Thursday, January 25, 2007

Two Things We Can Never Know About (Why We Blog)

I had a very interesting conversation with Steve Garfield last week. We were talking about how blogging started, then came audio podcasting, now comes video blogging aka vlogging.

I said, "There are two things all humans want to know about and can NEVER REALLY KNOW." He said, "What?"

I said, "First, we want to know what happens after we DIE, that is, how it feels to be dead." He said, "Actually I don't care that much about that. I don't think about death very much."

"Secondly," I said, "I want to know how someone else, say YOU, how YOU perceive the world. How it feels for you each morning to wake up, say hello to your wife, get out of bed, get ready for the day, and live YOUR life."

"I do wonder about that," he admitted, "how other people's lives FEEL."

"I think that's what blogging is trying to do. First it was trying to do it in words, then in sound, now in video. I know I find it fascinating to imagine the world from someone else's point of view. It's a stretch. And it's not about us being selfish, per se, but just so self-contained. We're stuck being us. "

"I think the two things we can never know, are how it is to be dead, and how it is to be someone else. Blogging is helping answer that last question."

At this point, I was feeling kind of like David Weinberger and this scared me, not having a PhD in Philosophy, and not wanting one, so we went ahead and ate lunch, me and Steve. Pho Pasteur in the Garage in Harvard Square. They changed their name but I can't remember what it's called now.

Photo Credit: Steve Garfield