A Word To All Bloggers…

Even though there is something bugging me right now and I don't feel so good to begin with, let me just deviate from my usual reflections of my own life and talk about something that has been on my mind for quite a while. I never really had a chance to say it because well…as some of you know…my life hasn't really been a cheerful sort of chapter so far.

But I guess if I don't write about it, what's the point of blogging anyway?

Which is what I want to talk about.

I completely understand the idea behind the freedom of speech and the dissemination of information to the masses. I completely understand the need to for blogs to evolve into places to talk about things like politics or religion. I mean, it is a natural thing to do. You got the whole world out there, why would anyone feel comfortable just talking about their life or what they did during the day.

Just one thing though.

Could we really take whatever people say in blogs seriously?

I mean, no matter how you look at it, there is a fine line between journalism and blogging about current affairs. When I look upon people who talk of their views about something and their evidence to prove it in their blogs, I'm reminded of one thing. It will still be their view and whatever evidence they have to prove will be based on their perception no matter how logical it is.

Even IF the conclusion gives the reader the chance to decide for themselves what is true or not, when the point of blogging is to reiterate whatever happened in your own perception, whatever you give will justify the end based upon your own perception anyway and however you tell it will still bleed of your own conviction and ideals.

Blogs that claim to bring to light evidence of truth are dangerous in their own right because how many of us "normal" people actually bother to do our own research regarding them? It doesn't take much to tweak people with words that make sense to play upon the doubt and insecurities that they already have. Politicians and salesmen have been doing it for years on end.

Blogging is just another medium that can be just as potent.

What I'm really worried about as a whole is the level of "zeal" that some blogs posses in regards to systems like politics, administration or even religion. I'm not saying people are dumb, I'm just saying that people can be influenced just as as easily given the right words in the right way.

Don't take my word for it.

Take Hitler's legacy for it.

I know I have more things to say but as it is I seriously do not feel so well. It's taken me 2 hours to write this in between dry coughs, a splitting headache and discussions about homosexual hang out spots which have no regard to the topic at hand.

Just one last thing to…whoever bothers to read this far anyway. Be responsible for the things you say especially in the world where people can actually turn left after signaling right. Be careful in the way you may project your own personal opinions and thoughts if you're a person who advocates the better road of truth.

Even if you write on good intentions, things can snowball in ways that are beyond the control of what you wanted. Even for the greater good, fanatism and being parochial make dangerous bedfellows…and the human race unfortunately are choke full of that.

There is something sad in people who have the power but choose to do nothing about it.

There is something sadder in the people who have power but choose to use it for nothing.

15 Comments

  • Anonymous
    January 25, 2005 - 20:22 | Permalink

    hi, got to ur weblog via pps. havent been reading u lately, and this posting caught my eye with its interesting observation.
    its understandable that u caution people to be careful what they say in their blogs.i want to point out dont be. people have allready made up their minds when they read another blog, and they read to confirm their opinion. so whatever any blogger writes will not change any one’s opinion.
    so go ahead and write passinately how u feel. u will attract those who agree with u, and repel those who don’t. if u write for yourself, u dont care who agrees or disagrees.  

    Posted by anthny wong

  • Anonymous
    January 25, 2005 - 21:06 | Permalink

    I see blogs as a cyber mouthpiece. Just as whatever that comes out of our mouth aren’t 100% accurate all the time, the same goes for blogging. Blogs represents individualism. Some people may love the way you write, some will hate it. Like real life. You can’t be loved all the time. No right or wrong here.

    Take everything with a pinch of salt. 

    Posted by mdmafia

  • Anonymous
    January 25, 2005 - 21:12 | Permalink

    It is not the opinion, the content, that matters. It is the way it is worded, because language itself has power.

    People are not swayed by a blog they read.; they either dislike it (and ignore it), or like it – and perhaps link or quote it if they have their own. If they don’t, they might tell others about it elsewhere.

    The point is not swaying an opinion of a reader. The point is in writing thus that the reader with the opinions you want (and you get readers with all sorts of different opinions) feels inspired, likes your blog, and spreads your word. And online, word spreads far.

    Sartre said that “words are more powerful and treacherous than we think”. If you are skilled with language, you can wield it like a weapon. But you can also be misunderstood if you are not careful, and that is very dangerous.

    Being “careful” about blogging is not what I advise. “Careful” suggests withholding comments out of fear, and one should not do that. A situation where you have to be careful about your opinion is not a place of freedom.

    It is responsibility that counts. The blogosphere has an immense potential of power in the web; and if a blog is used responsibly, it can do much good. If it is used irresponsibly, it might at best be useless, and at worst do harm. 

    Posted by Arancaytar

  • Anonymous
    January 25, 2005 - 21:29 | Permalink

    your point is so true. Despite being a “Jeff” screenshot fan for a while now, i (or we) have recently observed a rather fanatical debate between several parties and jeff himself.

    On a third party standpoint, it seems like there’s nothing wrong of jeff for defending his view using arguments and his selection of evidents.

    However, on the other hand, considering Jeff’s Screenshot is by default the Malaysian voice, it is arkward to see such childlish argument going on.

    What do you say?  

    Posted by tomatoinc

  • Anonymous
    January 25, 2005 - 22:14 | Permalink

    Blogging is essentially speech, yes.

    Doesn’t make the speech unimportant, or that blogs shouldn’t be taken seriously. But it’s speech. Speech has properties of it own that differentiate it from other kinds of media. 

    Posted by T-Boy

  • Anonymous
    January 25, 2005 - 22:41 | Permalink

    I leave for an hour and a half and I get 4 posts already…:)

    From our standpoint, this is true. Alot of us have already had our standpoint to what our opinions are. But not all of us are strong in our convictions and not all of us may have that rational a mind to moderately act on what’s been said.

    To say that it is our individualism and we shouldn’t care about what other people whink is one thing, but when we bear the responsibility of presenting what we call our “facts” and evidence to the people regarding issues like politics and religion. Then to say we shouldn’t care how people react and think is just being irresponsible. We are part of society, to think that we have no consequence to our actions is just bad judgement on our part.

    Maybe careful isn’t what I define as “withholding comments out of fear” I appologise if you underderstood it that way. When I meant careful, I meant trying to be as impartial as possible when disseminating information to the masses for blogs which has everything to do with worldly issues. Rather than being some sort of ring-winger in politics for example.

    The careful use of words CAN sway a man’s opinion to think twice about his convictions, especially to us youths…which I worry about.

    The whole 5th and 4th estate thing is just a small example within our own local Blogosphere that sometimes even we can get a little too self-righteous in our own opinions and it affects the rest of those who may agree or disagree in the matter to think otherwise.

    How can we present a rational front for facts and logic, when in turn we shown an emotional face in defence not to be proven wrong? It happens in alot of so-called informative-factual blogs. 

    Posted by Edrei

  • Anonymous
    January 26, 2005 - 17:47 | Permalink

    i’ve always thought blogs were used to express what you think. there is a degree of responsibility by the writer, but also for the reader.

    if people are reading “informative-factual” blogs and accepting the arguments presented without thinking, that’s irresponsible reading on their part.

    i still think bloggers should blog exactly what they want to say. facts should be backed up by references. opinions should be backed up by facts. otherwise it’s up to us readers to determine what is right and what isn’t.

    maybe you’ve undermined the reader. people who visit blogs that discuss more “serious” issues like politics and religion are usually those who are actually interested and want to evaluate arguments. most readers are just “kaypoh-chee” and want to read the more typical bitchy kind of posts. i’d say that the responsibility lies more with the reader than the writer.  

    Posted by jaX

  • Anonymous
    January 31, 2005 - 21:17 | Permalink

    perhaps there is truth in your opinion that bloggers should take into consideration of the many things they say which they may be liable for. how many are aware of this i don’t know, but i guess it is essential that we do know what we are all talking about.

    but while should bloggers take too many people’s feelings into consideration, we may end up with nothing at all. it’s hard to pose opinions and expect to please everyone. And we are all citizens of the world, therefore we have a right to comment on how we feel, whether it is backed up by feelings and emotions alone, actual facts and figures or etc. Nvrtheless, it is up to the reader to pose and throw questions back at the writer, to know where is he/she coming from.

    there will always be information asymmetry on the part on everyone, and as such, weakly convicted people would be victims i agree. nevertheless, we ought to be aware, that there are about 6 billion people trying to carve out space for themselves in an already congested world. it’s only logical for us to be wary of every other people on how they might affect you. 

    Posted by ni2r0kitt

  • Anonymous
    February 11, 2005 - 01:47 | Permalink

    With all due respect, if you ask me, journalists are just as prone to such “dangerous subjectivity” as bloggers. The phrase “don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers” has been around a long time, and with good reason. So while I basically agree that bloggers and blogs are subjective, I would add that so is every form of communication. John Donne said “No man is an island”, and yet in many ways, every man is an island: we are all limited in our perception of the world by our senses and individual intellects.

    And while I don’t condone the spreading of hate or ideology, I do beleive that the burdon of responsibility should fall on the “communicatee” rather than the communicator: don’t believe everything you read; think for yourself. What is the “road of truth” anyway? Each of us possesses our own version of “truth,” and everything we read must necessarily fall into that framework; either it jives with it or it doesn’t–or it somehow modifies our “truth,” and it is this latter case to which we must be most attentive.

    People will always spout BS, and they always have and they always will. It’s up to each one of us to decide whether we believe it or not.

    RT 

    Posted by rangerteper

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