Friday, July 01, 2005

Emily Post: Expectations

I started blogging in January with the hopes of improving my thinking and writing skills. For years I have had contrarian ideas percolating in my brain, but whenever I tried to explain my ideas to someone else, I wasn’t able to express my thoughts in a way that made a lot of sense to the person receiving the explanation. [Usually, my dear wife.] I was tired of getting blank stares and rolling eyes. [Usually, but not always, my confounded wife.]

I have discovered that by writing my ideas on this blog, and exposing my ideas to public scrutiny, I have had to rethink many of my positions, and in the process, I have had to modify and change some of my beliefs. I don’t know if my thinking or writing has improved, but I do know the blogging process has been good for me. Ideas no longer percolate forever in my head without getting poured.

The original name of my blog was “Iron Sharpens Iron”. I thought for sure there would be other bloggers and readers who would disagree with some of my opinions. I have gotten some disagreeing comments, but not as many or to the extent that I expected.

I still have a desire to dialogue with others who can defend traditional beliefs or who have new ideas and good reasons for their new ideas. I want to challenge thoughtful bloggers and I want to BE challenged by thoughtful bloggers. I still believe iron sharpens iron, but I’m not so sure how to make it happen in the blogsphere.

As I’ve roamed the blogsphere, I’ve noticed a lot of clustering taking place. Bloggers tend to link to bloggers of like minds and comment on blogs of like minds. Comments on most blogs, most of the time, are comments of affirmation. Once a cluster reaches critical mass, it is hard for any new bloggers to become part of the IN-group in that particular cluster.

I plan to continue to seek dialogue with bloggers of a different mind than my own. I will also continue to link to interesting bloggers on my blogroll, but after a very short period of time, I am going to remove bloggers from my blogroll who do not link back to me and I am also going to remove bloggers from my blogroll who are not interested in dialogue. I don’t expect a response to all of my questions and comments on other blogs, but I do expect a response to most of my questions and some of my comments.

My blogroll is my salute to other bloggers. With only an occasional exception, I will salute those bloggers who salute me and I will expect a salute from the bloggers I salute.


Lawrence Gage said...

Do you dialogue on others' blogs?

I've been finding fault with ID lately and have gotten precious little feedback.


Review of The Priviledged Planet
Can You Bind the Chain of the Pleiades?

Here's one I suspect you'll like--justifying contrarianism:
Critical Pruning


David M. Smith said...

Hi MJ,

I’ve been reading your blog everyday since I found you. Practically everything you write is fascinating, but sometimes it is a little over my head. There are way more words than there are thoughts in the blogsphere. I try to add to the thoughts; you really add to the thoughts.

I usually take the ID side when discussing evolution. Of course, I have no way of knowing what was designed in the initial creation, but Darwinian evolutionists don’t KNOW that we descended from primordial soup either, so as long as they claim to KNOW, I like to play along.

Thanks for leaving a comment. If you are so inclined, I would be interested in more of your thoughts about the dialogue in the blogsphere.

pete porter said...

Expectations? I find more disagreement than likeness. But on my comments to others I am usally taken to task by self-asserted experts who have the approval and praise of other ignorant bloggers. As if man was the source of all knowledge and wisdom. So I'm not popular, just true in stating my beliefs. On occasion a discussion may break out for a time, but then the interest is short lived, and change of a mind is a long way off. There seems to be little desire to learn, only to inject a pet doctrine, or thought. This is not what I expected, but the way it is with a large majority.
Be Blessed,

David M. Smith said...

Hi Pete,

Conversations are way to short lived in the blogsphere. It takes time and a lot of back and forth to clarify areas of agreement and areas of disagreement. The “cluster” gangs up on you when you disagree with the writer/blogger to show their loyalty to the writer/blogger and then you are ignored. I know the feeling.

My disagreement with your “Spirit Driven” ideology is not that I think you are wrong, but that I think a “Spirit Driven” life is wrong for me. I don’t think I have all the answers when I rely on logic, but I don’t know how to test the Spirit. I can test and validate ideas, I can see how the Spirit was involved after the fact, but I don’t trust my feelings about being Spirit led to lead me in the middle of a situation.

I know I will sometimes be wrong and make mistakes when I rely on my reasoning, but I believe God gave me a brain and he expects me to use it to figure things out.

I do feel like I know your heart, Pete, and I would take a good heart over just about any other attribute any day.

Teresa said...

It is too funny that you have begun this conversation, David. I was going to post something with almost the same thoughts. What I have discovered recently though is that BLOGoSphere is SO huge that there are many out there who are wondering why no-one comments on their blogs? One night, very late, I was very frustrated with 1.Hearing from the same people with the same opinions, 2.Being the target of people who have very different views than mine 3. Not being responded to on others blogs...SO, I ventured out. I must have spent 5 hours, until wee in the morning finding new territory. I still do it and I meet new people. I click on link after link after link and I do searches and find even more. One thing I have found in life in any situation is: if you don't like it, change it and ask the Lord what to do. Hey, and I've missed you! Come on by and make a comment, good or bad. And there are plenty of people out there who WILL respond and who will come and listen...the other thing that helps is to change up your focus occassionally. If I go off on a same thing rant, I begin to loose people--I guess they need to keep on their feet. Maybe change your template or something too to get a fresh beginning. Sorry this is SO long.

David M. Smith said...

Hi Teresa,

I’ve noticed that on your blog that you have many fans and a few detractors. Your posts always make me smile. Your heart and your love of the Lord always comes through. I am very thankful that you found me and that you leave good comments on my site. Your comments keep me balanced. I don’t think we conflict as much as we have a different way of looking at life. You seem to understand me even while you would rarely have the same passions as me. I wonder why? [Not really. I have a good guess.]

I’m not concerned about the number or readers or the number of comments on my site. Every comment on my site interests me. Maybe it is my southern heritage, but I always acknowledge the people who leave comments on my site so I get a little irritated when my comments are not acknowledged on other sites.

Of course there are many, many other bloggers. However, the blogsphere seems to be the same no matter how far from the center you get; lots of breadth, not much depth.

If I was blogging for an audience, I would blog about the same current events that bore me in the rest of the blogsphere. How many different ways are there to say Dan Rather is a bozo? He is a bozo, but why should I find another way to say he is a bozo. Africa may not interest very many in the blogsphere, but the lessons of the problems of Africa are universal and timeless concepts that need to be examined. I will continue to seek thinkers, but I will not ever blog for an audience.

pete porter said...

An interesting problem. I'm not a scholar. But I will address how "being led by the spirit" works out in practice, at least for me. It may take some time, so I'll drop a line when I post.
Be Blessed,

Teresa said...

Too David, I think that us mis-understood people need to stand together. Those of us who question the Status Quo will always not be the most popular. Did you notice the new catagory that I put you all in? HA!

David M. Smith said...

Hi Teresa,

I did notice; I like it; but I actually liked the “Shakin Things Up” moniker slightly better. Things do need to be shakin up, and a contrarian should be just the one to do it. “Challenging The Status Quo” is a better description of what I am doing. Thanks.

David M. Smith said...

Thanks, Pete. I’ll be looking forward to it.