinking about the media. I started wondering what the more popular computing magazines choose to discuss. So of course I thought of Wired. Which I still enjoy reading by the way.

As luck would have it, the grocery store was all out. After weeks of walking past the magazine rack nonchalantly, I'm now impatient, so I took the next best approach and went to the online site (linked above). Not as helpful as having the real thing to flip through and scribble upon with my handy pen - my 11th Grade English teacher Dr. Shohet drilled into us that books are not sacred objects and that if you have a reaction to one you should write it down right there! He made us write in our classic novels and non fiction, until we got over the sense of overwhelming guilt that I at least, started out with. He had a good point actually, and I have been periodically writing in books and magazines ever since. With occasional guilt  in regard to books -  I sometimes cheat and resort to the use of colored sticky notes covered in microscopic scrawl.

I wonder how many other people write full on commentary in their books? Magazines?

Back to Wired. I am going to have to wait for the paper copy to fully satisfy my desire to know what the magazine has  in the way of material that qualifies for my "good for society" label seal of approval, but looking through the online site is not encouraging. I cruised through many of the 18 Sections and nothing jumped out at me.

I really need that paper copy, a pen, and a few hours in a coffee shop to do a full analysis. Now I am determined that this will happen.

To Be Continued...

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