Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Happy birthday to me

This blog is now a year old, and I'd like to thank the 20-30 people from all round the world who drop in on a daily basis. Although I'm but a pinprick (a Slimy Mollusc, apparently) on the [draws breath] blogosphere, it's nice to know that my words mean something to somebody. Until I become famous in my field, this blog will continue in between work and family commitments.

Looking around, I notice that Ken at Militant Moderate does not know whether to classify me as right-wing, left-wing or centralist. That suits me fine. Although I would self-immolate if I were knowingly to be taken as right-wing, I'm happy to categorise myself loosely as sitting on the liberal left. Having said that, there is something about me that instinctively breaks step whenever I find myself matching the pace of those around me. That can be a lonely existence sometimes, but at least I'll die knowing my mind is my own. There is virtually no belief system that should not be challenged, questioned, probed, examined, taken to task, interrogated to see if it stands up. Internal contradictions cannot withstand such scrutiny, nor can 'conventional wisdom', nor can, "X says it and he's on my side, so he must be right".

Some would say this attitude risks ending up in total cynicism, an ability to believe in nothing. I reject that, too. Rather, it means your beliefs are constantly in a state of flux. The world changes and, as if log-rolling, you have to be constantly moving as the current threatens to tip you over and drown you. The Pope has denied the value of moral relativism. He is wrong - everything is relative. While there are absolutes that I cling to, I know that I'm fooling myself, that the illusion of security brought by such apparent certainty is precisely that - an illusion.

We all say we reject dogma but, in truth, most of us couldn't cope without it. So strong is the human impulse to say "that's right!" or "that can't be right!" that it takes an extra effort of thought to bite one's tongue and ask, every time, "is that right?" Blogs do a magnificent job of peering into every aspect of human life and examining it, because their writers are interested in going beyond the superficial posturing of the mainstream media. I've read things on blogs that have changed my mind on key issues, even opinions I didn't want changed (and still don't).

Worldwide, there are at least 50 million blogs. I can't read them all. But every blog is a voice. Discounting those blogs that exist purely to spout a dogma of the author's choice, that leaves a lot of people who are thinking, writing, discussing. Every aspect of our life is being examined. That's healthy. Long live the internet.

Happy birthday, Oscar.


Blogger Philip said...

And many more to come.

8:11 pm  
Blogger Davide Simonetti said...

Many happy returns

5:30 am  

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