August 9, 2007

Trying to understand the blogger... it's like that Particle Pinball machine in the Physics building.

I am scrutinized.
Prof. Althouse is a blogger who gets bombarded by her readers and their comments. She is bombarded by other bloggers who post about her or the things about which she writes. She’s bombarded by her willingness to put herself and her thoughts “out in the open.” And like the rapid-fire air gun game, all of this bombardment helped me to begin the process of defining the shape of Ann Althouse. You see which posts get the most attention and which comments ricochet off or bounce back to another blog. You get to hear her opinions and how other people interpret those opinions.

Speaking of blogging and physics, remember that time I went over to the Physics building to do a presentation on blogging for the edification of the Chaos and Complex Systems seminar?


ricpic said...

Good for you. You've gotten beyond the totally concerned with image stage.

Maxine Weiss said...

"she likes to take pictures of flowers"

Is this how you want to be described? Somehow, it lacks the gravitas and importance one might desire.

Ann Althouse said...

If he follows the link, he'll see I also like to take pictures of equations chalked on blackboards in the offices of physicists.

froggyprager said...

I agree with this comment:

"Personally, it’s amazing to me that someone would choose to be so open about themselves with blogging."

The more I read Althouse it seems like you are really opening up your life to the world in a way that would make me uncomfortable personally.

I agree with the geeky author that you do seem to get an unusual amount of criticism (undeserved in my view). The reason I think you get so much is that you are not preaching to the choir like some pure left/ right blogs.

M. Simon said...

Check out the IEC Fusion guys at UW. Very cutting edge on a small budget.

They may have figured out a way to bring in fusion for well under $12 bn and in less than 40 years.

Best kept secret in America at this time.


"she likes to draw pictures of flowers"

Georgia O'Keefe

Jeremy said...

Yeah, I would have gone with a summary of the blog's composition:

Interesting legal commentary
Interesting political/social commentary
Uninteresting things of various types
Pictures of flowers (and other things)
Blatant trolling
Vlog posts

And then a summary of commenters:

Dangerously insane
Somewhat insane
Full-time trolls

I'm not sure what it all adds up to as a statement about you, though, Ann. I don't think there's an easy one to make.

Maxine Weiss said...

But what do you really know about her? ---As Althouse is always saying.

Well, one thing we do know, she accepts money from strangers..that she solicits online, in exchange for performing various ...acts?

Well, isn't that what she's doing with the PayPal thing?

Ann Althouse said...

"The more I read Althouse it seems like you are really opening up your life to the world in a way that would make me uncomfortable personally."

And yet you know almost nothing about my life. You just have the feeling that you know, even though I am open about the fact that I'm actually not showing you anything. Quite a trick, don't you think?

Maxine Weiss said...

Althouse: You underestimate the power of inference and perception.

We actually know quite a bit. We can freeze-frame and zoom-in on your living quarters. You ex-husband's rather intimate revelations on his blog (a year or two ago?).

Both your sons have MySpace profiles that aren't set to private.

I can parse every single word, and syllable of this blog since it began (I've got a lot of time on my hands)...and come up with a near-accurate impression of someone who keeps incessantly insisting she hasn't been revealing.

. said...

We can freeze-frame and zoom-in on your living quarters.

we can? how?

AmPowerBlog said...

Chaos and complex systems? Sounds like some of the stuff happening around here!

Keep it up!

Burkean Reflections

Galvanized said...

So this blog is a spirited and social one, about photography, exchanges of ideas and opinions about random subjects, sometimes about the thoughts of its readers as much as the author/moderator -- isn't that what blogging is all about. If it's only about the substance of the content in the posts and little else, then what a blah-g it would be, indeed. I sometimes consider it my mental breakroom. Sometimes a blog can take on a life of its own -- well, at least the successful ones, or else it's just reporting news and one's own perspective. Perhaps researchers should question why bloggers start/continue to blog. I think a lot of it is just for mental stimulation/socializing/exchange more than as a writing outlet or to be heard. It's also to hear others. ..especially if it's two-sided and either side -- author or readership -- can sway the direction and affect content.

. said...

hrmph... my comment was deleted without a word or a trace, but i think my question may have been answered

blake said...

Actually, I don't think it's that much of a trick.

I've had relationships that are entirely online for most of my adult life. People who don't know whether I have children or how many, don't know my religious convictions, don't know my political affiliations....

And yet, there is a knowledge of the person who is there, in some ways purer and even more intimate than a knowledge of real world details permits. On the internet, no one knows you're a dog, right? So why not exploit that?

Fen said...

Very clever article.

But did he create a corollary to the Law of Observation by being swept up into the Althouse Vortex?

I'm confused.

Emy L. Nosti said...

I didn't realize Latka had a physicist/mathematician personality. It's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Heckle.