Mathew Lowry

I was reading Laurent’s post What does it mean to become human?, but it was so long that I skipped to the end, illustrating exactly the point I wanted to make in this post.

Laurent writes, amongst other things, about interiority:

the capacity to reflect upon ourselves, others and the world, the whole of reality

It put a name to something I’ve been increasingly concerned about: that the rise of the Internet, and specifically the blogosphere, risks reducing each person’s interiority.

What I’m worried about is a future where, instead of taking days and weeks to read a carefully written, edited and argued book or journal, people only surf the web, and write and comment on blogs.

Each blog, and each comment, is written in minutes. The whole point about blogging, as so beautifully described by Andrew Sullivan, an Atlantic senior editor, is that:

… a blog is not so much daily writing as hourly writing. … A blogger will air a variety of thoughts or facts on any subject in no particular order other than that dictated by the passing of time … The blog remained a superficial medium, of course … blogging rewards brevity and immediacy. No one wants to read a 9,000-word treatise online. – Why I Blog

There is no better word to describe browsing than “surfing”. A surfer remains on the surface, moves fast to stay afloat, and never looks at what’s below.

Most blogging is similarly fast, with minimal reflection or recourse to interiority – few people think about their next post for days, chewing things over, rewriting and polishing before hitting Publish. They react, write and publish – basta.

Just like I wrote this post. Because I’ve got to go. I’m worried that we’re losing our collective ability to Think Things Through Properly, but I really haven’t got time to think about it right now.

Author :


  1. Dear Mathew,

    Thanks for your comment. I agree fully with your remark that my entry was too long for a “blog”. My only remark is that I don’t consider my blog as a “blog” if it means to serve as a bin for my gut-feelings reactions to whatever is happening.

    I consider my “blog” to be a place where I can “store” my articles, short or long, while giving to others the opportunity to read them, should they be interested in them.

    Should nobody be interested, no problem. At least the blog will provide one day to my kids a good synthesis of what occupied my mind while they were growing up, of what I thought, wrote or did in order to try, very modestly and at my humble level, to prepare a better future for them. Hopefully they will want to carry on some of the “thought battles and adventures” I participated to. That’s why I’m not interested and paradoxically have not time in posting quick, poorly developped, emotional reactions to events. This would not provide them any basis on which to build further.

    Take care,


  2. I didn’t mean my remark to be a criticism. Just take a look at my first and second posts! Both way too long for what is considered ‘best practice’ in blogging. My concern is that this best practice prioritises speed over depth, which – when applied to the sort of issues covered on Blogactiv – isn’t necessarily useful.

  3. Despite my bad English, I enjoyed reading your corresponding posts. Laurie post really was too long and somebody little interested in the subject will not finish reading it but he has solid arguments when say:
    “I consider my “blog” to be a place where I can “store” my articles, short or long, while giving to others the opportunity to read them, should they be interested in them.”
    I think that’s the cuestion, write post lengths or short, that is less important from my point of view.
    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn from you.

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