Keep Trying

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

The Wisdom of Blogging

In a recent post, Doc Searls responds to the question of how we as bloggers can stop contribute to our increasingly hate-filled world:

Easy. We can keep listening with open minds. I say "keep" because I think we already do that a lot more here than on rage radio and TV shows, where everybody yells at each other from fixed and uncompromising positions, as a matter of policy.

I have often rejected Doc's contention that blogging is a conversation, but I think I now understand where he's coming from. From the broadcasting view of media and traditional marketing, blogging looks like a conversation. From the viewpoint of a real person to person conversation and exchange of ideas, blogging looks like a shouting match.

But the much more important lesson that Doc teaches is that blogging makes available to us numerous new sources from which to learn. If you believe in the truth of the teaching, "Who is wise, he who seeks to learn from every person", then blogging is a source of wisdom. This is the path that Doc has taken and he is clearly respected as one of the wisest voices on the Net.

Unfortunately the more popular path is one of "I am right". There is a human need to be right and to be recognized as such. In the blogosphere you can always find someone who agrees with you - and you may in fact be very smart and often right, but the path of "I am right" never will lead to greater understanding and to increased wisdom.

So maybe the important blogging conversation is the one going on in our heads. It may not be the classic understanding of the word, but if it leads to more wisdom and less hate than I'll be glad to update my Websters.