Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Value of Blogs

So I was going to write a Tax Tuesday post about the relationship between the highest marginal corporate rate and the highest marginal individual tax rate and the effect that relationship had on supply-side economics, but I decided not to. Instead. I want to write about blogs and arguments.

It's actually something I've been thinking about for some time (since Christmas, anyway), but over lunch on Monday I was reminded of it. When you engage in a discussion or argument with one or more people about something that everyone involved feels passionate about, people tend to interrupt each other. Now I'm not saying I'm perfect. I frequently interrupt others just as they interrupt me. But it is not a good thing to do, and it is certainly antithetical to a productive and fun argument.

The major cause of interruption, and this is actually a very valid reason to interrupt, is that the listener hears the speaker state a proposition that the listener disagrees with, and the listener fears that if the speaker is allowed to continue, the disargeeable statement will be forgotten by the time the speaker finishes. This is an understandable concern. Since most of us don't carry around note pads to jot down points we want to respond to, it is also an unavoidable result of oral arguments.

This is were blogs come in. Blogs deal in the written word. They are the perfect forum for argument because they allow you to state you proposition in full at one time while also allowing participants in the argument to respond point by point. Of course, this feature is not unique to blogs, but is inherent in any written forum. However, you can hardly find lower transaction costs (measured by time, effort, and money) than commenting on a blog.

Anyway, the point is, we should all try not to interrupt each other as much as possible. And if that fails, we should all spend more time in the blogosphere.


Blogger warm fuzzy said...

Good observation. There is also considerably less yelling with written blog arguments than with spoken arguments.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Squishy Burrito said...

I still find it incredibly annoying when people interrupt conversations to put in their two cents. I'm frustrated as it comes across as what they have to say is more important than what others have to say. Its all about RESPECT!!!!

I guess you can yell in the blogosphere. :)

9:56 AM  
Blogger Fishfrog said...

An interesting thing I've noticed, and SB and WF have probably noticed it more acutely, is that the practice of men interrupting women is especially widespread. It seems pretty clear to me that this habit is simply an outgrowth of the systematic instituionalized sexism in society.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Xeno said...

knock. knock.
Who's there?
Interupting cow.
Interupting cow wh.....

7:16 PM  
Blogger warm fuzzy said...

best knock-knock joke EVER!

8:34 PM  
Blogger Anne West said...

Great post....I have some experience with another forum where people are very politically opinionated and I can say that when things get heated...lol...it can feel like your being screamed at!

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Leo said...

On the other hand miscommunications are much more frequent when you communicate only in writing. Interruptions are annoying but they also let people listening to you clarify things they don't understand as they go rather than perpetuating the misunderstanding.

People are also more likely to be complete assholes online, face to face communication moderates peoples rhetoric.

12:48 PM  

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