The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Commentary on commentary

I visit a few blogs each day, some more than others, but not all that I would like to. One of the blogs I visit is fascinating for a number of reasons but primarily because of the other visitors who not only drop by to read but to participate. Currently, one post on that blog has generated over 110 comments. This is amazing!

The post discussed a blogger for a magazine's web site whose most recent post was removed by the magazine. The comments ran from issues of censorship, to discussions of the meaning of certain words, to the validity of the research involved, to differences in how certain concepts are viewed by different cultures. Lively discussions with wonderfully educated and articulate people all intertwined.

Some of the subjects discussed are:

censorship by self and by non-government entities
the role of government
the concept of beauty
the concept of attractiveness
the individual vs the state
statistical analysis
racism (or the perception of it)
the offending of others as a tool for garnering attention

The really fascinating thing about this particular blog is that the comments never seem to dissolve into argument and invective.

I am an uneducated man. I dabbled in a few semesters of junior college after I got out of the Navy. I graduated from a non-accredited high school (our classrooms had only two walls each... I need to write a post about that school and how I came to be in it). But I like to learn. I like to read and listen to the educated delving into almost any subject. I love to eavesdrop on these conversations. I often cannot resist getting involved in them because, even though I lack formal knowledge of the subjects, I often have strong opinions about them.

It is one way I learn. I offer an opinion, it gets challenged (or sometimes refuted) and I must then find supporting data. Many times I find that my opinion is poorly supported or is entirely without merit. Sometimes I find solid support for my position. In each case, I learn something.

The anonymous "they" say "there is no such thing as a stupid question." That's untrue, of course, there are many, many stupid questions that can be asked. I have asked countless numbers of them myself. A stupid question is one whose answer is obvious in its form. That is, if you can form the question you can answer it yourself. But all questions, even stupid ones, can provide opportunities to learn. That's why I don't mind asking them from time to time.

I have mentioned before that we bloggers pretty much live for comments. They tell us we are being read, that we are evoking thought, that we have touched you, the reader. When you see a blog that gets a lot of comments for its posts, you know the posts of the blogger will be entertaining or informative or, most likely, both.

I bow, humbly, before those bloggers.


Piratenamedneo said...

Neo was here

paul said...

Ahhh Doug, I read all your posts. I just don't have the command of the written word as you do so many times I begin to comment, reread it and then delete it as unworthy

Douglas4517 said...

Disqus generic email templateTrust me, no comment is unworthy. All are appreciated.

Douglas4517 said...

Disqus generic email templateAnd his presence was appreciated.

Deannavoelker said...

Hi Doug,

You are a gifted writer. I really enjoy reading your musings. I had to smile when you said, "There is no such thing as a stupid question." I have a sensitive funny bone (and love to banter) and it made me think of a poster I once saw: It was a picture of a box of light bulbs and only one was lit. The title was "Cluelessness" and beneath it was written "There is no such thing as a stupid question, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots." I am in no way implying that you are being described here. But, I do have to say, you are definitely one of higher cognitive skills if you are able to discern that just being able to pose a question denotes intelligence. You are absolutely correct.

Thanks for taking the time to write and share your beautiful talent of expressive language with us all.

Douglas4517 said...

You flatter me... keep it up.

Andreas said...

In your autodidacticism (is that a word?) you embody the original Socratic method. Kudos. 

Who is this blogger and where is this fascinating post? Could you link to it? These discussions are (since I happen to be a magazine writer too and a blogger to boot) of great interest to me.

Douglas4517 said...

Your blog is the one with the interesting commentary. And the particular post (and commentary) which prompted this (my own) post was the one regarding  Psychology Today's censoring of the The Scientific Fundamentalist

Andreas said...

Oh, that's funny. Yes, that was a great discussion. I suppose what threw me off scent was that your post -- THIS post -- only just now showed up in my RSS reader. Weird. 

Anyway, it's true: You have developed a good mental habit of inquiry and thought. If an individual is curious by nature, it sometimes paradoxically HELPS not to have too much formal education in the first part of life. It's the inquisitiveness that matters.

Douglas4517 said...

That is weird... it was a July post. Thanks for the compliment. I was often told that I needed education to learn the discipline of learning. It didn't make sense to me either. I frustrated a lot of teachers