Monday, July 16, 2007

SPECIAL GUEST BLOG (the husband's diatribe)

I, JDH, am posting this special guest blog to confront an issue that has done more to destroy the unity in our family than anything since…since…I can't think of anything of such gravity. I know this is a long post, but I feel that this issue requires a comprehensive examination to foster sufficient resolution.


I will provide a quick background for anyone who isn't familiar with the controversy. Every year, the family makes the trek to Tanner Flat (a pristine camping destination in Big Cottonwood Canyon southeast of Salt Lake City) to roast marshmallows and to celebrate yet another year of the nation's independence. Each year, after the young ones are unconscious from the over abundance of fresh air and smores, the wise "elders" of the family gather to discuss (read: intensely debate) various topics that are of consequence to our society. Luckily, since I haven't attended any of these "discussions", they are always fun and end relatively amicably.

(Author's Note: I am very suspicious about the quality and depth of the discussions since I have never actually attended to moderate and provide the truth relating to the topics discussed.)

Apparently, this year's discussion was a violent departure from tradition and has left deep emotional scars on everyone involved. The reason this year's discussion became so emotional is that the topic was of such high import to society at large and is fundamental to the ultimate survival of our family (that is the Human-Family).

The topic of which I speak is…BLOGGING: IS IT VALUABLE OR IS IT "OF MEPHISTOPHELES". I write the following comments in order to close this argument forever and restore peace in the family. I can do this because I am held in such high regard and that all matters are considered to be closed once my opinion has been articulated.


The basic arguments were as follows:

  • Side 1 contends that the act of blogging intrinsically provides value to the world due to the extraordinary interaction that is fostered through the medium. In fact blogging is so important that some on Side 1 believe that they "find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures". A perfect example of these hidden treasures is Migg's legal analysis of the great contributions of attorney's in his blog "Fancy IOUs".
  • Side 2 believes that blogging is so pernicious that the result the dirty habit produces a negative contribution to society. The countless hours spent writing and posting on web logs takes away from productive pursuits that range from the mundane (curing cancer and solving the geo-political problems in the middle east) to the critical (like playing video games, planning next year's fantasy football team, or my personal favorite: watching TV).

Anyone can see how important it is to resolve this stalemate…which is again, why I have condescended to issue my guidance.


Blogs have become the preferred medium from which complex ideas and other information is collected and disseminated. Over the course of history, personal communication has evolved from the letter to telephone conversation to email and finally to blogs.

  1. Letters were/are a very effective form of communication. They allow writers to elegantly express complicated ideas and intimate feelings that are difficult to convey verbally. However, because of their enduring formality, letters are labor intensive and are often seen as impractical in the electronic age of instantaneous response.
  2. Telephone conversation is extremely convenient; however, data transferred through these conversations are never formally captured and telephone conversations are always subject to the availability of participants.
  3. Email provides a mechanism to capture and store transmitted information, is instantaneous, and allows interaction to occur at the convenience of the participants; however, emails may not be read or sent to the right person(s) and are often overlooked because the volume of important messages.

All these modes of communication have positive attributes, but they leave much to be desired. However, blogging is the perfect medium because it:

  • Allows the writer to articulate and transfer complex ideas (like the time Stie wrote about our kids' transvestite tendencies).
  • Allows readers to access information at convenient times;
  • Is never forced upon unsuspecting parties (like all that Viagra spam Miggs gets at work);
  • Facilitates the capture of interesting and valuable information that can be used by future generations to truly understand how our family produced such a large number of influential people (probably to rival the progeny the Kennedy's or the Romney's [I lived in Massachusetts and am bi-partisan]).

Also, blogging has the effect of uniting people across the world who are interested in similar topics. Marta's treatise on "theodesign" and Oma's recent rendition of Gab's influence are great examples (by the way Oma, I'm still waiting for the blog about me…I suspect that the prospect of listing of my accomplishments is just overwhelming…maybe I will hire someone to write a biography).

The binding effect of blogging is so powerful, even people who want to break free of the traditional family bonds cannot escape the loving chains of blogs.

Some will say all this effort should be directed to more productive activities. The truth is that blogs, like the letters of yesterday, will be the narrator of history.

It is my hope that everyone who likes to blog will continue to do so…and that their effort is appreciated (even by someone who doesn't even read them).

So let it be written, so let it be done.


Bridget said...

Josh- good to hear you are still as modest and self-deprecating as in the days we knew you. I'm still having a hard time getting your stance on it. You do realize though that your reading audience here is only SLIGHTLY biased.

Summers Camp said...

I agree with both sides... with that being said, I'll continue to blog, but I believe that there needs to be moderation in all things. :)

Marty: said...

I think wisdom, like the acorn, does not fall far from the tree.

Diane said...

Hey, that Mephistopheles guy, aint he Babylon's kid from Babylonia? Heard he was blogin' bout stuff ya'll could buy from that Tommy Babylony Figer place. Got himself kicked off the web...bad place. Them Valuables' came in and fixed things right up. Now all is good in Bloggersville. We 'preciate yer plug fer the cause. History's in the makin'!

Nimmy said...

Who knew I would ever agree with my big bro? Amen, brother, amen!

gab said...

did josh really write this?

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

Yes, Josh was in fact the author. I am not quite as eloquent (that should give it away). What's Brad's take on the whole blogging thing?

Sco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DanandCindy said...

So... blog - Good?

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

Yes, blog good. Not blog bad.

Now you understand?

Miggs said...


I misjudged your thoughts on the bloggosphere in my recent post. Sorry Dan and Jackie, you're all alone (unless Brad comes to save you).

As far as forms of communication, the blog is clunkier than verbal communication, but as far as a mass medium (i.e. news papers and magazines), the world has never had anything like the blog. It effectively is a personal printing press that can instantaneously reach millions if not billions of people if they choose to log in to see what you have to say any given day. It's better than just a website because the comments allow responses from all readers.

My best fireside campfire argument advocating blogging was the fact that it can bring together communities of people in a way that no other medium has been able to do. For example, there is a blog that brings together conservative LDS lawyers and law professors to discuss tedious aspects of law and LDS orthodoxy and there happen to be hundreds of people that are interested in this subject. This community may have existed in small pockets, but with the bloggosphere, this community has a virtual space/place to congregate and discuss. You just couldn't do this with magazines, newspapers etc. People couldn't participate to the level that they can with blogs. Pick your own abstract interest, there is a blog for your community.

Heed said...

In defense of Jac and Dan... I really don't know if the events of the night are being portrayed accurately. I don't recall anybody saying that blogging was of the devil. I do recall that there was some argument as to whether blogging CAN BE a waste of time (not IS, but CAN BE). Of course, EVERYTHING CAN BE a waste of time... it's semantics, which is why we all agreed that the argument was a circle of babble - not anything that I thought would extend to this magnitude.
Obviously this is a sensitive topic and hits a few too many nerves to be argued subjectively. Of course the game of TOPICS can be controversial. It's a game of debate. It can't be taken personally, especially when Jacque & Dan were both conscious about spouting their opinions at all. I recall a lot of the conversation took place before each of them were provoked to speak their thoughts openly.
I felt like they were just arguing their point - sometimes well, and sometimes not - but were not trying to cause any hurt feelings at all. In talking to some of those that weren't there, I feel like Jac & Dan have been represented in a poor light.

Truthfully, I thought the conversation was great and fun and added to the annual camping experience - which all HEROES are invited to attend next year! That way, nobody is relying on second & third-hand accounts.
TOPICS with everyone is great... having responses from our out-of-staters, etc, is way fun. But this time I don't think the original campfire conversation was accurately relayed. Next time we play, let's get everyone on speaker phone.

Miggs said...


We still like Jac and Dan and I agree with "some" of their anti-blogging arguments. I for one was not offended by their illogical positions.

I think everyone will agree that blogging is no greater waste of time than any other waste of time as JDH has eloquently stated. In addition, everyone will agree that bloggers do not have a special propensity to become addicted to their hobby than any other avid [insert your own hobby here].

Look forward to Tanner's Flat next year!

marta said...

i just finally got around to reading this JDH soliloquy and find it quite interesting. especially since it involves such a fun night (and it really was fun) of Topics, my adorable husband and josh sticking up for me. hooray.

i especially loved this phrase, "The truth is that blogs, like the letters of yesterday, will be the narrator of history." amen to that. except i would have said, 'yesteryear'. i just love that word and try to stick it in anywhere possible.

ps. i told dan to come over and read this post, but he is too interested in bourne identity after mowing the lawn. he still stands by his word, that surfing the net CAN lead to addictive tendencies. while also telling me that my blog is 'rockin.' he's a flexible and supportive (and opinionated) guy. what can i say? he loves to rock the boat and rock my world. how lucky we are to have a handful of dynamite personalities among the heroes!

keep it up. don't let the man get you down. let your lights shine.

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