Monday 31 December 2007

2008- Our Hopes In Our Own Hands

Well, this is the first year change in the life of this blog. May it be the first of many.

In some ways, it is just another day, it is true. The change is in the date, nothing more.
Yet human custom sees it as a time when we can make a conscious effort to move on, to leave behind those things we do not wish to carry with us, to embrace positive values we wish we embraced more.

New Year's resolutions are often like the promises of politicians, made half heartedly by those who utter them, and destined to live as long.

But in a young medium such as this, it is a good time for reflection, for a bit of thought about where we want this medium to go. It is, after all, a people's medium, and each of us, in our own way, carries responsibility for our part in it.

I think we have a real opportunity here, in fact we are already showing what can be done in creating a truly interactive medium. I think we have only just begun, in some ways. And this year will probably be the year this medium becomes all it can be, or it doesn't.
I think the way we interact has to have some things in common with the way we interact at work. In other words, our main aim should be the continual encouragement of wider, more inclusive, interaction. I'm not one for maintaining boundaries and/or formalities and the lack of them here, is a positive leap forward. We seem to interact with eachother in a very genuine way.

What we really need to watch, is when emotions get involved. In a sense, they are bound to. Of course I have contact with bloggers through more private channels, but it doesn't affect my blog or theirs in a negative way, so all is well. If it did, I would end such contact. On the whole, most of it is positive, informative and often useful. I have learned a lot from other bloggers, especially regarding technical issues.

I think one concept we need to purge from the blogosphere is that of 'enemy'. OK, we might disagree, sometimes, but we really should keep playground pettiness out of it. We are all adults and should be able to play like grown ups. Life really is too short for enemies. So, if there any bloggers you hold some cankerous resentment towards, now is the time to kiss and make up.
Ultimately, it's bad for both of you. You both lose out.

As regards romantic stuff. Again, this is a public forum. We are avatars here. A bit of online flirting is fine. Get as sordid as you want, feel free. But there is nothing that demeans a blog more than it being 'romantically' connected to another blog. My advice on the whole would be not to use this forum as a place for finding Love, in THAT sense of the word. What you find here instead, is something far better.

Couples on the blogosphere- NO!
Not so the rest of us can see, anyway. It degrades the medium. It SPOILS blogging. It trivialises it, and it potentially creates boundaries where we don't want them.

I'd also like to see a reduction in ad hominem attacks. Again, these completely defeat the purpose of blogging. We write as avatars, posts should be addressed on their own terms. The great thing about comments sections is that you can leave comments in them. Sometimes, comments sections can be more interesting than the original posts.

This medium can be everything we want it to be. I hope 2008 sees a new readiness for us all to listen respectfully and answer thoughtfully. I hope 2008 sees a new willingness to remember that each of us cares enough about our views to have gone to great trouble creating our blogs. Above all, I hope we never forget that behind each a blogger is a person who cares about SOMETHING, cares enough to want to share it.

So, I hope 2008 sees us all doing as we would be done by, opening up channels of communication with eachother, not shutting them down, seeking to create debate, not score petty points.
I hope it sees us treat what we have here with the respect it deserves, and not let it deteriorate in to a teenage chatroom.

As I have said before, I want it to be the world's first direct democratic debating forum.
Let it be that.

So. What's coming here in 2008?

Well, more of the same I guess. No shortage of post material, you'll be relieved to hear. One key topic I want to spend more time on is our development, the development of human culture, our evolution as a collective species through what I see as the six technological eras that have made up human history since the close of the Magdalenian- in other words, I'd like to have a look at human history in terms of what it really is- the history of it's technological evolution. I also want to look at the development of communication and how that has affected thought. For one thing, I do actually think it is true that you and I have a greater capacity for thought than our ancestors, simply by possessing more words. Communication IS a topic I'd like to explore.

I'd like to continue dissecting and re-evaluating our moral paradigms and their relative status in our culture. The theme of morality as a a basic tool for social cohesion will be prominent, as will the history of thought.

Some speculation on our future and some of the possibilities ahead will probably feature more than they have done yet. There are many technological issues I think frighten us. In many ways, I think we have a fairly negative view towards technological possibilities in our culture. We fear 'playing God'. I'd like to explore some of the huge possibilities open to us, and the huge benefits they may bring to us. I believe in a Mankind deserving enough to sieze it's own destiny, and I'd like to discuss that.

And I guess, we'll also have a bit of music, the odd football rant, the odd post about the mundanities of the Real Life this blogger lives.

I also intend to make a real effort in 2008 to manage time more effectively. My hope is that within two and a half hours a night, I can answer comments here, visit twenty- thirty blogs (with an aim of at least one new blog a day) plus post myself.

Well, here's to all our hopes and dreams...

Update: I just saw the news from Kenya. Makes you realise, the hopes of some are dead even before the clock strikes midnight.
At least ours have a chance. All the more reason for us to try doubly hard to achieve them.


Anonymous said...

Some very interesting thoughts on the blogosphere, Crushed. Like you, I think this is a fantastic medium and it is exciting because it is young. Let's hope we all make it even better this - I mean next - year.

Have a very happy New Year, Crushed.

Anonymous said...

I hate to come to any blog and say nothing but good post (I'd rather be quiet), but you have said it all for us and so much better.

I hope this year will be a great one for you Crushed, personally, professionally and blogwise. Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year mate.

(No kisses though!)

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Crushed! :)

Anonymous said...

The news from Kenya is terrible. Yet more civil unrest, more anger at the shortcomings of democracy. I'm waiting to learn more.

I'll second the no romance over the blogs part. I had a pursuer who turned resentful openly toward me. It was not fun, as all she was trying to do was garner attention. I had to block the ip address and put her on my spam list--which I gladdly did rather than perpetuate an open conflict. But private romance is exactly how it should be if something does happen, no silly "I love you" links or some crud like that. Really, I have enough problems without that.

I hope your new year's celebration has gone well. Mine is due to happen still.

Cheers, mate. To a new year of new ideas and understanding.

Anonymous said...

Here's to hope for the new year.

I also hope that you will check out the give-away on my blog. I think that you'll be glad you did.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your discourses on life, love, football and your favorite - monogamy.

Haven't heard the news on Kenya yet.

Happy New Year and happy new day!

Anonymous said...

“I think one concept we need to purge from the blogosphere is that of 'enemy'”

How can you really sustain the idea and think clearly?

One might disagree with a particular view on one subject only to completely agree on another, so often the ‘sides’ and who is on them shift depending on the subject under discussion.

Often several Bloggers will agree on what they want to achieve but take opposite tracks to try to achieve it.

Party politics seems to artificially create and sustain the idea of enmity, maybe even to have imported it into the blogsphere.

Anonymous said...

Welshcakes- I have faith that we will. Here at least, anyway.

I don't know but sometimes, I do feel like we are pioneers, seeing what lies along the Oregon trail.

I guess, like the original pioneers, we found more than the desert we expected.

Many happy returns to both you and Simi

jmb- This is actually one of the few posts I rejigged several times because I wasn't quite happy with it.

And likewise, may the New Year bring joy down from those prairies!

Shades- Ah, I kissed the strange cross dresser handing out the raffle prizes in the pub! (Yes, I won the Champagne, but it wasn't worth the ticket outlay, trust me)

You too, Mate!

Sean- You too, Sean. For once, not a night famed for peace though...

Eric- It was 124 dead when I saw the news. And the film footage was harsh. Woe betide the man who says 'I found some ballot boxes in this skip'

I don't have a problem with romance, I have problem with it not keeping within it's own limits. Some people seem to think 'being in love' is way more important than it actually is.

New Year was interesting, if certainly not what I planned.

Rick- Seeing is it seems a worthwhile giveaway, and it is New Year, I will give you credit for audacious self publicity and wish you New Year also.

Alexys- I'm not sure I have much left to say on Monogamy.
It's not how we are programmed. It makes us miserable. It no longer serves a social purpose. I can't see how on earth a woman committed to a life of monogamy with me would find any satisfaction at all in it.

Not much more to say.

The rest, I'm sure there will be plenty. Footballwise, we lost today. I was hoping we might scrape a draw, but against Man U, maybe my hopes were too high.

But a very happy new year to you :)

Phil- I would agree, but sometimes bloggers get personal. They get fixated on personalities, not arguments. In fact, some get involved on full on slanging matches online.

Trust me, there ARE bloggers who really do have violent emotions regarding other bloggers. On one end of the scale, lots of people love to loathe Guido. On the other, there really people who use the term 'enemy' regarding fellow bloggers. I'm not joking.

Anonymous said...

Hey the bells have run, the New Year is rolling in ... May it be a brilliant one!!

Yes, Big Brother is watching us too frequently, too closely in my view ...

Anonymous said...

Crushed, Re "there ARE bloggers who really do have violent emotions regarding other bloggers"

Not really disputing that, just saying they are not thinking clearly if they do.

Anonymous said...

I find musings on the nature on the blogosphere so very intriguing, because, as you've said, it really is a whole new world of communications, one that is still (blessedly, perhaps) foreign to the mainstream (outside of celebrity myspace blogs). It is nice to be a part of it-- I like this secret little world of mine, and how it opens up your mind to new ideas, friendships, perspectives, catharsis... etc.