Types of discourse

Quick props

Epideictic in action: a trail of breadcrumbs that is fascinating regarding controversy surrounding an invitation to Laura Bush to speak at commencement for UCLA. The rhetoric involved is just fascinating. I was really amused by this, particularly one embedded paragraph in the sea of quotes:

Laura Bush seems good-hearted and would surely give a nice speech here. I try not to hold against her my belief that her husband stole the presidency, plunged the economy into recession, shredded half the Bill of Rights, aggravated world tensions, and shoveled our budget surplus and natural environment over to his corporate pals, all this beginning long before the 9/11 atrocities (which were helpfully funded by the $43 million Bush sent the Taliban last May over the objections of those silly feminists and “liberal morons” at universities).

Real deliberative discourse from Jonathon Delacour: The long and short of it. He takes on a topic I’ve fished around a few times in the distant past which is becoming increasingly important due to RSS syndication: the length of blog posts. Obviously, I chafe at the dictum of brevity. I’ll stifle my urge to quote large sections, and instead suggest that you read the whole thing. It’s well considered, and certainly future directed. I think this is one of the key points which separates true deliberative discourse rather than metablogging (though he does label it as such).

I’ve been watching and marveling at the Pepys Project. Though it has flown high on Daypop and Blogdex since its inception, it seems to me that there are relatively few listings on it, compared to all the linkage. It seems like a great idea though: locating and indexing bloggers geographically. It’s sort of like the ageless project, in that it is an attempt to impose some sort of logic in organizing blog listings. An interesting alternative to just surfing randomly by “most recently updated.” Good blogs are hard to find, and this sort of project in making sense of the writing community seems inevitable.

I suppose I’ll get around to opting in eventually, but there is a part of me that wonders if the blogging community isn’t like the art or academic world: listing yourself too many places cheapens your image. It’s not just being seen, but being seen in the right places. The nagging question concerns what sort of readers you want to attract. I suspect that many don’t want their immediate neighbors reading their blogs, so they might be reluctant to advertize in this venue.