Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bloggo ergo Cogito? (ergo sum?)

Back when I started bloggging in March of 2006, I set up a series of blogging rules, with the idea that I would add more as they come to me.

So, here is another one
9.) When you run out of things to say, sit down and shut up.

I've always kept a list of things I wanted to blog about, and I always told myself that when that list was empty, I would stop blogging. The last post was the last thing in my list. It's time to close her down.

But let's be honest, the blog isn't quite as fresh and interesting as it used to be. The posts have gotten longer and more theoretical, and, not surprisingly, fewer people have read and commented. The blogging that I've done lately has spun off into irrelevancy. It's time to sit down and shut up.

After one last observation, that is.

Descarte thought that the only way he could know, without a doubt, that he was real and not being deceived by a powerful demon was that he was able to think. He reasoned that as long as he could think, he knew he existed - "cogito ergo sum" - I think, therefore I am.

I have some friends in Minneapolis who say that they cannot think unless they are also writing. They blog so they can think (bloggo ergo cogito). When we're having conversations, they say stuff like "I put a post on my blog about this", which makes me laugh because they would rather me read their blog than sit with me and talk about something. I suppose I should just go to their blog to see if they exist (ergo sum?). Who needs real-life when you have Web 2.0?

My point is that I don't want my friends to forget I exist because I've stopped blogging. I started this blog experiment with the hope it would help me keep in contact with old (and new) friends. I still want that.

On another note, I find myself thinking quite apart from my blog. One day, if I get a really good idea that is worth sharing, I'll try to put it on Jesus Manifesto, or some other such place.

Okay, NOW I've run out of things to say. I'm sitting down and shutting up. Thanks for listening.


Stacy said...

i still read your blog but don't always comment. i apologize for not having such rules on my blog. i pretty much just write whatever i'm thinking at the moment no matter how trivial, immature, or fleeting the thought. be a rule breaker and don't sit down and shut up forever...

Benjamin said...

Thanks for reading, but the fact that nothing is comment-worthy means it isn't interesting enough. I mean, it's interesting to me, but I'm strange.

And who says you need rules for your blog? I've never felt you were in dire need of a set of rules. Though,it does get a little girly for me sometimes. Sigh - I suppose you can't fight what you are.

As far as writing more, I probably will, but will submit it for consideration on a webzine or something. That way I have the added benefit of editorial scrutiny, which I think I need.

Just don't forget I exist. Who else would house you during a trip to the northland?

Tracy P. said...

Well what if I promised to STOP commenting? Maybe then some others would come back and I could keep reading? Would you at least post on your blog a link to your posts on other blogs? That way google reader will still let us know when to check it out.

I guess I will have to go back to the beginning and see what I missed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here--this has been a well-timed "moment" in my journey.

P.S. LOVE the comic. Are there any other blogs that Aunt Lou comments on? Hate to lose her!

Benjamin said...

Awww, c'mon now, I enjoyed your comments.

Posting the links, though, seems like a good idea. It will be many weeks before I post something on another website, though.

Going back on this blog is a good idea. Those older posts were much better, if I do say so myself. As I found myself running out of things to blog about, I went back to read many of my older posts. The difference in quality was startling.

I don't know where all Aunt Lou comments. She has two new grandbabies to think about, so she probably doesn't comment as often as she used to. Perhaps she'll weigh in and tell us where she likes to comment.

Melissa said...

I know that Aunt Lou comments on my blog... she likes to keep up with the Rhodes babies too! I'm sorry to see the blog go, but you know that, Ben. Luvya

Anonymous said...

i shall miss your blog. it seems i rarely have time to read anyones very often. i enjoy reading though, so i know what is going on in people's lives. lets email occasionally, please?

miss you and yours,

Tracy P. said...

Well then, Melissa, you'll just have to start posting more often! :-)

James Pate said...

Wait, so are you really closing down your blog? I'm thinking of adding you to me blogroll. Well, even if you don't write new posts, I can always read your old ones.

Eric said...

There's some life left in my blog (another pun!) maybe we could talk you into reviving yours!? With so many people enjoying so much, why not? Fodder for the soon-to-come Ben R's first book?? heeeyyyyyy!

Benjamin said...

Eh - I don't know why I'd do it. I suppose in the context of this post, it's not that I'm dead or unchanging in the ways I am thinking about things, it's just that 1.) I no longer feel that my thoughts are blog-worthy, and 2.) I no longer see the point of blogging about them.

In other words, it'll take a lot of convincing.

Eric said...

my reasons for continuing:

It's about clarifying my thoughts and keeping them 1. public 2. accessible. 3. documented

I am finding it almost easier to go without comments and no known readers. A blog allows you to see your thoughts in print in a public arena. So much of the Christian life is insular, sheltered, kept safe- and rightly so. Candles out of the bushel will and often do blow out. To let anyone take a stab, there is probably that person out there that could tackle the thought, disassemble the idea, choke on the words, or even change their lives in its wake. Maybe not today, or even this year, but undoubtedly: eventually.

But that's not even the point. How often can you see how you look, sound, act, play? We can't step outside ourselves, but we can see exactly what others see. As soon as we stop reflecting on the path of our faith, it becomes boring.

But those aren't your reasons. you should blog because at least a dozen times this week, I thought, what is Ben thinking? How is his mind processing the Economic crisis? the soon to be collapse of the religious right? There is a new church out there especially for folks like me who get their spiritual dose online. Someday I'd rather do it in academic articles, essays, books, lectures, presidential acceptance speeches. till then, blogs are the superlative step.. for now.

convinced? I can keep going..

Benjamin said...

You may have a point with the "documented" part.

I've been thinking lately that it might be nice to write posts about the things I read - sort of my critiques and thoughts about chapter 5 of book XYZ. This isn't so much for others (though they would be free to comment), but more so that I can remember what it was I was thinking when I read the book. Too often I find myself forgetting the important points of the stuff I read. I need to organize it and document it.

I'm gonna let you down, though. For the foreseeable future (which is only a few months), I'm out of the "personal reflection blogging" business. I can't fully articulate why - it's just time to stop acting like what I have to say is important enough to submit for public consumption. Do I have thoughts about the economic crisis, the collapse of the religious right, etc? Sure, but they're the thoughts of Joe the Plumber - inherently insignificant.