Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Quality Discourse

Quality discourse, by its nature, is long winded and boring.

When people are authentically engaged in exploring an issue they will end up saying all sorts of contradictory things.

The existance of contractions in discourse is not bad. One of the best ways to understand the implications of an idea is to explore its negation. A quality thinker might end up writing page after page and conclude that the path he explored was not productive.

A good discourse contains multiple perspectives.

Most published writing is of the form of a statement. A statement generally has a direct purpose that the writer wishes to accomplish. In Marxist writing, all writing is suppose to have an underlying purpose of promoting the revolution. Some religions say all writing must be faith promoting.

People like reading statements. They are shorter and to the point.

For that matter, a purpose of most discourse is to put together a statement.

The dealio is that we have to understand that multiple styles of writing need to exist.

Why this post?

NewspaperGrl had pointed to an article where a pretentious, elitist snit named Paul Boutin gave the middle finger to bloggers because blogs don't fit the narrowminded view taught Comparative Lit 101. His statement was that blogging is not quality discourse, because blogs are long winded, boring, full of contradictory statements and often have no purpose beyond the author's individual exploration of truth.


Discourse, by its nature, is a long winded task where people, in a search for truth, root out contradictions.

Quite frankly, I think a big problem we face today is that our schools and publishing world have built a false expectation of what writing is and should be.

It is my hope that people engaged in blogs and forums will gradually ween themselves from the false expectations created by our schools and realize that writing is part of the process of becoming.

You will notice in this blog that I will often have posts acknowledging a good argument given in favor of an idea I like, or I will reject a bad argument given by groups that I support.

This is called engaging in discourse.


Scott Hinrichs said...

It is difficult to engage in discourse when much of the interchange exists of expletives, innuendo, name calling, and generally harsh sentiments. Unfortunately, there is far too much of that kind of thing in the blogosphere. I appreciate those individuals that can discuss and explore a topic in a respectful manner, even while harboring differing opinions.

y-intercept said...

The vulgarity is bad.

What is worse is a growing attitude that, to win arguments, you must use manipulation or intimidation.

Vulgarity is just one method of closing debate.

Political correctness has the same effect.

BTW, in building the Community Color directories, I've found far less vulgarity than I was expecting. That might be because I tune it out.