14 January, 2006

Why blog?

Do I write out of love to men? No, I write because I want to procure for my thoughts an existence in the world. . . I sing because—I am a singer. But I use you for it because I—need ears.

— Max Stirner, Der Einzige und sein Eigentum (1844).
I am still wrestling with this phenomenon of blogging, not least because the word is so ungainly. It is a very conceited activity: why should anyone be interested in my thoughts? I have not contributed anything of lasting value to human knowledge. . . not yet. . . and so. . . the process leaves me uneasy. With every word I feel more vain, but then I find the act of writing so much comfort. To articulate oneself, to have complete control, and the leisure to speak relaxedly, with due measure, is a delight. And furthermore, Stirner reminds us that egoism is an acceptable, even unavoidable, basis for producing language: writing here is a means not of communication (an insidious idea!) but of asserting power. The reader is only a necessary tool.

Thus I unburden myself of these meaningless words, connections, ratiocinations, fancies, emotions, and so on, purely for egoistic reasons. It is a therapeutic activity, too. If only more people wrote, here where they can be ignored, rather than speaking, foisting their banal opinions on whomever is nearest, the world would be a more contented place. I don't yet know how best to present myself here, or which tones and subjects to employ; as with any new mode of communication, whether telegram, telephone, or email, a man needs time to adjust to it, to find an appropriate voice. But orating regularly, even into a digital vacuum, keeps the mind sharp, focused, and it forces me to refresh and develop a personal style. Moreover, I still cherish the naïve hope that some likeminded people might find all this interesting, that I might expand my range of fellows and feel like. . . part of the world. How silly!


Sir G said...

well, you have. more than one, it seems!

Thom Foolery said...

"If only more people wrote, here where they can be ignored, rather than speaking, foisting their banal opinions on whomever is nearest, the world would be a more contented place."

Nicely said. Written, I mean. That is to say, keyboarded. Does that opinion count as banal?

Conrad H. Roth said...

Not at all. Welcome!

ThosEM said...

You've had fun with this, and created a literary treasure hunt for the rest of us. What more could you want from it?

Well, aren't all we bloggers trying to figure out what we could take to market, if anything? Carl Sagan has posthumously published "Varieties of Scientific Experience", searching for which somehow led me here.

Thanks for the absorbing diversion!


This old fellow keyboards a Reality
Weblog to Alert & Inform those sad
souls that are too busy, or lazy to do the research.

We live in perilous times, and I fear not for self, but for the next
generation. reb


Me said...

Great blog you have.

I haven't read all but appears I can learn a lot from your write- ups.

Will post comments later ....

¡Benjaminista! said...

"Blog" is an ungainly word.

I prefer "Blok":

Jim Straughan said...

My observation is that in todays world we do not have enough people
expounding there views boorish or not .Rather we have a discomforting conformist mentality aka political correctness .
I always appreciate the fool who guickly identifies himself rather than leave me to guessing