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Processes of comprehension

To argue that maintaining a weblog is a an essential activity may seem absurd. Blogging appears a process of leisure, of freetime and idle thoughts, the special realm of flaneurs and procastinators with an overabundance of opinion and bandwidth. But this appraisal of web-journaling ignores its most significant and powerful aspect: the possibility that diffuse voices might make use of the medium to forge a new sort of community, one that is possible in spite of physical distances, and through this new formed entity engage social problems that sorely need attention. From the chatter, real, progressive change will arise. Assuming, of course, that those flapping their mouths and flitting their type-fingers put actions behind their visions.

The explosion of independent news organizations is a testament to the very real possibilities of the internet. Sites such as Alternet provide an alternative to corporate media with a distribution that traditional means of dissemination could only dream of. Sites like Worldchanging and Energy Bulletin function to provide a locus of information on specific issues. The laudable Wikipedia and its affiliated network provide the largest Encyclopedia ever assembled, and various other libraries of actual texts, all for free (Similar efforts at Project Gutenberg and Biblioteca Cervantes, and those are simply two I may think of off the top of my head). To put it bluntly, there is more knowledge freely available now than ever in the course of history—even if there is still the matter of the Digital Divide. One has only to glance, and he will be purblinded by intensity of data that will greet him. This blog will be my attempt to regain my senses, to make sense of the great morass. In doing so, I hope that however few may stumble across as the navigate the tangle will find some benefit.

The process of coming to know, of coming to understand, functions best when not performed alone. This is why the university is a place of exchange, of dialogue, and not a lonely cell in a library lined with musty tomes. And so, I invite you: talk back.

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2 Responses

  1. Curiosity: Why did you choose Typepad? As I’ve mentioned before, I’m thinking about a switch from Blogger, partly for greater flexibility with content (and a little more flexibility in design—I don’t like the obligatory “Blog This!” bar).

    Per my last comment, it’s good that she stood up for you. She may have some odd narcissistic tendencies but will stand up for you when the chips are down.

    If the Fulbright thing doesn’t work out, you could probably apply for a job with these people!

  2. Well, I chose typepad for two reason: first, a kneejerk response to the bloating empire that is Google (completely unreflected and schoolboyish); and second, because of its categorization set-up.

    Also, the possibility of multiple authors entices me. I have fever-dreams of getting more people than myself to write, thereby creating a nexus of critical inquiry.

    Plus, blogger sounds like frogger.



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