I was reading Maha Bali's post entitled Elites of marginals.
I am beginning to question the appropriateness of the term 'elite' to talk of 'popular' 'participants' in this 'networked society'.
Maha talks of the creation of an 'elite of marginals':
"In a cMOOC we are not all created equal. We are all writing in English. We are all expressing ourselves publicly. Two things not all people in the world are able or comfortable to do. Once you cross these two hurdles, you are faced with this: although we can all speak equally (to an extent) we are not listened to equally. Some people will have their blogposts retweeted more often. Some will receive more comments. Some will be constantly thanked and referred to by course participants and facilitators. And this will never be everybody. It will only be a few. A few, possibly, with a certain personality. Those become the elites of the marginals."
Does the attention attracted in terms of retweets, comments etc result in the creation of an elite?
Personality of an individual - does that enable him to access an 'elite', to be identified as elite?
Certainly people who consider themselves, who recognise themselves to be members of an old-established elite might be upset that they no longer capture the attention of the crowd, or of those with real power...
They are becoming irrelevant.
OK write any crap you like.
If you write crap make it VIOLENT!
If you write crap make it SEXY!
If you write crap make it CATCHY!
People don't want nuanced argument.
give them EMOTION give them DREAMS give them DRAMA
YOU ARE IMPORTANT! (ha ha ha)
If retweets, or comments constitute currency, surely the attention generated by an academic is marginal compared to Rihanna.
Is a digital academic a marginal Rihanna, a marginal terrorist?
Who cares about reading your argument when others can make millions dance...die?
I turn to Wikipedia for a definition of elite:
"In political and sociological theory, an elite is a small group of people who control a disproportionate amount of wealth or political power. In general, elite means the more powerful group of people. The selected part of a group that is superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities or has more privilege than the rest."
What constitutes disproportionate power in a network?
Is it those who attract attention of the 'small group of people' who don't need to attract a 'disproportionate' amount of attention?
Is it those who might benefit from any activity within a network who constitute the elite?
Is the size of the 'traditional elites' ever dwindling?
Don't we kid ourselves of our vociferous importance?
Doesn't the market govern education?
Viewed from a powerful drone perspective aren't we all just fucking ants?
Oh dear they killed an academic.
Shit they blew up a ruin!
Who benefits most from Gang nam style?
Are digital academics bit part players in a wider play to get people (in Africa) to dance to the same tune?
Please please me.
(Don't bother reading. Just look at the Gif.)
Give me your attention
Give me a comment.
Give me a like.
Pathetic isn't it?
Gangnam style 2,432,684,561 views.