Sunday, August 3, 2008

Why We Need to Read Blog Posts Written by Complete Dunces

On Friday, I wrote a post that included the following text:

I was checking my Google Reader feeds, and I ran across two very similar posts. The first post I read was written by Syd of Front Sight, Press. Let's just say that Syd isn't heading up his local Obama for President office.

I then quoted from the beginning of Syd's post:

A number of gun bloggers have suddenly found their blogs locked to new posts and then they receive a form letter from Blogger saying that they are suspected of being a “spam site.” (This is kind of funny to me since there are thousands of real spam blogs on Blogger that they never seem to do anything about.) Anyway, this has resulted in a mass exodus of gun blogs off of Blogger to other hosting options.

Going back to my post, I eventually said the following:

It was only later that Syd discovered that his initial assumption wasn't correct....

But why did Syd and Sharon come to the initial conclusion that this was not an accident?

Syd himself posted a comment to this post, which I will reproduce in full here:

Yes, you're reading too much into it. I was very careful to point to Uncle's post showing that a number of lefty blogs had received the same treatment, and the whole problem was more likely the incompetence of Blogger than any agenda to block conservative or gun bloggers. If you're going to call people "dunces" at least read their posts completely and get your facts straight. And no, I'm not heading up the local Obama for Fuhrer committee.


I'll pass over my concentration on initial impressions (as I noted in my own post, Syd did eventually discover what was going on), and note the part that did concern me - namely, the third sentence.

It was not my intent to call Syd (or Sharon) "dunces," and I apologize if I was unclear at that point. What I was trying to say is that we need to make sure that we read other sources, even if we think the other sources are themselves "dunces."

Take the two examples that I cited. I have personal disagreements with the philosophies expressed by both America Needs Fatima and Canterbury Tales from the Fringe; I don't necessarily think the writers are dunces, but I do think they're misguided in several ways. Yet I continue to read from them, learn from them, and on occasion agree with them.

Let's go to someone who expresses my views better than I expressed them myself. Here's part of a comment by Kevin Bondelli:

I am a big D Democrat, I used to work for the party, and I always make sure to have right-leaning blogs in my feed reader. I am of the opinion that it is extremely important to know what the people on the other side are saying and thinking.

So again, if Syd thinks I was calling him a dunce, I again apologize. And, as I've noted, Syd soon discovered that the "spam" issue was not targeted as particular blogs, but was an equal opportunity hassle for the people whose blogs were shut down.

And, by the way, you'll notice that this blog post also refers to a dunce. In this case, the dunce isn't Syd, either. I think you can figure out who the dunce is in today's post. If you're not sure, it's the guy who wrote this.

P.S. And if you're wondering if Syd reads "Obama for Fuhrer" publications, I can tell you that Syd does read stories in Mother Jones. So it looks like he has a pretty broad reading list also.

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