Friday, May 27, 2005

Blogtrolling

Wow. Technorati, Del.icio.us, and Bloglines are making it fantastically easy to find more and more websites and especially Blogs that might interest one. Just look for who else has tagged a page you tagged, or just look at who has tagged under particular tags you can think of, or look at Bloglines's "related feeds" (I'm sure feedster and the others do something similar). Prior to this, I only added new websites/blogs by looking at explicit links in blogs or sites I had already found. Now the whole internet is a mass of tags and dynamically interlinking connections -- and of course duh that's the whole point of Technorati et al. Of course this is just another way that all of us in the Information Age can retreat into our own little separate fiefdoms of self-reinforcing perceptions of reality: the conservative bloggers read conservative blogs and tag and link to conservative sites, and the liberals like me will find the things we like. Through these dynamic interconnections, we all find that none of us is alone: there are endless thousands of others who think like we do, say things the way we want to believe them, reinforce each others' cherished illusions. On the other hand, who the hell has the time to read what everybody else is saying, even if they agree with you. Argh!

Anyway, some of the more fun blogs I've found through these means in the past day or two:

  • bookish - A really fun one. She's Danish, though has lived as an expatriot in the UK, and her English is super-fluent (well, with a couple of minor grammatical glitches of a kind that only a non-native speaker would make here and there). And of course it puts my quasi-book-oriented blog to shame with all its links and erudition. Who needs the New York Review of Books when you can do the London Review of Books -- and, here's a thought, actually talk about books? I found this one through Technorati after I tagged my last posting with "bibliophilia" I think, simply by looking at who else had used that tag.
  • David Brooks is a moron. No comment needed there. But useful because of the lovely record they've kept of the ongoing moronity. I found this one by doing a "Technorati This" of Reality-based Community (I wouldn't have remembered except for MSIE's "View by order visited today" history).
  • Baghdad Burning - not so much fun as terribly, terribly sad. Forgot how I got this one.
  • grubbykid.com combined feed - let's face it: most of the Political blogs are pretty dry and humorless much of the time. This one is delightful from what I've seen of it. I found this by doing a Technorati This on one of my fave blogs from before the Election, Legal Fiction.
  • wazue. I found this through a former IBM coworker Pete Lyons's blog, Developing Storm via my friend and IBM/Lotus coworker Koranteng. Now it so happens that Pete recently made a posting regarding his opinions of the work environment at his former employer, including what could have been construed as criticisms of some former colleagues, and which, although he had not named any names, he was evidently asked to take down. Anyway I will pass over the obvious Big Brother and freedom of expression issues raised by that (since we are talking about personal opinion, and not disclosure of trade secrets), and just say that I used Pete's blog the old-fashioned way without any new-fangled Ferl-ings or Technorati-ings or Del.icio.us-ings: I just looked at links he had in his sidebar. I happen to mildly "know" Joe Russo in that weird way that IBM employees can know one another, through instant messaging (Lotus Sametime, in our case), so out of curiosity I clicked the link, and I'm glad I did. It helps that although I don't know if Joe is a flaming, raging "leftist liberal" like me, but at least he has the right things to say about Rumsfeld. I do think he has a good "blogging voice" (something I haven't achieved yet). So does Pete.
  • And, last but not least, Information Addict Unfortunately this guy seems to have stopped blogging -- actually, I haven't read any of the content yet, but both the Title and the Description really gave me pause: "This is a thought experiment. My focus is consistency and cogency. By forcing myself to organize my meandering thoughts into something coherent, I will hopefully be able to identify information gaps, poor reasoning, and ill-founded assumptions. Where reason is too wedded to self-love to admit such shortcomings, I have faith that readers can aid me in getting over myself. Feel free to comment." Gee. He expresses this idea a lot better than I did in my own statement of creed, What Fresh Blog is This? Even the title of his blog more perfectly captures what I used to say in the more pompous version of my Blog Description "aimlessly voracious intellectual dilettante". So not only does the internet show you you're not alone, but even more usefully, it allows you to stop worrying whether your worst fear is really true — that you don't have an original thought in your head — by removing all doubt.

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