SUGGESTION FOR A BLOGSPHERE EXPERIMENT July 29, 2004Posted by wmmbb in Blogging in general.
The following could be just pretentious junk, and my worst effort yet. And the judgment is not one I can make at this time of night. Train journey dissertations are perhaps inherently dangerous, even when you arrive safely at the destination. Here goes. . .
Occasionally the ducks encamp enmasse to the shore, and the ponds seldom still waters permit reflection. That happy moment provides the opportunity to have some reflections on the blog posts and comments. The blogsphere has to be seen as a obviously and radically different context than other media. It provides the opportunity for cross links to other blogs and comments and with links to information stored in Google and the other search engines. I have tried, and will try to reference and cross reference postings, comments and sources, in an effort to increase the appreciation of the wider world beyond this spot in the blogsphere.
As others have I am sure observed, the blogsphere is an opportunity, yet to be disillusioned, to realize more fully the democratic faith. We can all participate, and the democratic presumption that each of us may have something at sometime of value to say, and that we have a responsibility to do so. More often than we would like, some of us are given to talking nonsense, and perhaps all of us will at sometime we wrong. Nonetheless, we should submit our actions and understandings to democratic scrutiny and be held accountable to our neighbours and peers. The stupid and the foolish and the vicious might then be stopped before they can be damaging and heedless suffering might be avoided, and moreover wisdom and intelligence might prevail. There is a tradition in the West, and in other cultural traditions as well, not least the Muslim courts of Medieval Spain, that truth is an open dialectic enquiry in which reason and evidence determine the case, if only provisionally. I can think,for example, of Abelard’s “Sic et Non” (Duckspeak alert: A book I have not read, of which I only know by reputation.)
My model of an good post, reflecting not in any way performance but the enculturation of the education process, is of a well written essay. There is an immediate line of demarcation between the able, and those of us who represent the incompetent, with no intent to devalue achievement. If we set the bar too high, myself and others will not reach the heights and be deemed irrelevant, thus our limited possibility is effectively denied, snuffed out between the larynx and the tongue, sounding suspiciously like the cry of a duck. Good writing, and in this case George Orwell, is I think, evidenced by close observation.
Sometimes the top of the head stuff works well because it sets off a vigorous and participative discussion, with comments flowing from all points of the compass. I see this is something to be encouraged and experimented with, and not simply because it is easy to write. Expertise might sometimes set up unnecessary barriers. Let me be clear, I want my surgeon who operates on me to very competent, and I do not want the butcher to have a go, if I have any choice, however successful he or she proves to be.
I want to lodge a post tomorrow, which is in the nature of an experiment, and that others might take up, which I now must lodge tomorrow to be titled: Australia, Canada and the American Alliance. As yet another train exercise, I have done a bit of brain storming comparing and contrasting Australia and Canada and their relationships to the United States. This is a subject that I thought that I did not know anything about, and that may well prove to be true. And yet, looking at some obvious contrasts between Australia and Canada, which despite differences in historical experience and geography, are similar in size of population, provides insight into the nature of the relationship to the US.
The American Alliance takes on the quality of a mindless mantra that cannot be questioned, so as to drive out alternative visions of what Australia’s constructive engagement in the World might be not least our necessary engagement with Asia and the Pacific.
The experiment is to invite others to do so of their own brain storming, and see what we come up with. This experiment can both fall flat and lie fallow. As I say it is a suggestion.