Nothing special here. Just some thoughts. Maybe a bit indulgent.
In a letter, William James once wrote that he was “a most protestant protestant.” Oftentimes, I feel that way about many of the things I invest my into—including blogging.
To start, I dislike the term itself. I even find the original term “web log” distasteful. It makes me try to think of a log made of a spider’s web, backwards.
Beyond such petty things, I find blogging contradictory. Some of the time, it makes me feel more in-the-world and less insulated in my academic work. Other times, it can be almost suffocatingly insulated.
Some of the time, I am sending links to friends and other times I am contemplating quitting this virtual world and returning to the real one going on without me across the street.
I sense that this struggle is less of a battle over blogging and more of an internal resistance to the “virtual world” in general.
At times it seems so wordly here on the internet highway of blogging and, at other times, it seems plastic and fake. (Not to mention boring, repetitive, and predictable.) I don’t know which is the real virtual reality. I am not sure whether blogs in general, or this one in particular, live in a real world or an alienating fraudulent one.But I do know this: I would prefer to meet you and see you and shake your real hand and look into your real eyes and have a real conversation about real things that we find important or interesting. (Or both!)
It might seem trite to say this, but it is true. This medium of conversation we share—even for the majority of you who never comment—is not innocently happening. Sometimes it seems better than that. Other times, I am sure it is making things worse.
A blog will never replace speech and touch. For those reasons and more, blogs are tragically imperfect things—not unlike its bloggers, especially me. (As reluctant I am to admit that I am a “blogger.”)
Does this redeem or damn it?