Jerome Michael McLaughlin
Nobody but nobody needs another BLOG
(Ok,...maybe one more.)
I remember the first time I heard the word BLOG. I thought, could we possibly come up with a term that was more ponderously dull than that? It sounds like something you trudge through - a gooey waist-deep swamp that sucks the shoes right off your feet.
Even worse, some decided that it was in their best interest to embrace the movement and tattoo themselves with the semi-creepy term “blogger” – the swamp thing that rises out of the murky water to invade the village with its sticky memes and viral contagion. But once set into the popular mindset, it was impossible to reverse. Our shoes were gone for good.
So what SHOULD we call it? What should we title this form of communication that has propagated across the culture as infinitely numerous as the ever-multiplying bits and bytes that invade every moment of our modern lives? How do we rebrand something as ancient as “the letter” so that we can claim it as our own, some newfangled invention brilliantly conceived by our contemporaneous interconnected selves?
I firmly believe the future is ancient so I am going to return to the origin – the primary source and simply refer to these as “posts” – letters sent to share ideas between curious and open minds.
The first forms of writing were transactional notes, a physical means to convey what was borrowed, owed, produced, or delivered. These marks made by a pointed stylus pressed into soft wet clay were the foundations of human civilization, exchange – this for that. Later, these marks would grow in sophistication to encapsulate abstract ideas that could be carried across time and shared amongst those who learned to decipher its meaning. Human communication began to hold permanence and structure. Upon it, we could expand and elevate our accumulation of knowledge and wisdom. We learned as we went.
Many of the earliest human writings – the Kish tablet (3,500BCE), the Narmer Pallette (3,200BCE), the Kesh Temple Hymm (2,600BCE), the Instructions of Shuruppak (2,600BCE) – were codes, messages that depicted how best to live, how to acknowledge ourselves as untamed, and how to learn to best exist together. They also established a sense of distinction – we are different from the other animals of earth. There is more to this life than mere living.
In the posts to follow, I hope to find a way to both live and learn. Writing for me, is a form of thinking. The process distills raw thought into potential ideas – the most valuable and infinitely renewable resource. It tames feral consciousness to produce a wealth of offspring - potential concepts that we can cultivate and raise to become valuable contributions to this human thing we called progress.
And hopefully, in the process, both the “I” and the “we” can become incrementally more valuable to both ourselves and the whole of humankind.
This is the first mark upon the post.