Friday, February 15, 2013

Is blogging rational?

Blogging once (or more) per day in January was a worthwhile experiment, but I don’t plan to make a habit of it. On the one hand, I finally finished some posts that had been half-written for years. On the other hand, my to-be-written list has, if anything, grown longer. I wanted to loosen up the style a bit, which proved to be harder than I anticipated. I do think quality suffered for the sake of quantity.

One drawback was that it was hard to keep up with my fellow blogathon travelers, Karen W., Nicholas J., NorthTOmom, and Scott, and with the commenters here, all of whom were posting great stuff. A tag-team blogathon would have made much more sense.

Maybe this is February talking, but I think the only rational take-away from immersion in this activity is a kind of hopelessness. You can throw yourself against an immoveable object only so many times. The values and assumptions reflected in most discussions of education today are more and more alien to mine. I don’t have any illusions that my kids will graduate from anything other than a virtually unchanged school system, or worse.

So why bother? I suppose the blogosphere in sum has made a difference, and that even small-circulation blogs do their part in generating and spreading ideas. One vote isn’t going to change the world any more than one blog is, but lots of people vote anyway. Why? It can’t be because they expect to cast the deciding vote; the elections with the highest turnout are those in which one vote is least likely to make a difference. I don’t think it’s out of duty or out of rational self-interest, though you could certainly justify it on both grounds. I think it’s more about whatever gratification comes from self-expression and, to some extent, from venting. The same seems true of blogging, but with an added element of conversation, and of pure compulsion. I’m not sure I could stop if I tried.

No comments: