Easy Online Agonism?

“In watching the aftermath of the recent discussion of humanism and anti-humanism (now there’s a fine reductive binary that could use some deconstructing, no?) at Invisible Adjunct, I was startled by the apparent hostility of the fisking performed by Robert Schwartz. Certainly, others in the discussion engaged in a bit of fisking, but none to Schwartz’s degree. It got me thinking about fisking as a genre particular to the net, and so I did a little googling.” Mike VitiaEasy Online Agonism? (v i t i a)

Mike does a good job contextualizing and extending some thoughts on fisking that I had posted to KairosNews. Since my own rhetorical training is only basic (I could figure out “agonistic” but I had to look up “irenic“), my understanding of fisking benefits greatly from Mike’s probing. Mike, would you consider a wiki to be an irenic rhetorical form? While it’s certainly possible to carry on arguments in a wiki, the tool is much better as a concensus bulider.

We are seeing Vannevar Bush’s memex in action — through weblogs, we are exchanging the “trails” (networks of links) that trace our thought processes as we explore a subject.