Logic’s blind spot

I’m back home and a happy camper. I love to travel, but there really is nothing like home.

When I arrived in my client’s West Coast city Wednesday, I took a shuttle bus from the airport to my hotel. I sat next to a guy from New York who had just retired and was doing some traveling. He was interested in current events and the media, so we had a wonderful talk about blogs and the press. His hotel was first on the schedule, so when we dropped him off, a guy sitting behind me began to talk. He stated he had a PhD in public policy and worked in Washington. He was interested in my views of Walter Lippmann, but he told me — with absolute conviction — that the mainstream media would co-opt blogs, because blogs were just a fad anyway. He referred me to a book by Everett Rogers called, “The Diffusion of Innovation.”

When he left the bus, I sat there shaking my head about this “fad” business. Folks, it’s no fad, and I’m always amazed when I hear that coming from people who would otherwise be considered intelligent.

This “fad” is something genuinely new in the communications world, made possible by what former FCC Chairman Michael Powell called “application separation.” He said it was the most significant change in communications history, and I agree with him. What that means is that — thanks to technology — it is no longer necessary to tie a communications business application to its own distribution infrastructure. There may be fads in the blogging world, but the enabling of everyday people to be their own media outlet is no fad.

When I ran ANSIR Communications in the Internet bubble days, my partner was a Canadian woman with a gift of knowledge about personalities. We had many deep discussions about the differences between logic, creativity and intuition. She taught me that the blind spot of logic is its dependence on that which has gone before. This is also, I believe, the real blind spot of Modernism, which worships the gods of logic and reason. Clinging to that which has been or that which is known, logic is inherently skeptical of anything claiming to be new or different. It’s not that logic can’t ultimately arrive at a different conclusion; it’s just that it cannot happen automatically.

Hence, this guy’s conviction that this whole blogging thing is just a fad.

On the contrary, this is only the beginning. In the future, everyone will have an online journal of some sort that will be available to friends, loved ones, business associates, church, school, civic organization, club, etc. RSS will be the method we send and receive messages, replacing a large portion of what we know now as e‑mail.

Today, the only thing about blogs that gets any attention is their place in the (logical) media landscape. Don’t let yourself get snared in the belief that this is the be-all-and-end-all of blogging.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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