Why blog?

Continuing yesterdays posting — why would anyone blog? Or anyone read? Sometimes I’m reminded of this comic here:

xkcd comic by Randall Munroe

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.

Paul Graham – The Age of the Essay

And that’s a good reason to write — I think.


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