A Search for Personal Truth

Although I’m usually more interested in finding an interesting webpage than reading a definition of a web page, I found the questions raised by Steve Himmer thought provoking.

I particularly like Himmer’s contention that

Time seems a crucial element of the weblog, and the possibility for change/adaptation over time. In other words, and this I think is the heart of the obliqueness question, there’s no need for the individual post to reveal everything about the author—if you want to learn something else, read earlier posts or posts yet to come. The weblog as a whole, then, is the work, not the discrete unit of the post—and the ever-expanding weblog, growing through posts, trackbacks, and links, never becomes a discrete unit at all.

The idea that the character of the author emerges over a period of time rather than being bound by a particular work, seems to me an important distinction between blogs and other forms of literature.

Of course, I may like this definition because it fits the kinds of blogs that appeal to me. In fact, blogs that don’t evolve tend to bore me. I’m not interested in blogs where the author obviously has a fixed, or opinionated, point of view. This may also explain why I don’t list many warblogs on my referral list. If you think you already know all of life’s answers, your views probably don’t interest me too much.

Even if you’re seeking answers like I am, your answers may not turn out to be the answers I’m seeking. At the very least, though, I will be exposed to new ideas. Without that exposure, how can I hope to find any new answers.

I also like Himmer’s contention that:

The weblog also can be characterized by dynamic authorship, even multiple dynamic authorships: every successive post or comment or trackback necessarily redefines and adjusts every earlier post, comment, or trackback. Between that and multiple routes of navigation–chronological, categorical, etc.–there is an infinite possible ways in which to recombine a weblog as a literary object. I, as author, can no longer tell you, as reader, quite how to read my work.

If I didn’t believe this, the last two entries, and this one, not to mention a few to follow, would make little sense as I attempt to find my personal response to the controversy over Jonathon’s and others recent comments about reality versus authenticity.

I suspect that the search for self is inherently redundant and incremental. It requires examining and re-examining aspects of one’s life in order to make sense out of them. I also suspect that re-examining one’s life inherently leads to inconsistencies in your story. It’s impossible to re-examine much of your life and not realize many actions were a mistake, and that much of what you used to think was just plain foolish, if not wrong. Of course, until you revisit these events and examine them, it’s unlikely that you’ll become aware of these inconsistencies.

That said, I expect to find such inconsistencies in the blogs I read. They certainly don’t bother me. If anything, they reassure me that my own search for personal truth is on the right path.

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