December 8, 2004

by Reb Yudel
Yutopia mourns Protocols lost, with a cameo by Peter Berger

Amidst the musings on the final posting at the Protocols blog, Yutopia demonstrates the value-added of advanced study at the University of Chicago as he cites everyone's favorite sociologist of religion in his to Requiem For A J-Blog:

I find Peter Berger's analysis in "The Sacred Canopy" to be extremely useful. For Berger, society is really an exercise creating and maintaining a "world" as a "construction of reality." This exercise is comprised of three steps. The first, externalization, is the projecting of man's productions - physical or mental - into the world. Once a person creates any work in a distributable medium, it is no longer part of him or her, but it now exists as its own entity. This second step is called "objectification," since the creation is now independent of its maker. After the creation exists on its own, its creator must now redefine his relationship to it in the process Berger calls "internalization."

This phenomenon is evident in all aspects of Protocols. SIW started a site and his co-authors contributed towards it. Over time, the website became an entity unto itself as evidenced by the fact that people reference "Protocols" as opposed to any individual. The initial object was palatable to thousands of readers. However once Luke took over, Protocols was no longer what it once was and the audience had difficulty re-internalizing the new product.

Despite the abstraction of the community, the Protocols saga reminds us that websites are still run by people. People are not always predictable, and in the case of websites, the decisions and actions of one (or a few) can have a drastic impact on the many.

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