Reviews for The Fluctuation Truth on the Internet and the Hunt for Fun
Complex Variable chapter 1 . 12/1/2012
[As the social nature of the Internet has become dominant over the commercial nature and the knowledge banks that exist.] - - - I'm pretty sure that this isn't a complete sentence.

Looking this over, this paper definitely needs quite a bit of editing.

[Memes, today, do not spread for survival's sake, they spread because they are entertaining.] - - - I disagree with this. Take a closer look at Ruskin's words: ["Memes passed from person to person, and replicated if they were useful and powerful or died if they were not…"]; note that he doesn't define what "useful" or "powerful" mean. Honestly, I would say that contemporary memes DO spread for survival's sake—it is survival of the fittest, except, in this case, to be "the fittest" means to be entertaining. As with any competitive/evolutionary process, what matters is the standard against which the combatants are being compared. Different situations demand different strengths, and thus, the meaning of "survival" is totally dependent upon the circumstances being survived. The thick coat of a polar bear helps it survive in its natural, arctic habitat, but, a polar bear would quickly die of overheating if it was left alone in the Saharan desert.

You use "true truth" several times in this essay, and I find it quite frustrating; I would think that you should spend time explaining in detail exactly what this means, and how "true truth" is different from regular "truth".

[We are social creatures, not really interested for the truth, but something to talk about with our friends and strangers as a result,] - - - good point, but—I must ask—in the context of your argument, are you assuming that truth is absolute? If so, then your point remains essentially valid. However, be very aware of the fact that, as a social phenomenon—that is to say, as society interprets it—truth can be quite relative. For example, to a person who maintains a literal interpretation of the Bible, the notion that the world was created in six, 24-hour-long days is as infallible of a truth as the truth of 1 * 0 0 is to a mathematician. My point in bringing this up is that, if you view "truth" as taking a variety of forms, each dependent upon the persuasion/beliefs/circumstances of the individuals and groups that pervade the internet, then the internet really is a "truthful" place—albeit, on a relativistic level. The internet is a perfect place for like-minded people to find a place to congregate in; each of these "congregations" is its own community, with its own standards of truth. For those that use any particular community, it seems like the "truth" to them. For example: internet news websites. If a person regularly visit a news website, chances are that it is a website whose journalists share a perspective that the viewer agrees with. Likewise, if people go to a particular kind/type of website, (e.g., World of Warcraft) it is probably because they view that use of their time as being more interesting (more "true" to them) than other things.

[However, was the action of spreading truth a result of the desire to spread truth or a desire to claim social or even entertainment value] - - - I think that a problem in your essay is that you're trying to talk about "truth" and "entertainment" at high, almost philosophical levels, without actually spending the time to develop/elaborate/explore the theory/basis of "truth" or "entertainment". If you focused this paper's definition of "truth" as being factual, "scientific" truth, for instance, it would help to eliminate much of the awkward universalisms that creep into your arguments here and there.

Also—as a general question—is "entertainment" a form of "truth," in it of itself? Also also, is "truth" a form of "entertainment" in it of itself? Why or why not?

Just some things to think about.

CV