For the love of dialogue

Why do you blog? About a week ago, Jack explained the objectives that motivate him. Here’s the condensed version:

  • This is a place where I can air out my thoughts about life and the experiences I have had and will have;
  • It is a place where I expect at some point in the future my children, grandchildren and beyond will be able to learn more about who I am/was;
  • the blog offers me an opportunity to continually practice my writing so that I can work upon honing my skills;
  • maybe someone will discover me and hire me to write a book;
  • and perhaps the most important thing is that this blog offers me the opportunity to interact with people I might not meet otherwise.

I’d like to pick up on Jack’s last point and explore it a bit.

I blog primarily for the love of dialogue. In my day-to-day interactions, I find few people are willing to discuss meaningful issues in any depth. But in the blogosphere, I can seek out people who are exploring the subjects that fascinate me: religion, law, politics, history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, art — basically any discipline that offers insight into human individuals and societies.

blog cartoon 1By dialogue, I do not necessarily mean disagreement. Bloggers are too quick to find fault with one another! Political blogs get boring pretty quickly for this reason: the exchange of views consists of punches and counter-punches which never add up to anything.

It’s OK to disagree with me; my ego is strong enough to cope with a little rough-and-tumble. But a good dialogue adds one insight to another, creating a snowball effect.

Early in our relationship, Mary P. and I came up with a simile. “When we talk,” one of us said, “it’s like we’re building with bricks: I lay a brick, you lay a brick, I lay one, you lay one …. The finished structure is something neither one of us could have built on our own.”

At this point I must interject that I have nothing against “lurkers”. In fact, I think the term is unfairly pejorative: surely a lurker is some pervert who hides in the bushes outside your house and peers into your bedroom window!

People who read my blog aren’t perverts … no more than anyone else, at any rate. When no one leaves a comment, I take comfort in the fact that my tracker shows that people are still visiting. So thank you, lurkers, one and all.

But it’s the love of dialogue that keeps me blogging. I enjoy writing, and I benefit greatly from the discipline of setting my thoughts in order for others to explore. But it requires a significant investment of time. Without the dialogue, which I find so stimulating, I would quickly lose the motivation to blog.

Monologues are boring! Your comments enrich the blogging experience for me, and turn the blogosphere into a community.

blog cartoon 2


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mrs.Aginoth
    Sep 30, 2005 @ 07:31:00

    I blog for many of the same reasons (although I seriously doubt anyone will hire me to write a book, & have no idea what to write anyway)

    I’d also like to think that blogs in eneral will be a substantial benefit to future generations in understanding our world, as diaries/journals are for us when we find them.

    I have to confess to being a lurker on some blogs, because sometimes I just don’t have anything to say! If the blog does not pose specific questions, or raise specific issues, there seems little point in putting a comment saying “yes”.

    you manage to raise issues & invite questions on almost every entry, so you get comments on most. some are agreements, some diagreements & some just explainations/continuations of the blog. All (I hope) increase the “worth” of the blog in some way.


  2. The Misanthrope
    Sep 30, 2005 @ 15:23:00

    I am in the process of writing an answer to this question, which will also cover another topic and annoucement for my Sunday column Oct. 16. However, the short answer is that I was so disgusted with the Bush gang I wanted to do something. I have now decided I dislike both parties and the deprived characters in both.

    The positive side of blogging is getting to know you, Jack and others virtually. I have also learned a number of things along the way.


  3. Q
    Sep 30, 2005 @ 15:51:00

    • Mrs. Aginoth:
    “Value added” is the phrase I like to use. I think everyone who contributes regular comments here adds value to my blog.

    I raise a lot of difficult and contentious issues (precisely to elicit a response). It would be easy to misstep and offend someone, but all my regulars show good judgment.

    • Misanthrope:
    No one has yet improved on Lord Acton’s dictum, “power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Unless you’re of the view that the corrupt seek power.


  4. Jack's Shack
    Sep 30, 2005 @ 19:03:00


    You do a fine job of engaging people in dialogue in a non-controversial, unassuming manner. I should be so lucky to do so as well.

    Unfortunately I am a bit like the bull in the china shop and though this has its place it certainly can miss the mark.


  5. 49erDweet
    Sep 30, 2005 @ 22:35:00

    Well put, Q.

    My own favorite dialogue analogy compares communication with ping pong. You ping, I pong, you ping, Mary P. pongs, TM pings, you pong, etc.

    If it was just ping, ping, ping, ping it would be dull and uninformative.



  6. Q
    Oct 01, 2005 @ 15:46:00

    Thanks, Jack. You do a fine job of engaging people on your blog — certainly you keep me coming back for more.

    I’m sure you’re familiar with the proverb, As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another (Prov. 27:17).


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