Well, I may as well face up to it: I’m blogging about blogging. Oh, the shame; the humiliation; the irony of doing so while railing against parochialism. Still, I’ve started so I’ll finish.
By the time a “consumer” starts getting interested in blogs, they’re likely to have already sorted themselves into an ideological camp. They’ll then seek blogs that tend to fit round their worldview. And yes, this can lead to “echo chambers” on either side.
This surprised me, but it really shouldn’t have. How many people, after all, buy newspapers they disagree with? Aside from the community one finds in comment threads, these “ideological camps” provide a rich source of affirmation. That, however, closets you. The only way that I, for one, will break my flabby mindset – sinking into comfortable opinions, as if they were recliners – is by immersing myself in views; coming to terms with their nuances and, if it’s deserved, learning to respect their adherents. Anyway, tedious navel-gazing aside, it’s a great, big world out there: exploring it is a lark.
Here, then, are interesting blogs that don’t “fit around my worldview” (needless to say, a link doesn’t necessarily represent an endorsement)…
HitchensBlog – All that a commentator should be: stimulating, honest, independent and sincere. Yeah, his views often tickle my bile-duct but, in the end, what does that matter? Would love to meet him. Feel sorry for calling him an arse.
Edward Feser/Alexander Pruss/the Maverick Philosopher – These guys, fine Americans all, are also a) Catholic and b) conservative. Other traits they share – more congenial, I suspect, to our tastes – are keen wit, curiosity and perspicacious arguments. I’ve packed them all together, but this is really a three-course meal: Feser gives meaty but accessible thoughts; Pruss is intensely analytical (and, I must admit, often beyond me), while Bill Vallicella plucks out fascinating little nuggets from the sweep of man and its thought. Sure, they might piss you off, but you’ll feel better off for the…pissing.
Kevin Carson/Centre for a Stateless Society – I don’t really disagree with Carson and the merry market anarchists of the C4SS. They’ve yet to convince me, and the whole thing feels a mite utopian, but, hey, they’re all much brighter than I, so who can tell? Co-operative anti-statism, however, is tailor-made for my ideological sympathies, so I shouldn’t throw in my spade and tracts until I’m really convinced. Carson’s put out reams of word – on theory and current affairs – so you’re advised to wade in and have a decent rummage.
Entitled To An Opinion – Haven’t figured out where this improbably pseudonymed fellow sits, but he’ll trudge with you along the darkest, least explored tracks of opinion. A guided tour of the political fringe.
Dennis the Peasant - A Republican who does little but bitch about bloggers he finds inane. Funny bitching, though.
Sean Gabb – Not a blog, but an archive for this erudite libertarian’s work. He’s been mining away so fruitlessly in a little, stateless seam of thought that his candor’s hard to doubt. Also, there’s something strangely appealing about the archives of fringe thinkers. Digging in is like diving head first into a swimming pool (yes, yes, I’m sad, we established that long ago).
Antinatalism: The Greatest Tabboo – Every now and again we should all confront a philosophy that shakes up our worldview. Antinatalism – asserting the negative value of birth – might as well be your next. Instead of the blog – which I’m barely aquainted with – you could try this for size intellectual stimulation.
A question occurs: are any of the valued, happy (I hope!) few that read this site conservative? Liberal interventionists, maybe? Even downright fascists? I’d be very interested to know.