For personal reasons I find it impossible not to add a short post-script to my colleague’s posting on blogs. As luck would have it, today’s opinion piece from the Ludwig von Mises Institute was also partly about blogs.
Written by Tibor Machan, whose writings I find endlessly entertaining and informative, it was entitled The Alleged Dangers of Progress.
Mr Machan hit out at all the people who bemoan technological progress, allegedly because it is always put to bad purpose by a few users but really because much of it gives individuals more freedom to make decisions for themselves.
He referred back to some conference of journalists, reported in Newsweek, where there was a ritual moaning about blogs.
“But instead of saying outright, "We are worried about our jobs," the journalists whose concerns were reported couched their beef in terms of politics and social justice. The problem you see is, some of them cried: most bloggers are white and male. So, clearly, the forum is biased in the most horrible way:it discriminates against minorities. Or perhaps not.” The point, Mr Machan explains, is that blogs express an endless variety of opinions and who writes them specifically is not important. In fact, one could argue that it is one of the advantage of blogs that nobody really knows anything about the people who write them (except for those silly on-line diaries).
And it is here that the political became almost personal for me. Mr Machan said, quite rightly:
“Why is it so important to track whether women, blacks, those of Italian or Hungarian background choose to blog? What should matter, if anything, is whether people with different things to say take advantage of the medium.” Maybe it is not important, I said, but hey, two out of four ain't bad. Thank you Mr Machan.