About Politics & Blogs

For the last two weeks or so, my home has been without Internet access. It’s what you can expect for the price tag of shared Internet connections. In the end, the sudden change of scenery was not entirely unwelcome. I managed to do some way overdue work around the apartment.

When the Internet did return the other day, I visited my website first thing to see if it had deteriorated in my absence. Instead, I was instantly reminded why it is I have what you’d call a blog.

The Second Amendment Is Not Archaic

Just prior to my going AWOL, I had briefly written my disgust with a new Florida law that had been approved. It was only a brief note referencing an online article I had stumbled upon in my daily musings. Having allowed people to leave comments, I expected some response, but not that after only 4 replies this discussion would be of greater value than the article itself.

And that is exactly what makes it worthwhile to blog. I do not agree with half of the commentators and I probably never will. It is even likely that I won’t ever convince anyone of my point of view. But that’s not what it’s about—it’s about he discussion. Few things can make my emotions run higher than the viewpoints of people I do not agree with. It forces me to reflect on my own stance, review my opinions and make sure I still think so. It prods me in to researching subjects I would otherwise have left alone and most of all it is a priceless glimpse in to cultures I have not yet visited.

Redundancy?

Many more than me wrote about this law being passed. It’s easy to think a well-written comment will drown in the whole.

In my experience, that is not the case. All good discussions reach a point where all participants have had their say. All arguments have been discussed, turned, examined and tried. Once it has reached this point, it becomes a historical document of sorts. It’ll hold a unique glimpse into the opinions of a very specific demographic discussing a very specific topic at a very specific point in time.

I’m certain, that looking back at such documents in about 20 years time will hold chuckle or two. Heck, I’ve probably even changed my mind by then.

12 thoughts on “About Politics & Blogs”

  1. Chris says:

    Aww. Thanks.

    Incidentally when Google put together their archive of usenet I found a post I made during the dark ages that had something to do with homosexuals, priests and quantum physics. Though it’s entirely possible they were three separate posts I like to combine them in my memory for the humour value.

    P.S. if you were to compare the timestamps for this post with the reply to you I left on Michael’s site you’ll note that upon working I make my way around the blogs starting alphabetically. 🙂

  2. khaled says:

    I was wondering where you’d gone to. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, whether or not to blog about my political beliefs. The thing is though there’s always a million people that disagree with you, which like you said is kind of the point because it pushes you in a specific direction, to learn more and articulate yourself better.

    The question though is there a line you draw for what you write or do you let your thoughts run wild and alienate a segment of your readership? Is writing your blog about you and your thoughts, or your readership? Bear in mind this is not directed at you Joen, just throwing general questions out there…

  3. Chris says:

    Khaled, not to put words in Joen’s mouth but my understanding of his various stances is that his convictions and passions on certain issues are firm. I don’t think, even if he could, that he would limit his comments to avoid upset.

    I believe he and I are of a similar mind on this. I think the best we can do is let our readers know that despite differences of opinion they are still welcome to voice them on our sites. While I may be firm on my positions I am willing to hear opposition to them. There’s even a chance my mind will change on a subject.

    Do I contradict myself?

    Very well then I contradict myself,

    (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

    I take that to mean humans have a right to contradiction and the holding of multiple ideas that contradict. I can change my mind at any time. I’d like my readers to know they have a fighting chance.

    And with that I promise never to quote a poet to elaborate a comment. 🙂

  4. Chris says:

    Addendum to my last comment. This would have been so much easier to say.

    The same thinking you might have deciding to talk about your cat applies to whether or not you want to talk about politics or some other “controversial” topic.

    Both are equally likely to alienate someone.

  5. khaled says:

    To be honest I kind of said what I said because Joen has pointed out in a previous post that it’s not important what he says apparently, it’s what we as his readers say, it’s in the comments.

    Personally I disagree. I write my blog for myself first and foremost. My Blog is my therapy. I wish I’d discovered the idea years ago. Instead I used to write massive e-mails to people.

  6. Joen says:

    The question though is there a line you draw for what you write or do you let your thoughts run wild and alienate a segment of your readership? Is writing your blog about you and your thoughts, or your readership? Bear in mind this is not directed at you Joen, just throwing general questions out there…

    It’s a good question, and I have been pondering it.

    A while ago, I even touched some of the issues in an article. The conclusion if you will, was the following: “This journal was made by me, for me, and I intend to be faithful to no-one but myself.”

    Still, I do have a subconscious. I’m sure I’m holding back some things.

    In other words, Chris is pretty right in what he says. Heck, I’ve even changed my mind on some things based on discussions here. More importantly, I’ve had to make up my minds on some decisions I had not yet decided upon.

    To be honest I kind of said what I said because Joen has pointed out in a previous post that it?s not important what he says apparently, it?s what we as his readers say, it?s in the comments.

    You are very true. The discussions here are what makes this place valuable. In the words of Radiohead: “I might be wrong”. As such, it is as much to “try my own opinions” on an educated audience, as it is to vent.

    Bottomline: I am not afraid at all, to voice my opinion on matters. Heck, there are some articles that probably do little to keep my readers, and are written entirely for myself.

  7. Tristan says:

    I really do love this part of the blogging experience — I try to participate in many heated discussions, and I have even written around 10-15 pages of commentary on a single article before, going back and forth between viewpoints with the blog author. It’s amazing what people can articulate when given the chance to write on something they feel strongly about, and it really does help everyone involved solidify their views on whatever subject is being discussed.

    Perhaps sometime in the future, blogs will be more focused on comments than on actual posts. I could see a “my recent comments on others’ blogs” sidebar section… to further connect comments between blogs. Maybe I’ll plug that into wordpress one of these days…

  8. Jonas Rabbe says:

    I try to participate in many heated discussions, and I have even written around 10-15 pages of commentary on a single article before

    If I wrote as much on my own blog as I do as parts of discussions (mostly here) it would actually be alive, instead of this lump occupying my share of bandwidth. 😉

  9. Chris says:

    If I wrote as much on my blog as I do here my fingers would have fallen off a week ago.

  10. Joen says:

    Perhaps sometime in the future, blogs will be more focused on comments than on actual posts. I could see a ?my recent comments on others? blogs? sidebar section… to further connect comments between blogs. Maybe I?ll plug that into wordpress one of these days…

    That’s not a bad idea. In fact, as both Jonas and Chris notes after you, they put quite a lot of work in to these comments. I hate seeing that go to waste. A “commenter tracking” system of that sorts could probably encourage further off-personal-site discussion.

    That, and a medal system. You people should all get medals. I kid not. It’s just, the current comment reward systems for WP aren’t good enough.

  11. Jonas Rabbe says:

    It?s just, the current comment reward systems for WP aren?t good enough.

    I smell a wp plugin coming on. I guess I got to get my theme straightened out and port my site so I can start making some of the plugins I’m thinking about. (I’m thinking that if I say enough times in public that I have to port my site, I will eventually get my act together and get through the planning phase).

  12. Joen says:

    A WP plugin indeed! I’m hoping the same thing that happened to my Favatars thread will happen if I keep “mentioning it”: someone will pick it up and do it for me 🙂

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