Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Miranda Devine, Clare Werbeloff again, Susan Boyle again, and the smarter nicer world of the intertubes

(Above: Clare Werbeloff, exemplar of the new intelligence, wit and love sweeping the intertubes to make the world a better, more loving and caring and intelligent place).

As the original and witty real Dorothy Parker once said, "what fresh hell is this?"

The answer is of course a column by Miranda the Devine, this time blessed with the header Chk-chk-boom sums up sensation.

Whatever the reasons, the collective intelligence of the internet decided Boyle and Werbeloff were the two people on the planet most worthy of listening to. But so far no one has figured out how to tap into that awesome power and make much money out of it.

That's right MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and dozens of other social and professional interaction networks, bugger off. Sure you might have sold your ideas, your connectivity for billions (why even to Rupert) but we don't think much of billions these days. That's just loose change where we come from, a pittance, a sop to your nerdish egos. Come back when you've figured out a way to tap into the awesome power and make some money out of it. Why then we might consider putting it up on Amazon and selling it off.

But wait, there's more, because Devine is now in love with collective intelligence, as expressed through the lovable Werbeloff.

MIT even has a Centre for Collective Intelligence, founded in 2006, whose basic research question is: "How can people and computers be connected so that - collectively - they act more intelligently than any individuals, groups, or computers have ever done before?"

Its researchers have explored the motivations of people who take part in "web-enabled collective intelligence systems", such as Wikipedia, Google, or YouTube. They found three motivators: money, love and glory. The new development, which has emerged in recent years, is that love and glory feature much more heavily in collective intelligence systems than money.

Hmm, that's deep. Well let's backtrack and see what it means for the rest of the Devine's column, which is first of all a re-hash of the already refried many times story of Clare Werbeloff, who achieved her fifteen minutes of fame by lying about witnessing a shooting at Kings Cross, and using the word wog a couple of times, along with what has been phonetically transcribed as 'chk-chk-boom' to describe the shooting.

Now aficionados of Russ Meyer, auteur of such masterpieces as Faster Pussycat Kill Kill and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens might think that in comparison Werberloff produced only fair average wordplay in a dull, redneck, wog bashing way.

But Devine isn't content with recycling her fully sick endeavours (get down with it we can all boogie with the hip Devine), and so recycles the even older story of Susan Boyle, internet sensation on YouTube for singing a song in a British talent quest.

Okay, knowing what we now know about collective intelligence systems, and the heroic stories of this pair of internet legends, who will be forgotten about by close of business at the end of the financial year, what does it tell us about the close to saturation, almost full to overflowing intertubes?

Those millions of people who spread the Boyle and Werbeloff videos around must have been motivated by love, which, MIT says, can take many forms: intrinsic enjoyment of an activity, the opportunities to socialise with others, or the feeling they are making the world a better place.

Love!? Well forgive me but how does love and the feeling that you can make the world a better place intersect with Werbeloff? Oh right, because wogs are just soooh funny, and wog bashing is such an intrinsically enjoyable activity, and you can socialize with other wog bashers and feel you're making the world a better place, while enjoying the anarchist fun of punking and pwning the mainstream media.

If that's love, then we're all fucked, and let me channel a new wave of hate, fear and loathing so it can be directed against the columnist commentariat.

But don't think Devine rests just there with her dumb fatuity. She has, in the style of all good columnists, got a capper for her column:

In his 1994 book The Wisdom Of Crowds, James Surowiecki said "under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent and are often smarter than the smartest people in them". Maybe we can also collectively be nicer.

What, like Werbeloff, talking about wogs in a joyous, carefree way? We've leapt from her flipping wogs to being collectively nicer? Well I guess we'd be nicer, apart from the wogs of course, but what would the wogs know, because after all ... well, they're wogs ...

Yes, you see, deep down the Devine just loves Clare Werbeloff:

"I didn't think anything would come out of it," she told A Current Affair. "Aussies love to muck around with each other. They love jokes, and I just thought Australia would get it."

Well of course we did dear, and the only ones who didn't get it were the chinks and the nig nogs and the gooks and the towelheads. But they're wogs, and by definition lack an Aussie sense of humor, oi oi. And Miranda the Devine can't get enough of the statistics on the hits she's generated - over 500k views on YouTube, and endless online conversations:

Werbeloff had become instantly, globally famous on a scale that would have been unthinkable even five years ago. But why her? She was audacious, quick-witted, verbally dexterous, politically incorrect and inventive. A Nine caption writer had translated her catchy phrase into "chk-chk-boom", which looks as good as it sounds. It helped, too, that she was pretty, and typified the gen Y attitude of not taking anything seriously.

She also was engaging in the increasingly popular sport of "punking the news" - tricking the media into publishing a fake story, which made her a hero for all the bloggers forever predicting the death of the mainstream media.

It was a perfect storm, picked up by individuals who spread it across their social contacts with impressive speed.

Ah yes, inventive and politically incorrect. Of course the Devine would love her, of course she'd see Werbeloff as heralding a new dawn, a new collective intelligence where we'll all be smarter because we can send in the clowns and send up the wogs.

Why do I suddenly feel as if my IQ has dropped by ten points? Of course, I just read a Miranda the Devine column. If I keep doing it, soon enough my IQ will be down to zero, but that's okay I'll just go back on the intertubes and power up again in some group that spawns intelligence the way a bubble headed booby gets paid to write tripe about phenomena she doesn't have a clue about.

And being nicer is being able to deploy a little politically incorrect language? Well goody two shoes to that, goody goody gumdrops I say, because Miranda the Devine will surely understand when the intertubes celebrates her for being a dumb bitch. That's right, feel the love and the intelligence on the intertubes, female canines of the world.

How's that for verbally dextrous, quick witted, audacious on your feet thinking? Not to mention politically incorrect and soooh inventive ...

(Below: Clare loves to bake patty cakes for real, dinkum men).


Adam said...

I'm guess you're familiar with these quotes, but just in case:

Top 20 according to someone at least.

dorothy parker said...

thanks, nice stuff in the comments too. There's lots of collections of Parker on the tubes (so full they're overflowing) and I guess I should have used her line about Ayn Rand when recently looking at the reading matter of young hottie Liberal chicks. Re Atlas Shrugged", "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."