Thoreau and blogging

I note that Joe quotes Thoreau in a recent blog post, and as it happens I too have been reminded of a quote by Thoreau this weekend.

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end,… We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.

It, along with other things I have been reading recently about the value of silence, the encumbrence of possesions and the use of alienating media (sorry Adam, I still think computers alienate us from the end product, rather than bringing us closer – please dont get cross) are making me reconsider the whole thing of blogging.

As more and more of my friends are on facebook, I find myself more and more glad that I am not. I dont miss twitter, which I found made me less productive, and more inclined to be a twit. Blogging is a useful outlet for writing, but I wonder if I might not be more inclined to find other outlets, were I not able to spout off online quite so easily.

None of my great heroes were bloggers – not that blogs existed in their time – but even if they had, I doubt they would have bothered. Indeed most of the people I respect and admire greatly were deeply insignificant to the world around them, and only a few made it to great public acclaim in their lifetime, and that was despite their lack of profile.

Even Jesus seemed to go out of his way to avoid PR, and did a pretty good job of it too – (how come everyone forgot about his miraculous birth?)

Anyway, I’m not stopping just yet, but its on my mind, and may yet come to pass.


7 thoughts on “Thoreau and blogging

  1. As you know, I also struggle with this. For me, I think resolution lies in acknowledging the benefits I get from blogging as well as the brokenmess. I don’t think i’d be the same person without it.

  2. Also I suspect Gandhi would have blogged as he was very concerned with publicising his ideas. Of course, i’m not sure if if is one of your heroes…

    1. I didnt know Gandhi did that- I presume you arent talking about Thoreau 😉 just demonstrating my ignorance of Gandhi history really.

      1. dunno how he found the time! however, I do feel his journalism was at least partly motivated by a desire to create true democracy, and that perhaps was his aim, rather than the journalism being an end in itself.

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