ELEVENTH IN LINE
About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!
Temp @ JPMorgan Chase
Ohio State University
Political Science, International Studies
High School: Home Educated Hobbies:
Reading, standing in line for things, writing, research
About My Family
My mom is a lawyer in Pickerington; my stepdad and dad are computer guys, and my stepmom (who works with my dad) is an engineer. My sisters are, in order of age, a photographer, an artist, and a person too young to have her own website. My brothers are, in order of age, living up north, and again, a person too young to have a website. At some point soon I'll be collecting links for my aunts, uncle, and cousins. ^_^
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My Novel: Cipere Lumen
My Novel: The Manatee Conspiracy
My Novel: Beyond the Cliffs of Kefira
My Novel: sul Okyar tir taTz'ileea
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Opportunity Costs and Blog Comments I will probably never comment on this post.
I know, I know. Why on earth am I posting here about how I won't comment over there? Well, this is what the original post says (a small chunk, I should say):
Here are some thoughtful responses to Milbank’s work. They model the kinds of responses that are appropriate. I’ve requested a couple more and as they come in, I will add them to the list.
One of the very best things about the blogosphere, in my opinion, is how much it resembles my favorite classes in college. Lots of really, really awesome material is put out there -- and all kinds of responses are safe. You'll probably get yelled at if you bring up your cat's latest antics in the middle of a European history discussion (say, a review of family relations in 1650s England?) unless you're really, really good at making it relevant. And if you are really, really good at making it relevant, well, class is way more fun. But it's okay to respond to an analysis of gender roles and household responsibilities with "Wow, I have no idea what any of that means, but it kind of reminds me of how my mom thinks that I should know how to cook and knit even though I can buy food and clothing at Wal-Mart," because it shows you've at least made an attempt to meet the material on some level, and anyway, in a second one of your classmates is going to either shoot you down or say something so impressive (good or bad) that it makes everyone forget that you just said something kind of silly. Discussions can shift, people are engaged... everyone (hopefully) did the reading and in the meantime, the exploration is fun, because you know you don't have to be profound for every second of every conversation. Which is especially nice, since you're taking four classes and doing about 200 pages a week of reading, and you have a part time job and the roommate from someplace unspeakable, and frankly, half of this material is either hideously boring or way, way beyond your level still. And your professor has been studying it for the last twenty years (and by the way, selected the textbook herself.)
Anyway, it took me nearly 8 months to get comfortable commenting on blogs (only took about 4 months of college classes to stop being too shy to talk -- by my senior year, I was asking questions in lecture halls.) It took over a year before I worked up the courage to email Glenn Reynolds (or, bizarrely, any other blogger,) though; he's a professor and a famous blogger, for heaven's sake.
The point is, I don't need any kind of "make this conversation meaningful, darnit!" pressure, since I give it to myself in rather large doses already; it's bad enough we insist on that in all that stuff that goes through peer review (honestly, if I do go to law school, I'll probably have my meltdown halfway through Scholarly Writing.)
Some of the best conversations on blogs that I've seen lately have included random whining, Star Wars references, and even "hey, we went on a blind date with each other ten years ago!" reunions. Those are the ones I got a lot out of; the ones that made me rethink my views on stuff. The ones that made me click on the links in peoples' signatures. The ones that didn't take such a huge effort to read and comprehend -- and the ones that didn't demand, up front, serious discussion.
Now, it's okay that there are posts out there that do demand that. I'm all about serious discussion much of the time (ask anyone I've dated -- or for that matter, anyone who's met me -- if I like serious discussion.) But I think that blogging has a huge advantage in its inherent unpredictability, and light-heartedness, and low barriers to entry (both technologically and culturally.) And I just don't... enjoy feeling like my response to a post will get more scrutiny than my paper/poster on Lithuanian nationalism did at the last undergrad research conference I participated in. In fact, the posts I'm least likely to ever respond to are the ones that seem to demand a really thoroughly researched reply. Please, I find myself saying, please just make a simple error of fact -- or ask for a relatively unambiguous opinion...
Reading four essays about "radical orthodox" philosophy and trying to formulate a reasoned, well-written response in the space of around 24 hours (of which 2 will be spent trying to write the actual post) is likely to generate 2 or 3 click-throughs to this blog, and no reply comments or emails. I can get that with a random "ummm, I don't really care for pop fiction endorsed by Oprah, and probably won't read the Da Vinci Code" reply on M*, with three seconds of effort and no massive level of stress. Moreover, I'll definitely understand what the heck my own position on the matter means at the end of the day (i.e., "I don't like Oprah, and I won't be reading The Da Vinci Code!") which I sort of doubt will happen with anything I could say in reply to Jim's post. I'm, uh, not even sure what question I'm supposed to answer in Jim's post, which kind of worries me, to be honest. Given that, I'd probably spend another 20 minutes trying to find the question (it's taking a lot of self-control to refrain from doing that right now, just to settle the matter.)
So, ummm, I won't be replying in that thread. Too much risk, not enough reward... Sorry, Jim. I thought it was an awesome essay (at least, the chunks I understood, which were actually greater in number than what I thought I would understand, because I had been trying to watch CNN while reading it, the first time through) I hope you liked writing it. Good luck with the experiment -- I think there are a lot of people at T&S who will not be all defeatist (as I am, I'm afraid) when faced with your challenge. It's definitely the blog to try it at, at least. ^_^
(no offense to Jim meant, by the way -- this post was born because I literally said out loud "Whoa... there's no way I can reply to that" as soon as I hit the "(More)" link on the front page of T&S, and wanted to figure out why I'd had that reaction -- and as an illustration of how much work a *real* reply to Jim would take, I've spent 55 minutes writing and editing this post... which probably goes to show why I should get over this whole perfectionism thing, I bet.)
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Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.