Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Blogger nationalism, Part III

An anonymous commenter over on Cernig's blog made the point that some people just don't like blogs that are nothing more than collections of links to other blogs:

I prefer to read posts that are written by a person, rather than look up loads of links proving points.
In fact, if there is a post with loads of links I usually ignore it.
Anybody can quote any other body these days to back them up, and the fact that many people ignore the links leaves the impression that the poster has proved a point because he has lots of back-up.
In fact, the opposite is usually true.
I am interested in what comes out of a person's head when he needs it, and not what comes out of a computer when he is lost for words.
Besides, the best learning experience is listening to other people's opinions.

This comment is very telling. I have at least one leftist friend who gets very upset at me when I just send him links to stories I find interesting and/or that convey some of what I am trying to say. His feeling is that unless I can express my thought in my own words without using the crutch of someone else's thoughts then it just isn't worth his time to read it.

There appear to be some in the blogosphere, such as this anonymous commenter, who hate blogs that are nothing more then collections of links to other blogs. They want original content, not warmed over hash.

I can understand, but it misses the point: a lot of people like warmed over hash. It's the way they are used to receiving the information they need to get through life. They don't have a lot of time for four course meals. They just want their Big Mac and their Super Sized fries, thank you very much.

The last sentence of this comment betrays another aspect of this mindset: it assumes that everyone else wants a "learning experience". This is a faulty assumption. Many people do not have that drive to learn more. They think they've learned all they need to know and anyone who tries to convince them otherwise just comes off as a pushy busy body. To that type of person, a blogger that devotes most of their content to elucidating new thoughts is just a show off.

But a person who can present their thoughts in small bite-sized portions (such as a quick reference to a more substantial bit of reporting/thinking) is a much more appetizing meal for their minds.

I really don't know if this is inherent in the nature of left-wing vs. right-wing thought. It may just be that the egghead syndrome has found its home on the left these days, but could just as easily reside on the right at other times. I strongly suspect that left-wing thought can be presented in bite-sized portions that are consumable by the vast hordes of people who just don't have the desire to engage in a new "learning experience". But the left has become enamored not just in its own thought processes but appears to revel in looking down on the low-brow nature of right-wing thought.

This attitude of, "if it isn't original and illuminating than it isn't worth my time" is a form of elitism and it isn't a surprise that it turns off the masses.

Hell, it turns me off and I usually agree with what the "elitists" are saying.


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