29 June 2006

Mea Culpa, Mea Roberto Culpa

I was recently criticized (quite rightly) for being lazy in my writing and lazy in my research. I can but blame this medium a bit. The fault, my dear brutes, is not in our blogs.

I am lazy. It's my natural condition. Sometimes, it serves me well - the search to avoid work has led to my best software solutions - and sometimes, not so much.

While I've always liked my authorial voice, there are some very good reasons not to. Anyone who knows me knows I write like I speak. So...overbearing and pretentious in person, and a wee bit trite on the page. I'm not a big fan of rewrites and re-edits, figuring that if it flowed the first time it must have been good (or good enough). Even now, as I'm meta-composing, I'm only making the occasional delta to what's already been written. So what you're reading is hot of the cranial creases.*

A big problem with this stream of consciousness style is that your point tends to get lost. When writing for a blog - readership: apparently three people (it would be four, but the moms hates the Internets) - that's probably not too-too bad. Still, I should be able to elucidate my points better than this Stanford grad or a semi-literate Holy Cross grad. Anything less is abject failure.

I was pointed to this posting by Josh Marshall (for any right wingers reading, beware your eyes don't bleed if you follow the link to TPM.) The salient points are in the final two paragraphs:

I freely admit blogging is an ephemeral form of writing. It's written quickly, usually forgotten quickly. It doesn't lend itself to that sort of rigorous writing and rewriting which is often the way you discover your ideas in your own mind. It is a popular medium on many levels. But it also has an immediacy and when done well, under time pressure, produces an economic form of writing, a concision and getting right to the point.

I saw a quote a few days ago where someone said something like blogging is a boon for information but an enemy of thought. And there's an element of truth to that. In most hands, it's more a medium of exchange than reflection. The technology can leave us with too little time to mull and digest...
As much as I agree with these sentiments (and love having a ready rationalization for my faults) I think we can do better. Which means that I must do better. I will backpedal faster than Tony Snow, but endeavor to do my best. Which means sometimes, I'll actually say something.

But I am still throwing in the useless minutiae, quickly tossed off thoughts, and crappy haikus.

*Anyone who thinks I didn't spend time crafting/co-opting the iambic doublet in the first para should contact me immediately about a bridge I have for sale


Brian B. said...

"hot of the cranial creases" eh?
Work harder, HARDER, damn you!