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January 06, 2004

The very foundation of democracy

John Perry Barlow may be new to blogging, but he's not at all new to clear thinking and writing about important social, technical, and political issues. This post may turn out to be a very important one in setting the tone for the coming campaign.

If we in the anti-Bush forces continue to bray about our moral and intellectual superiority, we will almost certainly piss off the troubled folks in the middle who will decide the future of America in the next election. Unfortunately, elections these days are more about style and policy. I think we're right on the policies - though more thorough and direct engagement with the other side will be necessary to put persuasive sinew into our arguments. But our style sucks. We are too often arrogant, hyperbolic, self-righteous, vindictive, and mean-spirited. Anger, no matter how justified, is not attractive to the unconvinced.

Now would be a good time for us all to come and reason together, and I am grateful to the pro-Bush newcomers to this blog for their willingness to do just that.

Earlier in the post he wrote:
I originally started this blog with the intention of giving my friends a place to gather and respond to BarlowSpams, as well as attending to other matters of local community interest. I didn't really expect that I'd be getting thousands of hits a day from strangers who were neither friends nor even terribly likely to become friends. But I'm delighted it's turning out this way. This sort of discussion, conducted properly, is the very foundation of democracy.

Posted by jghiii at January 6, 2004 11:22 AM
Posted by: Mark on January 7, 2004 07:20 AM

The very essence of a weblog is sharing things that are important to you;
things you have a passion for and often things you are willing to take a
stand for (be it Macs, Mars or Minis). With that exposure comes risk:
Risk of being/seeming superficial; Risk of being disliked; Risk of
being misunderstood (or maybe risk of being understood too well); Risk
of being attacked (verbally rather than physically [we hope]) and the ego
risk even among your peers that your ideas and passions are not even
worth noting.

JPB has rediscovered the risk of being published. And in an unmoderated
medium such as a blog where anyone with a modicum of typing skills
(and who can rub a couple of dry words together) can seem an expert,
an Instalanch such as GR can generate can pose a serious challenge to an
ego thinking (hoping) that it was only publishing for friends.

I guess the upshot of it is, publish for your passions. Then let your
audience come to you. If they don't come, you still have your passions.
And if they do, well, it's fun to share.

Thanks for sharing.

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