Saturday, February 9, 2008

Blogging, increasing the written word or diluting it?

First, Maybe Boris update. As of two days ago, he is now "Boris Bigenov", and yes, a tip of the hat to the old Rocky and Bullwinkle character. He and and other cats are in the midst of "sorting out" the hierarchy, CD once being "Alpha-Cat-by-Default", in to share the house with now two other critters. For now, Boris seems to be quite the lump of a cat, sprawled out on the couch relaxing. I guess after months of fighting the elements, a couch is pure luxury.

A couple of nights ago, a spell of insomnia took me out to the couch and an old movie "The Last Time I Saw Paris". Van Johnson plays a post-war author trying to write the Great American Novel in Paris. A few scenes had Johnson's character working in his study, banging away at an old style typewriter. The kind maybe many learned on and really built up the finger muscles. The writer would bang out a line, and then make edits with a pencil on the patten (?) or roller above the type line. Type, mark up, type mark up, the beat goes on. And then the whole thing has to be typed again as the draft reviewed and submitted.

Another series Rachel and I have been watching -- As Time Goes By -- features an author, who dictates his writings to a secretary, who takes the words down in short hand and later types them up. Another somewhat ungainly process, one that is expensive, as the author hires the secretaries from a temporary service.

The point of the above leads back to my recurring theme of this new era of "publishing". How simple and easy it is to be a "published" author, my banging out my thoughts on a web log in full view of anyone who wants to view it. Before I hit "publish post" I will go over the piece of obvious errors, but pretty much leave this the way it is.

I have been discussing the concept privately with a friend, a self admitted non-writer who made the following comments. I joked about what we all did before PCs and the internet, suggesting what two cavemen might have wondered "what did we do before cave drawing"?

As far as what we did before Bill Gates created computers and Al Gore invented the internet - well, we sat around the campfire and talked. Sometimes we beat the heck outta each other, but in the end we all were still friends. Of course, the sad thing is that now many more people have access to the internet (thanks to Al for freeing up the internet from military application) and use it as a shield to hide behind a keyboard and bang away with their fingers.

The internet brings this out in people and in the case of bloggers, it frees up their minds to express in a very public way and so easily too, their thoughts on things. Can you imagine what Ernest Hemmingway, Jack London or, God forbid - Karl Marx would have done if the internet were around in their time?
It is merely a communication tool and nothing more. Call me a dreamer, but I am sure that sooner or later (and more sooner than later) we will have the ability to communicate using telepathic abilities. Yeah, it sounds far-fetched, but so did flying back when Orville and Wilbur were dabbling with the notion not to mention space travel.

I will expand on this at a later time. Time to go live a life.

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