Online Humility

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If ever there were two words that seemed to contradict one another, these are two of the best. Even more that citizen’s band or amateur radio, online mass communication seems a sometimes desperate cry for attention. At least when I was tapping a telegraph key to engage another amateur radio operator in a conversation, I was proposing only that two people exchange information. The Internet is broadcasting in its broadest terms.

Look at me! Look at the funny/cute picture I posted! Look where I am! Do you envy me? What a beach, what a palm tree! Yep, the wife and I are finally checking off locations on our bucket list. Who says I had a boring life?

Quite often there’s no content other than the desire to be noticed and acknowledged. No one is proposing meaningful dialogue. It’s not about ideas, it’s about being seen. It’s exhibitionism.

A few hundred years ago, authors wrote books under pseudonyms, as a desire to remain anonymous. It was largely an exercise in humility. They weren’t ashamed of having written a book, or proven a theorem. Isaac Newton would publish mathematical proofs anonymously.

So what’s the impetus behind all these blogs? Maybe they really are about ideas. It’s self-published writing, and most writing is done to communicate something more complex that “look at me!”

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