I have a suggestion that would save us all a lot of time and aggravation as we grow increasingly more addicted to modern technology.I understand -- really, I do -- how someone who doesn't feel moved to blog and doesn't enjoy reading blogs might feel dispirited by all the blogging. And I agree that face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication. I'd even go so far as to say that -- in its highest manifestations -- it's the best thing.
It's ridiculously simple really. How about if all those who spend much of their time chattering on their cellphones stow them somewhere, and actually talk to the living, breathing human beings right in front of them? Then maybe they wouldn't have to spend so much time blogging us all senseless.
We'd all be truly communicating, and we'd have more time to truly accomplish something. Or perhaps just enjoy life.
Radical idea? You decide.
But blogging is just writing, and like other writing, it has aspects that are better than conversation:
It can reach beyond the people you know.
It can reach people in the future, including the people you know.
It can reveal things that cannot come up in ordinary conversation.
It can allow one person to contribute a larger share of the ideas than would be seemly in conversation.
It lets you leap over your immediate physical environment.
If I stuck to face-to-face conversations, I'd be talking to people in Madison, Wisconsin all the time! One of the best things about blogging for me has been the ability to talk to (and with) people outside of this very specific locality. I'm not knocking it as a place to come and be a student for a while. (Come to our wonderful Law School!) But it's damned insular. The self-satisfied, easily offended lefties can really get to you after a while! [UPDATE: This does not refer to my friends!] One reason I blog (a lot) is that I have so much material I can't use in real life conversations. I'm conversation starved here and have been for twenty years!
And then, of course, there are the links. When bloggers talk, we sometimes say: "I wish I could link to" some article we've read. I'm used to talking about things and showing you the text at the same time. I can't do that very well in conversation, even if I carry the NYT around with me. In conversations chez Althouse, we do often start taking books off the shelves and pointing out paragraphs, but that's more of a family thing.
Finally, once we've become bloggers, our conversation changes. Many times I've said or heard things like:
I already blogged about that... [so I think it would be tedious to repeat this.]And for us hardcore bloggers that last line seems like an amusing witticism, right?
Well, if you'd read my blog ... [you wouldn't be making me repeat this.]
That's the short version, you should read the whole thing on my blog...