Friday, April 6, 2007

Uh Oh

Peter Lawler has found me out, and next the world. My guilty little secret - scrawlings posted to the internet - was linked by Peter on "No Left Turns," one of my more frequented blog destinations.

I'm ambivalent about this whole blogging enterprise. Obviously I see its value: our medium is words and argument, and this is only the latest and in many ways most accessible and immediate medium that has ever been created. Therein lies many of its virtues, and many of its failings. Indeed, there has been debate at "No Left Turns" about the lack of civility evidenced in many of the comments in recent weeks. The combination of immediacy and anonymity, in addition to our ever harsher politics (itself in part a result of ever-increasing immediacy), certainly contributes to the coarsened discourse that seems to pervade this medium. I have hoped to contribute in some small way to this medium by avoiding much of the form that blogs tend to take - often immediate and sometimes incendiary commentary on front page news, or an endless cycle of links from one blog to another along with ever-shriller comments. I have hoped to provide longer and less frequent disquisitions (with an occasional shorter post) that draw on recent work or post recent lectures. In a way, I hope that this can be something of an anti- or contra-blog, at least to the extent that it tries not to speak too much or too explicitly about our apparently most immediate concerns. I take it that this is one of the singular contributions that political theorists can contribute to our 24-hour news cycle mentality.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good for you Patrick, though we'll link to you and make brief comments, so that you'll have the best (and worst) of both worlds.

Patrick Deneen said...

Well, Joe, you guys are the best of the Linkers. As opposed to Linker. And, Peter always reminds us that the world is always getting better and worse. And yet, it's not the same.

Russell Arben Fox said...

"I have hoped to contribute in some small way to this medium by avoiding much of the form that blogs tend to take - endless posting of links on contemporary political events with snippets of commentary. I have hoped to provide longer and less frequent disquisitions....that draw on recent work or post recent lectures. In a way, I hope that this can be something of an anti- or contra-blog, at least to the extent that it tries not to speak too much or too explicitly about our apparently most immediate concerns."

You've captured very well what I've ended up doing with my blog, Patrick: lots of occasional, long (my readers always rightly point out far too long) ruminations on political and philosophical topics, much of it reflecting current reading and research interest of mine, with the occasional geeky (but not necessarily shorter) post thrown in on Harry Potter or our daily life or some such thing to break things up a bit. It's gotten me a fair number of readers, though nothing like what the big blogs attract. Which is fine by me; I like my little circle. I hope your experience with blogging turns out to be much the same!

Patrick Deneen said...

Russell, yours is certainly a blog I admire, and was a model that I considered in deciding to begin posting here. May we both avoid the readership of some of the bigger blogs, and the sensationalism that is oftimes necessary to achieve it.