Sunday, April 17, 2011

U.N. Report: Internet Wine discussions lack history of strong democratic institutions

NEW YORK- A newly released U.N. report links the recent emergence of real time internet wine discussions with an increase in online tribal wine warfare and improvised comment field attacks. Entitled Democracy in the Online Wine World: Problems and Prospects, the report outlines several reasons why cordial wine discussions may have failed to take hold in the wake of the declining authority of published wine critics. Pointing to a decline of critical autocrats in the wine world as leading to a "chaotic" open online field, the authors of the report suggest that self-promotion, boasting about expensive bottles drunk, and a desire to "seem like they know stuff they don't" has lead a number of online posters into a downward spiral of sectarian hatred and revenge that is threatening the very ability of these people to share a bottle of wine in the company of other people they like.

Examining this "Closed Circle" of Twitter attacks and Facebook vengeance, the report links the lack of face to face conversation with an increased tendency towards radical dismissal on the basis of wine likes and dislikes. "These animosities can take deep root and really prevent the formation of broad based consensus or even cordial relations at tasting venues." At present, the report continues "a broad based wine democrat, open to all bottles and all drinkers without prejudice, is not even an idealization, but a contradiction. The construction of postcritical democratic wine coalitions is hampered by increased levels of wine board flame wars, Twitter juntas, Facebook bottle lineup envy, Blogger comment torture scenes, and widespread corruption at the recommendation level. The tribal nature of political and drinking behavior in the wine world, along with a decrease in transparency owing to the use of 'pretend, made up experience' in that world, are keys to understanding the absence of tolerant pluralism in that milieu."

This man is preparing to dislike somebody's wine choice on Facebook

Democracy in the Online Wine World: Problems and Prospects was authored by 23 people, at least three of whom cannot agree about the desired sweetness level of a Cour-Cheverny, and by one person who refuses to drink Spatburgunder.

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