Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Thursday November 15 2007

This posting is an example of what it is about, namely postings which say something important adequately.  Could have been better but at least it got said, is the point.

And that is also what I am here writing about.  I have written before (if this were a perfect posting there would now be a link back) about a characteristic blogging problem, namely the tendency to postpone profundity and to supply only triviality.  If one is a clever and witty person, the trivialities often turn out to be quite profound, so the blog is still worth reading, especially if by “profound” one means: long and hard to read, and by “trivial” one means “short and easy to read”.  Nevertheless, there is a tendency for a blogger to emit a steady trickle of more or less entertaining, more or less profound, but (to him) not that crucially important notions, while accumulating, unwritten, in his head, an ever growing pile of very crucially important notions, which he is awfully liable to take with him to his or her grave.  The problem with these profundities is that, because they are so profound, they must be composed perfectly.  Good enough is not good enough.  So, they tend never to get composed at all.

So here is my November 15th 2007 resolution.  (If this were a perfect posting, it would of course be a December 31st or January 1st posting.) I will try to blog those important things that I have accumulated that I want to say – let’s give it a schedule and make it once a week from now on, this being the first – but to say them in a just-chuck-it-onto-the-page manner, rather than in a properly thought-out manner, which is how I have now nearly finished writing this.

There.  That wasn’t so hard, was it.  And nor did it take you very long to read.  It may even have made you smile a little.

That’s a brilliant idea. It definitely applies to me also. Very glad you posted it.

Posted by Alice Bachini-Smith on 15 November 2007

Yes, definitely made me smile, in recognition.
I have at least 5 (five) unfinished posts wating in the sidelines to be perfected. And, given my lack of time, less than passable English (which no matter how much I try to correct is only getting worse), general forgetfullness - “what did I want to say here, 2 months ago? what was so important to start with the word Incredible - and nothing else?") - which never gets finished!

Looking forward to your new rubric. Maybe I’ll even follow your example.

Posted by Tat on 15 November 2007

I think you may have stumbled upon something quite big here. The two commentors above obviously recognise this syndrome, as do I. Perhaps you should give it a name. Or perhaps you already have.

One thing though, are you going to point out which is your weekly “good enough is good enough” post? I’m certainly not trying to make any suggestion that your posts are simply “good enough” rather than “good” (or even “better"), but my favourite element of this blog is its relaxed and gentle discourse - I see it almost as a spoken style; ideas popping in and out as you write; tangents begging to be gone off, most indulged, some ignored. 

I think what puts a lot of bloggers off documenting their unwritten very crucially important notions (or UVCINs as they are more commonly referred to) is the worry that they will come across as being stuffy and highbrow and lose the readers which they have accumulated through their safe, but perhaps rather “middle of the road” offerings. I would love to write more about my views on South African politics, but my already meagre readership would be gone within 15 minutes. Ish.

Posted by 6000 on 16 November 2007

6000

Yes I will try to point out each post.  Many will probably go onto Samizdata, where the readership and commentership is far greater, in numbers anyway.

Thanks for your kind remarks about my style.  I think this is part of why trying to do posts of this sort is such a good idea.  Actually, they may well be much better if written in this slap-it-down manner.  Certainly shorter.

As to what you want to write about, I for one would love to read what you have to say about South African politics, and since nobody is (I assume) paying you, why not put what you want to put?  If your current readership doesn’t like it, so what?  If I do, I will link to it from Samizdata.  Promise. Send me an email if anything along these lines materialises.

I also promise Real Soon Now to put your blog on my blogroll here.  Only just not doing it has stopped me doing this some time ago.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 16 November 2007

6000

You are now blogrolled.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 16 November 2007
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