Thursday, July 14, 2005

Wherefore Art Thou, Philosophy?

Recently, two friends of mine were discussing (in a particularly un-serious fashion) the fact that no one reads another person's blogs (I think they were referring to mine in particular - no offence taken, though). One of these people has also lamented to me that no one gets involved in philosophical discussion through emails.
You may be wondering what these two things have in common.
I have several thoughts about these topics.

Why No One Reads Another's Blogs
  1. Simply that, they are just not interested in that person's thoughts. The (potential) reader is not interested in what the writer has to say about different topics that arise in their everyday lives, be they deep and meaningful, thoughtful, thought-provoking, mundane, or otherwise.
  2. A blog by a person you do not know is just plain boring. Inane Drivel. (But this reason is not justifiable if the blog is written by a person you know. That being established, we will assume from here on that the topic of reading blogs encompases only the blogs of people known to you, or known to you through others).
  3. The (potential) reader is just too busy (although, this would be an excuse, not a reason - and there is a difference, which I will be happy to enter into philosophical debate over with whomever so wishes to start it).
  4. The (potential) reader feels that technology is taking over interpersonal/face-to-face communication, so they are mounting a passive resistance and boycotting the hostile takeover.

So then, we must ask another question (the answers to which are by no means exhaustive or necessarily mine):
Why Do People Write Blogs?
  1. Perhaps because, in this day and age of people leading lives that are busy, people (both bloggers and potential readers) do not have the time to relate to one another at the desired deeper levels of the afore-mentioned interpersonal communication.
  2. Perhaps, some people (some bloggers) feel that sharing their thoughts about the mundane in everyday life gives the (potential) reader a chance to see their 'inner-workings', if the reader cared to look beyond the words used.
  3. Perhaps because the blogger can write comments about the 'mundane' and 'everyday' without needing to have a whole conversation about it.
  4. Perhaps, the blogger wishes to preserve trees, and so chooses a web diary rather than a paper one.
  5. Perhaps, each blogger has their own reasons; their own reasons for beginning to blog in the first place, and even a different reason behind the writing of each post.

So this leads us to a new question, connected to the first.
Why Read Another's Blog
  1. Because you (the potential reader) are interested in what they (the blogger) have to say.
  2. Because blogs are sometimes deep and meaningful, philosphical, thoughtful, thought-provoking, funny, and even informative (depending on the info you are seeking).
  3. Because it gives an insight into their everyday lives and thoughts; one that you might otherwise not have.
  4. Because it is a good way to spend time using the internet at work. Much more interpersonal than playing solitaire (or my personal favorite, and if you don't know what that is, try reading some past posts).

So, now, second: philosophical conversations over email.
But, alas, I must continue this tomorrow when I get home from work. It is past 11pm and I have work starting at 6:30am.

much love,

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