Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Germane Nooze

Adding new meaning to "taking a number two":
rel·e·vance noun
1 relation to the matter at hand
2 the ability to retrieve material that satisfies needs of the user

rel·e·vant adjective
1 having significant, demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand
2 proportional, relative

In both cases, the second definition imposes itself upon the user in spite of its being impertinent. When it comes to distributors of information, relevancy is achieved in the same way that a drug store or coffee shop chain establishes itself: by rendering a theretofore relevant sole-proprietor insolvent; even in cases in which customer loyalty is predominant, the chain has the ability to take a loss while waiting out the eventual demographic turnover. This is why gentrification rarely benefits local small business: Big money rakes in the relevancy until there's no more left.


If dearth of reader comments is any indication, AriannaOnLine is not doing so well in their German venture. Yes, I still can't help the occasional click over to the Huffington Post, whose regional default, landing me on her Hinterland partner-page, indicates her standard modus operandi: sensationalism.

This is how they plan to wait out a German media implosion:

They'll huff, and they'll puff, and they'll post das Haus in!
OH, THE GERMAINITY!!11 Given enough time, the crickets will become clickets. Will there be enough time? Stay tuned.


Maybe the struggle for relevancy 2.0 is folly, or maybe it's the actual be all, end all of it all. After all, Huffington Post owes its very existence to content from people so desperate to be relevant that they'll continue to provide free labor to the burgeoning tumescence of its bottom-line. And now that it's so hugely relevant, even billionaires use the format to stay ahead of the street-cred curve, I assume, aware of the shrinking relevance of actual street-cred - already questionable as a concept. Now the Beta meta-word from the Worldwide Street undertakes to rule the relevancy roost.

See how no one better boosts his bonafides than emerging media mogul Pierre Omidyar, masking a puff promo of his own venture in a discussion about First Amendment press freedom.

While he's at that, one of his employees is making the rounds promising shock and awe. "Remember me?" The Berliner Zeitung picked up this interview with Glenn Greenwald for one reason only: Relevance.

Do you think I'm drawing a dubious distinction between Relevancy I & II?

As dichotomies go, it's a relevant one (meaning number one), at least relatively (implying meaning number two). By comparison, take the alleged dichotomy of Left vs. Right and Public vs. Private:

The ostensible Left would have you believe that the ostensible Right is out to destroy government; and the ostensible Right would have you believe that the ostensible Left is out to establish State ownership of all private property. What neither will tell you is that they need both Big Government and Big Corporate to maintain the ostensible tendencies, and they're all doing just fine, thank you very much.

Yet so many people think there is a relevant dichotomy when all there really is is a number two: "the ability to retrieve [shit] that satisfies the [biases] of the user".

So I think it is important to be able to distinguish the difference between relevance and relevance. It's important to be able to tell which is more relevant to the seekers of relevance.

Pierre Omidyar's sitting atop the pyramid that contained PayPal when they cut off Wikileaks is relevant whether it was due to government pressure or not. His huff-post reeks of the "willingness to have a conversation" and how it is readily conflated with wanting to do something, especially as it relates to a latent desperation to elevate somebody of influence to the status of hero and declare scepticism thereof irrelevant.

Regarding his venture with Glenn Greenwald, what matters to me, still today, is the latter's misleading criticism of the method Private Manning used to leak what he'd discovered, which, rather than lend credence to Greenwald's motivation in slow-leaking information given to him by Edward Snowden, I believe calls into question his credibility when he touts an informed public via a free press.

I don't think you have an informed public while buying into the National Security narrative, whether you're covering your ass or not. Greenwald has said he wants to keep the leaks relevant, not himself. I say that in the meantime the leaks have become mired in irrelevance (meaning number one) while their purveyors continue to jockey to be relevant (meaning number two).

Most relevant reading:
- series conclusion of the BS in the Snowden Saga