The dark grey cloud that hangs over this blogger’s head

I have to confess something:  Sometimes I think the whole activity of blogging is a bunch of crap.  Here I am, some dude who set up a WordPress account for free, and on these pages I can say anything I want.  This really is one of the great temptations of the modern age:  So many of us itch for a chance to get up on our soapboxes and flap our jaws on behalf of our favorite causes.  It can be quite therapeutic.  Every now and then, you can even slip up and write something that’s worth reading.  But a minimum requirement for that is not mixing one’s metaphors; so much for this little article!

But have you ever suffered through a dinner in which one know-it-all yammered on and on, in a fit of what is commonly known as “male pattern lecturing”?  It gets tiresome.  I’ve had instances in which I’ve lost my appetite listening to some self-appointed expert cover every irrelevant corner of a subject, just to make sure that the whole table knows that he knows what he knows.  Sometimes I think blogging is like that, and that we bloggers can be bigger jackasses than we realize.

The first question that comes to mind when I listen to a know-it-all is, “So what have you accomplished?”  In other words, so many people that talk don’t actually do anything; they are either has-beens or nobodies.  Many of the talking heads on TV are like this, and the people who are accomplishing things don’t have time to talk, because they’re working.  Sometimes I think I’d be better off not writing the occasional post here and instead reading another chapter of Mises or Rothbard or Weaver.

Will our era go down in history as the age of talking?  Our world is filled with constant yammering, little contemplation, and perhaps even less sincere self-criticism.  We are egotists, and it’s probably a good idea for me not to assume that I’m not the worst of them all.

Why do we talk so much?  Why can’t we keep our mouths shut?  How much chatter is enough?  How much is too much?  Is blogging a good thing?

These are the reservations I have about blogging.  For now I will continue, but I wonder about what our chattiness does to our ability to be happy.  But I am about to yammer some more, so before I get started down another rabbit hole, I’m going to shut up, because I have said enough.

4 Responses

  1. The other day, I was thinking the exact same things — not about your blog but about mine. It does all seem pointless at times, although perhaps therapeutic. But then again, maybe we’re doing some good, someway or another. It’s tough to tell. But hang in there!

  2. This habit of endless yammering might be an American thing. I don’t know but people from other countries take note of it. And it is not new, probably. The blogosphere has unleashed it with a fury. Agree here with Don that it is a probably a good thing. If you don’t do it, you leave the field do people not as smart :)

  3. I wish more people would write in wikis rather than blogs. A blog entry is a static presentation of an idea at a specific moment, and the garbage piles up over time. A wiki page is dynamic and through accretion and refactoring will become more valuable over time.

  4. Don and Jeffrey, thank you for your kind comments.

    Karl, great point. Richard Weaver worried about this sort of thing in his book The Ethics of Rhetoric. Real knowledge, he said, is apprehended in the process of conversing, because it allows one to adjust as he learns more; a written piece, on the other hand, is frozen in time. In terms of the internet, the Wiki pages would seem to come closer to Weaver’s ideal of dialectic. This is slightly counter-intuitive, but the way you’ve stated the case makes it undeniably true.

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