In an attempt to get to know other bloggers better and try my interview skills I decided to have a one-on-one with RedZeppelin from Destination Unknown. Strangely, we end up discussing a Margaret Thatcher, Pam Anderson, what a good blogger should be and another WV blogger. Here is what happened:
you for indulging in my new way to create blog posts without putting in any real effort.
Always glad to help without putting forth an effort myself.
Allclick: yes, I noticed on your blog that you have resorted to coping text from fiction now.
I figure as long as I keep at least a 2:1 ratio of my words to theirs I'm ok.
Allclick: I always thought it was odd that plagiarism is a sin, but imitation is the most sincere
form of flattery.
So what got you into the whole "blogging" thing?
Actually I was looking for a creative outlet in my otherwise humdrum life.
Blogging seemed like a nice way to express -- whatever needed expressing.
How about you?
Allclick: I guess I wanted to share things that were interesting to me, or that I found funny, and gain other perspectives about it. I hopefully wanted to make others laugh or gain some inspiration or think about something just a little harder
RedZeppelin: Ah, an optimist!
I gave up on making people think or reconsider their positions years ago.
Allclick: I think I still have the same aim but now just use it
as my own venting post.I write it on my blog so I don't have to dwell on the issue in my head any longer.
haha yes I'm an eternal optimist struggling to be a realist.
RedZeppelin: Most people cling to their beliefs like a shipwreck victim clings to a life preserver.
Allclick: that's very true!
RedZeppelin: There is far too little doubt today.
Allclick: I think with the posts that you have on your blog, though, you ARE making people think. Whether they want to or not. And whether you want them to or not! ha
Can you explain the "too little doubt" any further?
RedZeppelin: Well, people find news/op-ed sources -- a cable news channel, radio talk show, opinion blogs, news websites, etc. -- that always agree with them, assuring that they're only
going to hear or see opinions they share. That makes them feel good because the last thing they want to do is be exposed to a well-argued contrary opinion, because then they might have to consider for a moment that their position might be wrong. So hearing nothing but agreeing opinions all their lives they begin to feel certain that theirs is the only correct position, leaving no room for debate. When there is no doubt there is no room to learn. In order to learn anything you have to have some doubt in your own knowledge, or lack thereof. That makes you willing to accept new information that might change your opinion.
Allclick: I see what you mean. It IS comfortable to read articles that "prove" that one's opinion is the right one to have. I think that the comments section on News articles online has become so popular because it's satisfying when someone else can describe your argument but in a much better way.
RedZeppelin: True. But the problem is we NEED to be exposed to contrary beliefs. Even if it doesn't change our mind it makes us better thinkers by forcing us to reinforce our existing opinions. But the problem is we're moving the opposite way. Despite the full spectrum of opinions available at the click of a mouse, people are choosing only the information that agrees with them.
Allclick: Do you think that opinions can change in any circumstance?
RedZeppelin: Certainly! Smart and/or open-minded people will often change their opinions because they're always taking in new information. Unfortunately when a politician does it it's called waffling, a derogatory term.
Allclick: I think bloggers are almost of a different breed. I mean that they are likely to be more open to different opinions and seek out alternatives to what they have established.
Not that there aren't exceptions to that rule of course
RedZeppelin: In some cases, yeah, but some simply add to the echo chamber of concurring opinions.
Allclick: So how does one go about finding contrary opinions?
RedZeppelin: It's hard not to find them.
Read op-ed columns in newspapers you don't usually read. If someone makes a comment on your blog disagreeing with you and they have a blog, check it out. Opinions are the easiest things to come by on the net (aside from naked pictures of Pam Anderson). The problem isn't finding them, it's continuing to read them. Some of the best blog posts I read were by our pal Jedi Jawa when he was in full pro-Hillary Clinton mode. I despise Hillary, but it interested me to read comments from someone passionately for her. I'm sure you've changed your mind on big issues before.
Allclick: and these pictures of Ms. Anderson can be located... where?
RedZeppelin: My hard drive? Oh, wait.
Allclick: That's what I really enjoy about blogging. The comments and finding other bloggers who may agree but in a slightly different way, or completely disagree. Or at least find someone who is passionate enough about the same topic to share any words.
RedZeppelin: Yeah. By the way, I don't want to come off holier than thou. I can be as guilty as the next when it comes to staying in my comfort zone and reading concurring opinions. It's very uncomfortable reading opinions that are contrary to yours.
Allclick: I don't remember reading those posts (on Jedi-Jawa's blog) but I can understand the interest. It is always interesting to read articles about something the author is obviously passionate about even if it's cloud formations or hot dogs. Especially if it is an opposing view to your own.
Too late, Mr Holier than thou
I'm just trying to think about any big issues that I have changed my mind about. I can't think of a good example now but I'd say my views on immigration have changed a whole lot in the last 2
years. I tend to form an opinion on most matters but feel safe in discussing the idea and keep myself open to other view points.
RedZeppelin: And you still hate the Dutch, right?
Allclick: passionately. even the phrase "going dutch" or "dutch courage" gives me shivers.
So what do you look for in a good blog?
RedZeppelin: Naked pictures of Pam Anderson.
Allclick: Is that because you despise Pam Anderson and need to research opposing viewpoints?
Aside from that, a sense of humor. A blogger who doesn't take themselves too seriously. Someone who interacts with comments.
And naturally someone who blogs about things I'm interested in.