October 18, 2005
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Ouch

Tim Bray says what lots of people must be thinking :

ESR has cracked up. It’s kind of sad, Eric Raymond was one of my major influences with his essays on the culture and economics of Open Source. I didn’t always agree, but they were closely-argued and made you really think hard. Now he stands on his blog platform and argues that we’re in danger of surrendering to Al-Qaeda because of... wait for it... after-effects of the work done by Department V of the KGB.

This is the dark side of blogging. If you confine your weblog to a narrow, safe range of topics, you falsify the whole. Worse, you risk writing about pleasant songs or exciting movies or soft, friendly kittens when you should have been taking a stand against ignorance and evil. Puppies and sex and cooking are all nice, but someday someone will ask you "which side were you on", and you don't want to say that you missed it, that you didn't take sides because you were writing about potatoes.

So, no, the answer is not Safe Blogging, nor is the answer to Write Less.

But here's a hazard and a warning that all bloggers -- especially those of us who have a significant audience -- worry about on cold winter nights. We don't talk about it much. We don't have panels on it at Webzine or Blogtalk, we don't spend sessions discussing it at Blogwalk. It's an uninvited guest, always hovering at the table.

What will happen if we write somethingthat is really, deeply, wrong? And write it over and over again? How will we mend things, afterward? Can they be mended?