Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Why blog?

I think I covered most of the philosophical issues associated with blogging in I blog, therefore I am. Well, maybe not all of them, but it will have to do for now.

So let's look at the psychological side of this phenomenon. "Why blog?" I ask myself. Several answers immediately come to mind:
  • Way too much time on my hands
  • An unnatural desire to hear the clickety-clackety sound of a keyboard
  • A delusion that placing a few random arguments and discussions on the internet will make a difference.
  • A quasi-Napoleonic complex: "I'll be the next great Rock Star Blogger. With Blog groupies to boot."
  • A futile effort to impress my friends. (They know I'm a dolt; I should quit while I'm ahead.)
  • It's all about the advertising. Let the big bucks roll in.

And with all that cynicism exercised and purged, let me add one additional possibility:

  • To clarify my thoughts

But I hear you arguing already: "Can't you clarify your thoughts in your head? Without polluting the noosphere with yet more noise? It's already deafening. If you really have to write things down, buy yourself a journal, go to a rundown coffee shop sporting second-hand tattered furniture, and have at it: think and write all those great or not-so-great thoughts. But why do it here? On the Internet."

(And I also hear you asking "Why oh why must you use that silly term noosphere?")

You make a good point (oh fictional interrogator in my head). But let me counter with a few possible reasons to create a more public form of thought:

  • Formalizing one's thoughts in a form that can be understood by others tends to focus and improve the process and results of thinking.
  • One's thoughts and opinions are captured in a form that can be easily shared with others.

But you quickly retort: "What if, Fortune forbid, you are blogging in a vacuum? What if nobody reads it? Does a blog make a sound if there is no-one around to read it?" (Whether or not it is in a forest of other blogs. And notwithstanding that mixed up metaphor.)

My response: Most blogs are read by few, and have few if any comments. That's the way the Internet cookie crumbles, so to say. The way it goes. I'm just not sure that comments should be the focus. I previously asked I blog, therefore I am, not "I get comments, therefore I am."

And finally, you ask: "Have you considered taking up gardening?"

Simple answer: No.