Blogging is great. I like reading the opinions of smart people. Last week I was reading a great blog of an electrical engineer named Richie Burnett from England. Explanations on induction heating (your future stove) and Tesla coils (your future charger) were very captivating so I kept reading for some hours. The phenomenon of blogging also pictures out how the world around us became global with the availability of internet. In the old times, intellectuals in my city used to gather in inns and bars and they would discuss topics endlessly with as endless amount of alcohol. Now, there is a page on the popular news portal and its hands reach much, much farther then Belgrade.
There is another side of blogging, and is similar to any other form of internet communication like chatting, messaging, etc. And you can see it when internet communication substitutes the normal one, instead of in adding to one. This is usually manifested in lacking or missing of something, misconceptions and misunderstandings. Not wanting to go deeper with this discussion and explanations, I will mention also a profound song named “The sound of silence” from Simon and Garfunkel. The name of the song itself is great and represent the face of blogging – it is a silent act, which certainly produces some effect, and can sound either good or bad. Along different meanings one can find in the song (which make it so great), here I would like to point out (and leave the rest to the reader) the motif of dysfunctional communication among people, depicted by the following lyrics:
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
In the wells of silence
Blogging can also be very powerful and it thrived from the times first graffiti were written on walls. As “The sound of silence” is saying “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls”. Meaning that all you need in life you can learn from words written on some wall. Truth or not, blogging posses great informative and instructive power which can be utilized to create a great instrument in your life orchestra.
And as last I will say today – students should not be asked to do blogging as the part of their class. To people who do not find this kind of communication engaging this is difficult and painful, and the blogs they can write will be most likely short, boring and shallow. Instead, I would find more compelling to ask students to express themselves in any sort of internet or common public communication they like. Let them write a song, let them paint, let them dance. Let them engage.
P.S. Anybody having a good recipe on the custard pie?
P.P.S. Anybody for beers?