Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Comparing Moby Dick to Pinterest

Courtesy of Reeding Lessons from flickr.com
It states in the introduction of Moby Dick, "Melville himself certainly believed that all men are united by the bond of reciprocal dependence, by a community of function and responsibility" (xv). There are the following parts: etymology, extracts, prose, lists, histories, biographies, plays, epics, etc. This is a community working together to present meaning. We've talked about it how it's is one genre, but not really because it's another genre as well. It can't really be identified as ONE genre: It's a compilation of all of its genres and that's where the significance is found.

Pinterest is arguably the same way. If we were only to identify pinners by one pin, one thing that they felt best encompassed who they are, it wouldn't work because it is more complicated than that. They can't be identified by one outfit or one recipe. Instead they are identified by ALL of the pins together.

Courtesy of  dusty_pen from flickr.com
But but are there too many ways that we divide up our individuality? Is too much of a good thing also a bad thing? "But the categorizations proliferate impossibly, perhaps even parodically, as if to show the hopeless arbitrariness of all our categorizings, the hopelessness of our categorizing ambitions" (xiii).

Pinterest is pretty much an endless list of images that keep getting repinned. It would take a very long time if someone were to sort through all of the material that was on Pinterest. Would it be possible to find one's "identity" on Pinterest if not all of the material is represented adequately? Or does it even matter? We may not be able to sift through all of the material to pick anything and everything that exactly represents someone. But we can see a lot of the material and can pick out the repetitions, the omissions, what's lacking, what's overwhelming, etc., and that's where we can find the identity that other's chose to show, similar to Moby Dick.