Sunday 13 April 2008

Open Your Minds Up- Blog!

I am a member of a blogging organisation. It has its ups and downs. Like the blogosphere itself, its young.

In it, it encapsulates the hope we all felt when we started, an inkling of the satisfaction this gives all of us, and a desire to protect that.

A group of happy bloggers, sharing their happiness.

Read what is said in the sidebar. It's like the American constitution, you cannot help, but stand up and cheer.
But never forget, when Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton shook hands on the idea 'All men are created equal' they weren't thinking about ALL people. Just all WHITE people.

Like the US, debating what those ideals mean, has sometimes led to civil war. States rights, or slaves rights?

Sometimes, in the founding moments, the implications of heady thoughts aren't seen.

Darwin didn't know what he'd unleashed. It would scare him, had he known.

The ethos presented by Blogpower, is what blogging is all about. If Blogpower cannot work, nor can blogging. We HAVE to uphold the ideals presented by Blogpower, and truly get what they mean, and live- or blog- by them.

It has to be for blogging itself, for the art form/medium that it is, more a like a Trade Union, than a regulatory body, for the blogger, for the voices, the diversity of voices, and not to uphold the rights of one lot of voices, over the voices they choose to silence.

I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

I'm hard to offend, so feel free. Unless you are a bigot or a sex offender, trust me, I will defend your right to say it.

I have turned what I think is a very good Sunday post off the frontline of your sight, I believe this so solidly.

Blogging is amazing.

Do you know why? Look at the crazy diversity of my blogroll. What a mix!

What a mix of cultures, classes, points of view! The BNP fascist to the Filipino Anarchist!


We have CHOICE! We choose our media, we are open to a free exchange of ideas, unknown even now, to the wider world.

And we waste it.

Most blogs seem to try to be one of two things.
'Here's a headline, here's my commentary'
'Here's my ex, here's my commentary'


Do you know what, I couldn't give much of a damn about either, but both are interesting in telling me how YOU think.
Getting a grip on your worldview.

THAT'S the interesting bit. The YOU bit.
Because then, the little bits between the lines, make sense, I see into your mind, I see the overall thought structure, and I think 'Ah! That's HIS/HER perspective. Interesting. So very different to mine, but I can see his/hers. And in fact, that shows me something. Because I think; 'The way s/he thinks on this, actually leads me to a BETTER conclusion on THIS totally unrelated point, than my own thought processes have. S/he IS right about THAT.'

It maybe that there is only one post any one of you will make, that is going to shatter my world.
But you all remain on my blogroll, because so far, you either have, or I have confidence that one day you will.

Hey, that's blogging.

Open yourself up to learn from ordinary people, telling you what's in their head.
And you tell them what's in yours.

Everyone cool with that?

Because that's the rules, that's blogging, and if you want to close other people's minds down, if you want to impose moral codes on the real lives of other bloggers, if you CAN'T SAY, I don't know you, I probably wouldn't give you the time of day in real life, but here you're my mate, because maybe, if I listen long enough, I'll learn something', don't just stop blogging, stop living.

Because we don't just blog to get pats on the back. Visiting a blog you violently disagree with, but share the other person's deep caring to talk and share views, having long, passionately disagreeing comnments sections with eachother, NEVER sinking to ad hominem arguments, wanting to overturn the other guy/gal's arguments, because you disagree with his/her OPINIONS, but loving the guy/gal all the same, because you love his/her desire to find answers, answers to this game, LIFE, you, like him/her, want to find those.

Now, who wants to play that way?

Because that's my rules, and if you don't like them?

There are chatrooms on the internet. So I hear.


Anonymous said...

You do realise that the reason society has rules of engagement (be they etiquette or chivalry) to ensure that we don't end up in heap all fighting to kill each other.

Well precisely the same applies to blogs. The ethos of Blogpower to to protect the right to blog well and freely not to blog badly and offensively.

Anonymous said...

> Do you know what, I couldn't give much of a damn about either, but both are interesting in telling me how YOU think.
Heheh! I see....!

Hmmm... I read for entertainment, so I guess you could mostly say I 'don't give a damn' (except with regard to Mutley, whose plight worries me), but I agree that it doesn't matter what they want to talk about; the more they talk, the more of them you see, and know - and all that without needing to volunteer any information yourself (unlike in a real conversation; here, there's no need to prod; people are pouring their hearts out, and one can sort of 'voyeur' to your heart's desire).... it's pretty interesting :-)

Anonymous said...

Baht at- My reply again, is that in your judging of the post on the blog question, is based on a personal judgement of what constitutes taste and decency.

Yes, there ARE rules of engagement; I've stated in the post what they are.

Tolerance, live and let live, and let people what what they want to write.
His post doesn't damage anyone's reputation. They remain incognito. If people can't write posts like he did there, a major angle of blogging is lost.

Eve- I agree. Yes, sometimes it IS voyearistic, but hey, I admit to being something of a voyeur :)

Sometimes seeing the personal really can be an eye opener.

That's one of the great things about your own writing, it IS personal, from the heart.

Long may the blogosphere hold a place for writers like you.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but they don't remain incognito people who blog are easily identifiable.

My objection isn't in any event as to whether the object of his post can be identified but that this post goes against the norms of civilised behaviour towards people one knows personally.

You seem to rather naively assume that on the internet anything should go and we should tolerate that - which to a certain extent I agree with provided it is directed towards persons the author does not know in the flesh.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, no we aren't easily identifiable, no. Many people- myself- included, take reasonable care to protect our own anonymity, precisely BECAUSE, we have people to protect.
I use pseudonyms for all my close friends, mainly because it wouldn't do their careers any good to be identified. I'm certain it is highly improable that I, could be identified by even a regular reader. And his blog, seems to contain far fewer posts than this blog does, dealing with real life events.

To your second point, I don't really see how the post went against the norms of civilised behaviour. If I'd heard him speaking that in my local, I'd have shook my head and sympathised, knowing I was listening to a man, ho had a lot of hurt and anger to get of his chest.

You know, there is an element of group confession to bloggong, a support group aspect. Bloggers are lucky, they can air things that are eating them, and why not? The person it was about, will likely never read it.

How do you think the owner of the hotel John Cleese based Fawlty Towers on felt?
OK, Maggie May might have been quite chuffed at Rod Stewart's song, but does that go for every woman immortalised in rock legend?

And as far your last point, no. You have it the wrong round.

If his post was written to a NAMED (and linked) BLOGGER, I'd have agreed with every word you said. THAT would make it an abomination of a post.

And that's the only way the post would in itself, be unethical.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with live and let live.

I also believe that the only way you are ever going to learn anything is by talking to people who have different views than your own. It leads to good discussion/debate and it may even change some of your viewpoint over time.

Anonymous said...

Well blogging has certainly opened my mind in lots of ways to other points of view and I have considered questions I normally would never have done before I began blogging. Plus I do agree, most fervently, that everyone has the right to write whatever they like on their own blog.

But that does not mean that I want to read it necessarily. Just as there are many blogs that you are not interested in reading I'm sure.

I did not object so vehemently to the post that set Baht at off but somehow a line was crossed for me with other things that were said.

I think you are so right about us bloggers being voyeurs. While I don't let it all hang out myself somehow I do find it interesting that others do. Another thing I find very interesting is how much is revealed in the comments, often more than in a blog post in many cases. It seems we are less circumspect there.

Still looking for the answers! she says hopefully.

Anonymous said...

Ah! Yes jmb, some of my posts I expect questions which I will answer in the comments ;-)

Anonymous said...

Being able to write whatever you want in your blog is just like shouting "fire" in a crowded cinema.

The trouble with the internet is that it allows a lot of socially inept people to sound of in manners that would be otherwise firmly slapped down by their parents, teachers or managers.

As I've said before there is a reason we have rules about social interaction and the internet seems to have eroded these to the point of non-existance.

Anonymous said...

Cherrypie- I would agree. i have cetainly read blogposts that have opened my eyes up t things I wouldn't have thought of. Not always the thing the writer would think of, because to them, it's a way of life. But I read it and think 'Ah, so that's how that affects you.'

jmb- I agree we are not compelled to read anything. By supporting the existence of a blog, doesn't mean I weant to add it to my daily reading list.

Though you can regularly visit blogs who's ideas you don't always see eye to eye with. It's good to swap perspectives.

I'm not saying the blog in question is intellectual, more 'Shameless', than 'Panorama', to use a UK TV parallel, but I'm not sure that matters.

I think in comments, yes, because we respond more to specific points. We fill in the blanks that the readers asks, so yes, it's stuff we never planned to say, but since you ask...
I think I've gone off in tangents in comments several times, even told whole anecdotes. :)

Cherrypie- There are always some you KNOW will ask questions.

Baht at- Yes, I agree we have the same responsibilities as do any other medium defending free speech. incitement to cause harm, cannot be tolerated. Nor can attempts to slur other bloggers, attempts to denigrate specific social groups, etc. A thirty something man having a rant about some unspecified ex, hey.

I read a very thoughtful blogpost last night by a woman writing about her ex boyfriends alcoholism. The woman writing it, has a doctorate.
In fact, she is a very good writer, and her blog is well thought of.

We have rules about social interaction to prserve the culture they were designed for. Chivalry, for example was designed to keep peasants off horses and preserve the rights of the nobility to get work out of serfs.
It justified the skinning alive of every male inhabitant of Berwick Upon Tweed by Edward I, but got excited by his grandson picking up a garter.

If a blogger abuses other bloggers, or acts in a manner designed to harm the reputation of other bloggers by revealing personal info about them, than I agree, they are breaking blogging rules.

But since his tirade does not consititute social interaction with the person it was written about, it is excluded from any such thinking.

Anonymous said...

That's sweet of you. Thank you :-)