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Friday, July 14, 2017

Would You Like 8 Billion Visits To Your Blog Every Day?


Neither would I, but it seems our numbers are declining. It's been about a year, in fact, since I learned the world's human population reached (only?) 7 billion so admittedly some exaggeration is involved here. However, we must consider the future of mass communications, its laggardness, its abbreviation into 140 characters and, most horrific, its obsolescence.  In our hearts, we bloggers know we are writing a chronicle of our time in disappearing ink.  All insurrectionists need do is find out where the internet is plugged in and disconnect it --unfortunately severing their own influence too.

So what? Is our influence as parents and elders in any way impeded? I think not. We will still be here, from one generation  or another. Our message is simple: As Anna Lappe wrote, "Every time you spend money, you cast a vote for what kind of world you want."  You can buy cheaply at the expense of outsourcing American jobs,  union-busting or shop wisely and keep hardship away. It is a time of reflection.

If we assume to see ourselves in the mirror, and believe we are really there, we must also assume the mirror is really there. I look into it and try to imagine my eyes shining with good mental hygiene --and say, " Stop making faces, you're too old to start turning any of life's great corners." But I ignore myself and reply, "Time is not a physical constant and can only be measured by the individual, so there." 

To which, my reflection sticks its tongue out. This makes me think the world's gone a bit funny on me, and I withdraw. I look at other mirrors --the president on tv. Alas, the camera does not love him. I saw him smile once, like a crack in perdition --smelled sulfur and withdrew. So here I am, at laptop, encouraging everyone to remain on Blogger and other media receptive to complete thoughts. Even though, despite a possible contradiction in terms, as a boy of 67, my old age is in its infancy. Everyone, keep writing!


24 comments:

  1. I worry about a lot of things, and one of those is the future of blogging. Back in 2003, it seemed even all of the youngsters were writing fairly substantial bits on livejournal.

    Now, with the advent of instagram and twitter, people seem to have fewer words to share. True blogs are rarer. Our community seems to be shrinking.

    At the same time, the people who have stuck around seem to be more interesting to me. This is good because I'm not going anywhere.

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    1. That is a very positive attitude, Harry. My wife calls my blog-correspondents my "invisible friends". But I can imagine you all with your arts and opinions. I value you just as much as our local friends --and you don't raid my beer reserve.

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  2. That is why I also tell my stories orally. My son told me one time that he didn't know why I bothered telling his children the stories. He told them too and it seemed like they never listened. I simply looked at him and said, "I never thought you were listening either."

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    1. Wise Emma, the process rings true here too. The stories of how each family came to be contain convolutions, inspired coincidences, and absolutely hilarious adventures --as I'm sure yours does too. These particulars stick in kids' minds, I guess because it's part of being loved.

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  3. It seems to me that even if all evidence of our blogs disappears eventually, we have equally influenced the people within our real life circles, and that influence will live on and (hopefully) even be passed on.

    What is more sobering to me is that the more sketchy individuals in the world are also going to leave their influence behind in their own real worlds.

    Oh, dear. That sounds rather snotty, doesn't it? I'm tired tonight. I'll leave it as I said it, because I can't think of how to fix it at the moment.

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    1. O_Jenny, we can only hope that we, by teaching and example, pass on the amazing advantage of critical thinking, of empiricism and deductive reasoning by word and example. They are the mainstays of observation --a manifestation of love that makes the world less baffling to those who succeed us.

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  4. Geo.
    Thanks for the clarity and encouragement. We are community-connected by thought and intention. We share, we agree, we disagree, we ponder, we amuse, we confuse, we leave these traces of lives and impressions of our time. A draft of history, nuanced and imperfect and not in full, but pieces of time and place and who we are (were). Beautiful. Human. Communicating.

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    1. Elegantly put, dear Tom. I've never heard it said better.

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  5. Eyes shinging with good mental hygiene is a lovely thought. These days mine more often glisten with tears. Of rage, shame and fear.

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    1. You are by no means alone in that assessment, EC. We live in a world of diversity that can easily be goaded into conflict. Peace is a personal adjustment that instructs by example --your example and that of all enlightened humanity.

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  6. I find myself in a lovely group of bloggers who, one by one, disappear without even a good-bye. I am left to worry about them and what has become of them. As my real life shrinks from losses, so it is also happening in my virtual life.

    I used to write more often, especially the first year, but time passes and ideas are not as fluent. I try to keep to my one a month schedule, and it fits me right at this time. I intend to stay around Blogger as long as my mind is in working order.

    You should not take the chance that your beautiful words and thoughtful prose would disappear into cyber space, Geo. A few years ago Delores, of Only Slightly Confused, wrote that she had her posts put in book form by a company that does that for blogs. You could also do that yourself. What a treasure for your children and grandchildren that would be. Your writing is marvelous and always a pleasure to read.

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    1. Thanks, Arleen. We share the enigma of disappearing bloggers. I know people stop blogging because they can't help it and sometimes I send a short note after protracted absence to see if they're ok. The book compilation idea is a good one, but does it include comments? This section of interaction under the post is a favorite of mine. Writing essays and poems is certainly rewarding, but the main pleasure I get from blogging is retirement in the company of good minds, like yours.

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  7. Perhaps thousands of years from now our species will be living on (and ruining) another planet. They may find our words buried in reams of outdated digital memory, read them, and be wisdtful for a life that no longer exists...for a planet and a time that once held us and our thoughts and dreams and hopes....perhaps.

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    1. Delores! Arleen was just mentioning you in the comment above. Is there a company you can recommend for putting blogs in book form?

      I do hope futurepeople will have some preserved records of our experience back here in their past. History, as we say, repeats itself. I hope we can help them avoid our mistakes --or at least repeat them accurately, if that's what they want.

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    2. If I rememer correctly it was an offer on blogger that I followed up on...such a long time ago.
      try this
      Google Blogger - Print your Blog. Save your Blog. Love your Blog Book.
      blogspot.sharedbook.com/
      Google Blogger gives blog owners and authors the ability to print their blog, turning it into a professionally-printed book. Bloggers can also use the Blog2Print ...

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  8. Oh no, dear dude, as long as we're still looking down at the daisies instead of pushing them up, we're never too old to start turning some of life's great corners, as you so eloquently put it. At this time of our lives, we have the luxury of free-wheeling time to ponder and consider our places in the universe, and to wonder whether our lives (and our blogs) will create teeny tiny ripples in the pond.

    Although we may never meet our blogging pals face-to-face, we share our thoughts and words... ourselves... with each other, and in some ways, doing so brings us closer to each other than we may be to the people we interact with face-to-face and with whom we only share inane blah-blah-blah pleasantries. So let's all keep on keeping on, and let the more unpleasant aspects of life roll off our backs like water off a duck. We will always be aware of the nasty piles of dog doo in life, but there's no need to pick it up and smell it to know it stinks. Like the old hymn goes, we can "brighten the corner" where we are.

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    1. Dear Susan, dude likes your assessment of this time of life. Also delight in the idea of sharing thoughts and experiences in blog-correspondence. Face-to-face encounters are certainly uplifting --a familiar and trusted presence, a helpful pair of hands. But the encounter with thoughts, fun and feelings of other people on this medium fills a special need --and does indeed furnish fascinating ripples.

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  9. As I was leaving the house today, a friend of a neighbor was crossing the street. She said (a comely young woman at least 35 years my junior) said brightly "Mike, you're looking spry today!" Makes me think I have little to say in these blogs that isn't preaching into the mirror. "Spry"....at least I smiled and nodded instead of flipping her off.
    Bill Clintion and Geo Bush (of all people) recently bemoaned the fact that we only talk, write and associate with people like ourselves. They think that is a large part of our deepening social divide. Maybe so, and blogs are symptomatic for the most part of that. I recently left a comment on a blogger I like, slightly disagreeing with their post, but mostly trying to point out just this fact. My comment was deleted.
    And here we are.

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    1. Oh gosh, Mike, I know I look my age but have not been called "spry" yet. It's going to happen eventually but I'm not prepared. You made the right response, I think.

      As to deepening social divides, I learn from my kids that the preponderance of social media popular now has moved away from personal essay format. So one may be part of an age group with only the vaguest idea what it is thinking, or not thinking, or not wanting to think (which might get a comment deleted, but I assure you, not here).

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    2. Also, Mike, be aware that some of us with blogs aren't entirely technologically capable ... I have accidentally deleted comments before they were published, and couldn't get them back. And I may have deleted some I didn't realize were there, because in gmail the comments sometimes (why, I can't figure out) stack up one on top of another instead of arriving as single emails. After I reply to comments I immediately go to email and delete both comments and my replies. I've just recently realized that if another comment has come into a stacked email while I'm answering comments, it can get deleted by accident. I'm trying to figure out how to avoid it, now that I'm aware of it. And I hope I haven't deleted anyone unknowingly.

      One last thought: "spry" beats "tottery", doesn't it? :)

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  10. Hey, Geo! Your post was definitely thought provoking and sad. It made me think of Dan Simmons' wonderful sci-fi Ilium/Olympos series. The books take place in a post-literate world where most people don't know how to read, let alone write. In this alternate future it is the machines that keep literature alive. My two favorite characters are Moravecs or biomechanical robots with human traits. They work under the extreme gravitational moons of Jupiter, and whenever they get a chance, they argue about Shakespeare and Proust. And of course, the novels have great tie-ins with Troy and the Iliad! I don't know if you've read these novels or not, but they strike me as something you might enjoy. I hope this is NOT a vision of humanity's future.

    I'm not leaving blogger. I may hit a few patches when I'm short on time and miss posting or fall behind in commenting, but I keep coming back and playing catch up. I really enjoy my blogging buddies, and would miss you and my other buddies terribly if I stopped blogging. I love the idea of a blogging book, and like you, I would want the comments. I'm going to check it out.

    I'm heading off to Nova Scotia, via Calgary in a few days ~ leaving Terry behind to mind the house. Internet is likely to be spotty. The sheriff who rents my brother's home lives between two of my sisters' homes. I think he clued in to the fact that we adults and assorted nieces and nephews and friends were piggybacking on his internet service which we could pick up in a couple of corners in my sisters' houses. Last year we couldn't get in! So I may not be able to blog ~ but I'll be back and catching up on your posts! Say "Hi" to Norma and take care!

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    1. Thanks, Louise for alert on sci-fi Ilium/Olympos series. Will keep it in mind. There are many futures --good thing too-- assembled in the universe, not all of them dystopic. We can do our best here.

      Best wishes for successful travels. One of our friends used to be a Can-can dancer in Calgary and last I heard may still teach modern dance.

      I think it's delightfully naughty that you and relations were slipstreaming the sheriff's wi-fi. Will definitely convey your greeting to Norma and, if you're not transmitting for the trip's duration, look forward to the pleasure of your renewed online company.

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  11. Geo, I don't understand why Facebook and Twitter are so popular? My theory is that having 100 people "like" your post is somehow a great ego boost, but does little for the soul. I'd rather receive just one genuine comment. That's why I've remained at Blogspot.

    Plus there really are some very talented writers and poets here! In fact, I am always astounded when I encounter a truly exceptional blog, yet nobody has bothered to leave a single comment.

    I guess for some people blogging is just another form of social media (like Facebook and Twitter). If you leave tons of comments on other folks blogs, then you are more likely to get a comment or two on your own.

    Just "liking" a post is a bit too shallow for my taste. Anybody can say they like apple pie. But I want to know (in words) why apple pie is so good. This is a very thought provoking post :-)

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