Continuing yesterdays posting — why would anyone blog? Or anyone read? Sometimes I’m reminded of this comic here:
Who cares if someone is wrong? Is that really what anyone posts for? To change minds? And will anyone really change his or her mind when reading a blog posting?
Perhaps some will.
Not the extremists, not people who have invested months or years into one position. When they change their minds, it’s often … unexpected and quite violent. Realizing one has wasted years in a cause — be it religious, political, or social (or anything else) — and then realizing that one was mislead or not told the whole truth … it can provoke some fits of anger and resentment. Just ask any ex-Christian who has found out that the work of God pays off more the servants on this world than the lord of the next. But that wont be triggered by a few blog posts.
Not the uninterested either. This posting is already getting too long for anyone who is not really interested to read.
But the middle ground — the ones who should be the target in any debate — they might actually find a few interesting ideas in postings. They are interested enough to listen, yet not so entrenched in a position that they ignore anything that runs counter to their preconceived ideas.
And there is another benefit of blogging — listening to yourself. As Paul Graham once wrote in “The Age of the Essay”:
Expressing ideas helps to form them. Indeed, helps is far too weak a word. Most of what ends up in my essays I only thought of when I sat down to write them. That’s why I write them.
In the things you write in school you are, in theory, merely explaining yourself to the reader. In a real essay you’re writing for yourself. You’re thinking out loud.
And that’s a good reason to write — I think.