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Disagreement and what’s great about it

Friday 23 April 2010

The Bishop of Croydon has written (i read it in a Radio Times article written for Easter) that he blogs because it’s less preachy than, well, preaching.

He doesn’t address just his congregation but the world at large, implicitly inviting the world at large to debate. For him the difference between blogging and other forms of addressing the public is that, on a blog, the public can answer back. And do.

And that’s why he does it.


‘I have found … my own thinking is changed by the light other contributors throw on a subject. The holes in my own perceptions are exposed as my prejudices and ideologies become open to scrutiny. That has got to be a good thing.’

This is one of my own favourite things about blogs. (The fatuous are out there, of course, but you have to be selective with everything, and the internet in that respect is much like a charity shop, lots of plasticky, useless, unidentifiable bits n pieces with 1% real treasure.) When i argue a point, it’s not to win but to discover my own opinion, and how better than among strangers who know more than i do (or less) and can defend their opinions?

But i’m not referring to the Bishop of Croydon merely to say i agree with him. I’m referring to it because he touches on a phenomenon that gives me hope where, not long ago, i had none.

Pernicious perniciousness

We all know how the sound bite has poisoned our thinking and our understanding. Perhaps not quite all of us realise quite how grave the canker is; perhaps none of us can tell precisely how far it has spread; but surely no one is unaware that we are being fed noxious sound bite all the time instead of protein- and vitamin-rich Real Reasoning.

Technology – internet, phonecam, all the instant comms – is making news interactive. Faceless nobodies are having their say on everything. Irritating sometimes, but keep thinking charity-shop and you see how beneficial that is; i have faith in the worth of the nobody. The comments feature of a blog is its lungs (or snorkel, if you’re really pessimistic about soundbite toxicity). If we’re lucky, the interactivity of news can antidote the soundbiting of the intellect. Our intellect.

Nature’s way of restoring the balance? As nature always does?


The Bishop also notes, ‘The blogosphere isn’t for the faint-hearted.’ Yep. But – despite what i said last time about putting oneself ‘out there’ and not being confident – that’s one of the best things about blogging.

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