Tuesday, May 3, 2011

things you can do, things you can't do.

(The "you" I am addressing here is "me". Lest anyone take this as a veiled stab or insult.)

Something you can't do: change people's mind by Tweeting, Facebooking, commenting on blogs. At best, you can provide new information, which most will question the validity of if it doesn't fit in with their narrative construct of the universe, which will then devolve into a nit-picky dissection of what you're saying that is ill-suited to this medium. Or perhaps you provide a witticism, briefly enjoyed and then forgotten. Or - somehow - a trace of real and new insight, whose absorption is immediately inhibited by the noise of the intersocialsphere. Because real insight rarely strikes like a bolt from the blue, but sneaks up on you, grows in you over time, unless its fertilization is inhibited by a thousand conflicting thoughts.

Something you can do: take care of yourself. Escape the noise. Use this as an opportunity not to challenge other's beliefs, but examine your own, and question how you put them into practice.

Oh, and rock the hell out of the new Superchunk remaster.


  1. Pretty certain you actually can change people's minds by commenting on blogs.

  2. I'm not sure if you're being meta or sincere. But as the you I'm referring to is me, I can say pretty confidently I've never changed anyone's mind in any reasonable capacity (that I can discern, anyway). Other's powers of persuasion may be better than mine.

  3. A little from Column A, a little from Column B. I certainly enjoyed the dissonance between my first comment and your post.

    But I have seen people change their minds, and even been one of those people. That said, I've mainly seen this happen in situations where the group commenting shared a fundamental unity on a base ideology (in my case, religious), while debating something else (eg politics).

    It's also true that you never know why effects your words will have, even and perhaps especially if the other side doesn't want to admit it.