Sunday, October 10, 2004

Shannon Love is on to something, again

Shannon Love unveils a fresh idea: The McGuffin-Delusion. You need to go learn about it and read my comment.

The McGuffin-Delusion arises when someone argues that an instance of technology represents the source of a problem and not the individual who controls the technology. I think it shows up in a lot of technology related political discussions.

I named it after Alfred Hitchock's description of his plot device, a McGuffin, that every character in the story searches for believing it will solve their problem. In Hitchock's movies, however, the real issues are the relationships between people not the physical objects they seek. Link

I think he is dealing with something bigger than he appreciates. I didn't exactly say so in my comment, but he is smart enough to figure it out.


pictruandtru said...

This is great stuff! It does seem that inanimate objects often suffer the brunt of the criticism, while the protagonist silently exits the stage, onward to the next debacle.

The thing that I hate most about national politics is "choice", or lack thereof. Our system self perpetuates the status quo of reliving our mistakes and admissions. In a nation of such resources, why only Bush or Kerry?

Hoots said...

You're right about political choices. The two party system that we have sanctified in the USA is a historical anomaly. Most of the world works with coalitions. As you know, that has become one of those Newspeak words which indicates something wonderful when the Administration wants to use it ("Coalition of the Willing", etc.) but a bad idea when the opposition suggests it might be more inclusive with better diplomacy.
One of my co-workers is European by birth but has been twenty years in the States. He sees no meaningful choice between the two parties. He is not interested in voting, therefore, because from where he stands the parties simply take turns doing the same thing when they are in power and complaining when they are not.He argues that money and power are at the root of political systems and the two parties have worked out a system of sharing that basically excludes all other meaningful opposition to the status quo.
I appreciate a "loyal opposition" as much as anyone, but sometimes I wonder if my co-worker may not be correct.