The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

December 9, 2017

The lengthy comment on Reading the Comments which needs help:

I'm trying to write a review of:

Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the
Bottom of the Web, Joseph M. Reagle, Jr., MIT Press, Cambridge
and London, 2015.

and what I find is that my own life is so disrupted by friends'
disappearance, illness, exhaustion, police behaviour, anxiety,
depression, politics, anger, etc. that it's all I can do to make
my own work, stay on even keel, etc. So here's a mashup of the
review, which I doubt will find acceptance (I was asked to write
it, I was delighted, I keep trying, I keep faltering, I keep
losing it, I realize how difficult a review can be, how hard and
stylized close-reading is, how I'm already wounded, disturbed,
of doubtful character, how I'm blustering about everything, how
the book led me immediately to Trump which was after the
publication of the book, how Trump has derailed everything. As I
said to my psychologist, Trump gets into our minds, we can't
deal with it, we don't have the mechanism, what gets in there
circulates, creates new obstacles, there's no way around these
things. So I tried dictation and everything else I could think
of, nothing seems to work

"What we can learn about human nature from the informative,
manipulative, confusing, and amusing messages at the bottom of
the web."

This book is important, this country runs on anger and tweets.
Reagle writes in a more innocent time, 2015, before what
increasingly seems to be a proto-fascist takeover of the United
States. The horror starts with the comment, comments are
performative, far beyond the like/don't like and *-***** star

Saying the book is "important" is part of the reason the book is
important, already close to a *****, perhaps a ****, so to note,
it's lives, timely, but otherwise, earlier than that, perhaps
the foundations for timeliness, shared also with Nagle's Kill
All Normies -

I keep getting side-tracked; last night I was reading William L.
Shirer's Berlin Diary, with this, from 1938:

He's in Vienna: "A seat on a Dutch plane straight through to
London. I had an hour for lumch. I bought the morning Berlin
newspapers. Amazing! Goebbels at his best, or worst! Hitler's
own newspaper, the Volkische Beobachter, on my lap here. It's
screaming banner-line across page one: GERMAN-AUSTRIA SAVED FROM
CHAOS. And an incredible story ot of Goebbels's evil but fertile
brain describing violent Red disorders in the main streets of
Vienna yesterday, fighting, shooting, pillaging. It's a complete
lie. But how will the German people know it's a lie? The DNB
also has a story today that sounds phony. It claims
Seyss-Inquart last night telegraphed to Hitler to send troops to
protect Austria from armed Socialists and Communists Since there
were no 'armed Socialists and Communists' in Vienna last night,
this obviously is also a lie. But interesting to note Hitler's
technique. The same which was used to justify the June 30 purge.
Any lie will do." (page 104.)

This is my background, Shirer's account, what went through
McCarthyism, body-counts in Vietnam, incendiary lies that have
enormous effect, informants and productions everywhere.

So 2015, a more innocent time, although some of us could already
see the writing on the wall decades ago; we're all haunted by
spectres. I can't help but to read Reading the Comments against
this, in relation to this.

From dictation: It's the barrage of material coming from the
administration that creates the greatest problem this material
splatters across the landscape there's no escaping it it
dominates the news did not speak comes every action basically to
work could be called the splatters fear splatter fear So what
occurs another way to look at it I think it's with the deeper
analysis dealing with splatter semiotica the book remains on the
surface of things it doesn't go that direction it provides an
overview and classification for that overview it hovers around
Amazon it doesn't go so much into tweets for example Twitter is
the problem like Ted talks they reduce everything to sound bite
sound bites are then picked up by news organization and these
organizations by centering on them promulgate undispersed the
tweets racists evil sexist evil these things can spread in such
a fashion put the book came out in 2015 way before this it seems
almost like decades ago and for that reason we have to read it
against that or as a foundation of that.

I read all the comments on the book, from Amazon. I can't think
straight. I mixed the comments, vexed the comments. I dictated

He visits communities of Amazon reviewers fan fiction authors,
online learners, cameras and so forth alienates us he finds pre
Internet historical in the seatons of online comment I tend to
worry myself about fake news and its relationship to reviews on
Amazon and elsewhere. select nothing continue. he just He just
doesn't talk about things like stacey dash went through didn't
mention anything about how it's like a taxi guy walks into a
meeting and carries Donuts this is a one sided narrative falling
in line with collective thinking good grief nothing is the books
been offered for free I through Amazon people get things in
exchange for free often write great reviews could that be the
case here maybe Alan sometime I tend to like the book and think
that it's pressing right now um but the problem is if there is a
problem has to do with fake news and the wave plate news is so
dominating discussions necessarily dominating discussion of well
what's going on in the trump administration and elsewhere with
an attack on journalists how can a book like this survive except
as a portrait of a particular. in time. Well then dispose not at
all what I expected I read the comments I always do it the
bottom of the web and so I thought this book would be really
funny it's not funny I just enjoy reading comments that's all I
didn't really enjoy the book because it didn't have enough
comments maybe this comment on the book will help people enjoy
the book

Huh if that's not bad enough to text in the book is so tiny in
life that I almost couldn't read a bit of it even where and when
I wore my glasses or ask my friends to read the book for me
there's lots of filler in this parking there are a lot of words
words are in the book.

It's amazing to me how broad a range the book covers it doesn't
just stay with Amazon reviews of course but deals a little bit
into politics and so forth by coming out in 2015 it misses the
boat in terms of fake news so it does provide a kind of
phenomenology how fake news and news before basically the
Armageddon hit this storm it in other words online bulletin and
bullying shells sock puppets lot of angry people in this also
relates to nagles book kill all normies of course there is much
much more this is awful aspects of the online culture which
today almost seem to dominate in the news at least but this book
covers more than that also covers normative reviews for example
should one for example get something one star 2 stars 3 stars 4
stars 5 stars 5 stars I tend not to read it might be shills one
star I think has to do with personal hatred to start somewhere
in between I tend to read 4 stars because they seem to delve
more into critical thinking about things and bagel regel does go
into this in detail retail.

I wish my review of Reagle's book had made it into Reagle's
books that would have been an interesting post modern take on
this he was I was interested in what he had to say about Amazon
reviewing and some of these comments are distilled hear directly
from Amazon reviewing He correctly observed that Amazon likes
quick reviews it faster using it such tend to be rated more
helpful overtime of people can write aphoristic Lee it might do
better than people writing in great detail although for myself
Alan sondheim I I generally prefer to have reviews on in detail
reviews over the 20 minute word limit is absolute are absolutely
necessary for books like this I'm writing this review because I
like writing reviews I like writing reviews for Amazon and I
like writing reviews for Goodreads sometimes I like writing
reviews of Trump's tweets Trump's tweets in fact make good
reviews of the news for me I find it very necessary to read
Trump's tweets and not necessary to read any other news Trump's
tweets are great news review. Comments build on comments,
language becomes a problem, a problem within language, what the
psychologist said today, that the violence of the language in
the news, of violent news, then retreats/retweets within the
mind, the 'Prison-House of Language' becomes the prison house of
despair and inescapability.

I'm the 81st reviewer of this book so far that's because there
only 41 reviews when I'm reviewing the reviews of this book he
looks at amazon he looks at read it he looked at the online
world in general. Our Fuhrer D.T. has distorted this review to
his whim, his liking. There is a brilliant review of the book: I
can do no better: see

We're in a crisis state, aren't we? This review is empty, a
place-holder, useless; at this point, so much seems useless, as
if we were being constantly corrupted by a new Cold War, we're
ducking under our desks and trying to write intelligently. The
book's range of comments - which are far more than comments - is
calming; it's organized from gossiping to trolling to bullying;
haters are given their due (developed in the Nagle book
mentioned above). What's amazing is the lengths people can to
go, to be cruel; once distancing is achieved via the Net, it's
open season on anyone who doesn't fit into a narrow bandwidth of

commenting 20-word details us "Am high the comments and we - of
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Now to continue what would it take for acceptance to block out
everything else to allow this to appear someone in honor of the
author and the recognition of the immense amount of work he is
put into this which is an important part because and I keep
using the word important when I really have nothing to say
because I may not have read the entire book which I did however
because it really does cover this sort of early history of the
negative aspects of commentary although in fact it covers both
equally from everything from gossip to Amazon comment true tro
Ling 2 any sort of writing that one might do entering into
places on the web or even when my dad to newsgroups anywhere in
fact that one can enter a sentence that is one zone within the
framework that perhaps isn't so I apologize ahead of time for
this awkward review which isn't have such an hope that you might
be able to help me to improve this is anything when can suggest
I would take the suggestion thank you except of course for the
suggestions that you're most likely tonight to make .


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