Blogging clichés

The internet is just a macrocosm of the pub.

In any pub there are cliques. Usually those cliques are job-centric or club-centric; everyone either works for the same firm or is in the same industry. Or maybe they all belong to the same family.

If you are outside a clique, it can be hard to enter it, sometimes even when you are from the same background.

The thing is, these cliques have a self congratulatory feedback loop. Look at the blogroll of any prominent blogger from any industry and they mostly point to blogs of their friends or colleagues who are in the same business and who’s blogrolls all point back.

Seems reasonable enough, you might think. You look for what you are interested in and discount that which you are not or disagree with.

This worries me though when it is applied to critical thinking of any sort, especially science. Science is at its best when it looks for contradictions or evidence which challenges a theory and addresses them. Most scientists though just look for confirmation of their theory and try to ignore anything which looks like an anomaly. Darwin was brilliant at checking apparent anomalies, this is why the theory of evolution is so robust. This can save a lot of time and effort in the long run because it could mean the original premise of the theory was wrong or incomplete.

Human nature doesn’t work like that though. We like to congregate with our chums, with people who think like us. It takes an effort to be curious about other cultures, about other disciplines, about other ideas.

If you are in the creative industries, your blogroll should reflect your wide ranging tastes and interests. Beware the creative practitioner who has a blogroll that leads back to himself.

Better check mine I suppose.

Leave a Reply