Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Metapost

Why do we blog? is the question I've been wondering recently. Is it that we have something to say or is it vanity? Is it to inform or to show off? Is it to help or to be helped? I guess it is because all of them and even more. It took me a while to answer that question to myself. Many bloggers agree almost tacitly that they start their blog hopping to be read. Otherwise, just keep your notes in your hard disk. So where does this hope of being heard come from? Do we not have enough friends with whom to talk? Is it not enough the time to share ideas and experiences? Probably not. Just think about it. If you are terribly passionate about the architectonic style of Duisburg during the 17th century, but none of your friends is... you don't have with whom to talk about it. It can also happen that you are able to meet with some friends more frequent than with others, for whatever reason. Then you communicate less, you tell and are told less stories, less anecdotes, less of the everyday stuff that just happens and forms the basis of the chitchat that you can have with a neighbor, classmate, coworker or relative.

But lucky us, this is the 21st century. Internet is up an running. What and interesting thing blogs are. A blog becomes a public partition of our thoughts, or our feelings, or our imagination, our any combination of them. Something that can be accessed by everyone, even without us knowing. What we write in a blog is something that we would tell to a friend had the chance is given. How many times after a get together we find ourselves saying: "oh! I forgot the tell them about that guy running naked in the park!" It could also be the opposite. Someone could write about something that he or she would never tell in person. A few paragraphs for the oceans of anonymous avid readers out there in the world.

It is amazing. It's almost like thinking out loud. Like a virtual conversation where you push the play button at the beginning of each post and hit the pause button at the end. Everyone is listened and everyone can talk. It is a new level in the way people communicate. Good things about it are that you only write it once, but can be read infinitely many times. There is a kept record, so that one or ten years from the moment you write you can say: "Gee! how could I be thinking such things?!" People that don't know you could get a fair idea of what's inside your head without even talking with you. People that do know you can get to know more. Old friends can catch up with your life and know what have you been doing all this time. I guess there are also disadvantages. The only one coming to my head right now is that you could be embarrassed of yourself in the future :) Could there also be unintended consequences? Most likely. But let's be optimistic and hope for the best. Besides, one of these days you are going to wake up from this dream called life and nothing will matter anymore. In exactly the same manner that we wake up in the morning, partially remembering a dream. We give it a couple of minutes (maybe) to remember. If we are lucky we put it in the bookshelf of the memory just to fade away with time. If we don't get a coherent recollection, it goes forgotten for good. That's the feebleness of life.

Now let's go in another direction and try to imagine the future, whether we'll be in it or not. I'll make a little prediction. Things are going to get more efficient for reading and writing blogs. We won't be sitting in the computer reading from the screen. The posts will start getting to our cellphone, where some software will read it for us. Far more ahead into the future, the information will get to our brain in some other faster way, neither light or sound will be necessary. Maybe our thoughts will also be able to get out of our brains and stored in a big server to be shared among the people. Each person processing not only his or her own thoughts but also sending and receiving thoughts in a global way. Each person would be a like a macroscopic version of a neuron and the whole world would be a macroscopic version of a brain! Would there emerge another kind of consciousness just like the one that is housed in our own brain?

Leaving my little science fiction tale aside, blogging is a phenomenon that is just beginning and that will be the basis of what will come next. In the early 90's, when the internet was being born to the public, who would have thought that people would be blogging today?

The future is always exciting. It makes me recall the words of Cicero:
Omnium rerum principia parva sunt.

The beginnings of all things are small.

Post a Comment