Tuesday, February 06, 2007

BYU Polygamy Page - dumped

News about the ephemeral pages at BYU give pause to reflect on the nature of such short-lived information sources. Internet stuff doesn't live very long. Isn't it nice to know that a mistake can be made to go away just that easily?

I remember the original Mormon-l online discussion, back in prehistoric times. It was another technological experiment hosted by BYU resources, that started out as a wonderful idea, but much to the dismay of many participants, it quickly evolved into something else. Someone at BYU apparently got wise to the arrangement and pulled the plug. Didn't really have much effect on that kind of dialog -- the forum quickly jumped over to a new host, and continued on the same trend. But it was no longer officially associated with BYU.

Perhaps one good lesson I can reiterate is that not everything we can say should be said. Effective and accurate communication requires careful thought, sometimes even a bit of planning. Written expression used to be laborious and costly enough that it usually incorporated those facets. Many of our high-tech modes of expression no longer do -- or at least, the medium does not impose conditions that are explicitly conducive to those qualities. And culturally we seem well adapted to assimilating bits of information, hot little sparks that flare up so quickly, then just as rapidly fade into obscurity.