I love reading your comments. I read each and every one of them and enjoy thinking about them. Sometimes I revisit your comments multiple times and think about the new perspective you’ve brought to my idea in the blog post.
Since the primary audience for your comments is me, I have a question for you, reader, about how you would like me to respond. The question is very simple and comes at the very end of this post. I’d be very grateful if some of you would comment expressing your opinion about how you’d like me to respond to comments. Continue reading For readers who comment on my posts→
I was at a huge social gathering this weekend where women were dressed in their choicest attire and men were at their blustering best. There was a lot of noise and a lot of good food deftly travelling on huge trays weaving between the crowds miraculously avoiding dunking someone in a bucketful of gravy.
A million children of all ages swished around the great hall and the stairwells and the tent and the garden like schools of fish about to arrange themselves into different colourful formations, engulfing each old shape into a new one as their direction changed, like the groups of fish in Finding Nemo.
Social media has been around for some time now. It’s brought many changes in the way we inhabit our social world, in the way we communicate with others, on what being a friend means and on how we get back in touch with people. We find out about what’s going on in people’s lives on a regular basis without actually knowing them much on these platforms.
For the longest time, we were talking about how the internet was making us unsocial. Rather than socializing with our neighbours and “real” friends and family, we were running after people we hadn’t even met, talking to them, chatting and exchanging ideas neglecting our real social lives (if we had any).
Or if we had a roaring online life it was automatically assumed that we chose internet social as a kind of consolation prize to real social. People were afraid that spending a lot of time online would lead to depression and unsocial, even antisocial behaviour.
Stereotypes of nerds have abounded in our social imagination a long time, of course. Think of Chaucer’s clerk in the Canterbury Tales with his threadbare overcoat, not speaking a word more than he could help, bent down with the weight of his twenty leather-bound books, a very rare handmade commodity back then. Continue reading How reading has become more social→
How do we react to the following writers who might be trying to say they’re happy?
Person A:Awwwww. How sweet. That’s the best thing ever! Red roses are my favourite. Person B:The flowers made me so happy. Person C:My felicity was assured by your gesture of goodwill expressed by the earlier mentioned red roses at my doorstep.
Believe it or not, person C’s do still exist amongst us in the twenty-first century.
But usually, in the everyday world, C’s are really A’s or B’s rather insecure about what to write or trying to get an edge over A’s and B’s. What else can they do? It’s a competitive world.
But no matter what their intention, what do these styles make us assume about the people behind them?
I had the good fortune one of these days to help a friend edit his dating profile. He is a good looking, normal enough, fairly interesting guy but this is what he had as his killer writeup. He was sure that the following would have droves of women impressed:
I am a goal oriented, driven, optimistic, hard working, funny individual. I like hiking, biking, travelling and reading. Favourite book: Life of Pi.
Now, when he told me his favourite book was Life of Pi, I could not deny it. I had seen a copy of the same on his bookshelf in his living room. The goal orientedness probably came from the objective statement of his scintillating resume. As for the rest, well, he did have a sense of humour. When people laughed at his jokes. Continue reading On Writing and Complexity (Part 1)→
I’ve been waiting a long time for the PATH train at a station in Jersey City. The train will take me under the Hudson river to mid-town Manhattan. It arrives at last and I get in.
It’s not rush hour exactly though not everyone has got a seat. But it’s not so packed right now that someone will trample over your toes or elbow you out of their way to push themselves into or out of the train.
We had some new furniture delivered the other day. As will happen with deliveries, some chinks and scratches appeared on the varnished surface as an inevitable part of the delivery process. The store sent a very gentlemanly elderly man to paint over the chinks. He had a can of spray with him. He cleaned the surface with sandpaper, readied the spout over the scratched area and asked me a very normal question.
We drove to a quaint little town on the banks of the Hudson with nice little roads lined by painted houses with small well-tended gardens and quaint little antique shops that had their wares displayed on the pavement. The town seemed to be mostly populated by the elderly. We had coffee and freshly baked honey cake at a pretty little coffee shop.
I must confess that amongst different kinds of writings, the introduction to blogs have posed some very special challenges. A blogger has to achieve a myriad different goals and effects within those first few lines. Otherwise, s/he gets shoved into oblivion without a second glance. Or a second chance. Continue reading Writing blog introductions: Challenges→