Why I stopped expressing view points on my blog

Back in 2008, when I started writing my blog, the idea was to express my views on various topics. I have this tendency to involuntarily start contemplating on topics that catch my fancy and keep thinking through from various viewpoints till I get a satisfactory logical answer. Very often the topics tend to be ones on which I have limited influence. The blog was to have been an outlet to provide a more productive channel to these musings. However the reader reaction to my posts were not on expected lines and the lack of a readership made me develop doubts on whether putting my thoughts down on paper was indeed productive or not. Today it so happened this very lack of popularity of the type of posts itself became the object of my contemplation. Keeping aside subjective aspects such as quality of writing, I thought I will take a stab at exploring how the way I write my arguments is fundamentally different from the way it is written in more popular posts and how that could possibly be affecting the readership of my posts.

Let me start with two very broad classifications of posts as I see it – emotional and intellectual. The emotional ones are of course filled with rhetoric and tend to reinforce one or the other of the popular views on a topic, supported by personal anecdotes and feelings. They become immediate hits with the ones who hold a similar view point and repel the ones with an opposing point of view. But then you don’t have to win everybody over. Unless you hold a completely eccentric and unpopular view point, the people sharing your view point alone are a sufficient reader base.

Coming to the intellectuals, I see two types. The first are the ones who have developed an aura through their qualifications, academic scholarship, professional accomplishments or sometimes even through a mere air of superiority in their demeanor during social interactions. People tend to look up to such people and have greater tendency to accept their view points, at times even just on faith due to the supposed stature of the person in the mind of the reader. Now for the ones, not endowed with such aura, there is another option – to temporarily borrow the aura for the purpose of the post. This would be in the form of quoting the ones whose greatness has been universally accepted such as say an Einstein, a Leo Tolstoy or a Nelson Mandela. Once these names have been touted, the words acquire a divine quality that can’t be disputed and some of the aura gets passed on to the writer of the post as well. That way a similar awe of the view point is achieved in the reader’s mind.

Coming to me – I tend not to take either approach because my writings, as I have mentioned earlier, are usually an output of my contemplation, which do not proceed along either of these two pathways. My approach is to start with some assumptions that I consider universally accepted and then construct a chain of logical arguments towards a final conclusion. The ideal response I would expect is an appreciation of my craft in construction of the chain of logic or pointing out flaws either in the initial assumption or in the chain of arguments that help me refine my thinking process. But what I usually get is approval from people who agree with the final conclusion, in complete disregard of the chain of arguments, rhetoric from people who disagree with the conclusion and quoting of words of the greats related to the topic and suggestion to read them by the intellectual. The last is akin to saying how can a mere vermin like me arrogate to myself the right to come up with my own theory on a topic on which such and such great has already had the last word.

So I came to the conclusion that writing analysis type posts is of no avail and have almost stopped writing them. But then at times, one or two tend to slip past my resolve and surface on my blog like this current one.


Usha Sri V said...

Ha ha ha.. Sola anna sahi hai Kartik bhai... :)

T F Carthick said...

Thanks Usha Sri. Good to know you agree with the view.

Anirban Nanda said...

Agree with you TF Carthick. You have classified the blog categories and described them compactly. I also agree with the use of real/virtual/borrowed aura to illuminate someone's own personality or post. I have long stopped opining my views on serious topics in which everyone seems to have superior opinions. In that sense, our views match quite well; a rare phenomena in times of virtual platforms.    

T F Carthick said...

Thanks Anirban. I did feel you may share my views on this one.

umashankar said...

I had been waiting for a post from you for a while now; I see you have been ruminating in the galleries. I would read anything from you any day and would be scarcely disappointed.

I have also shunned POV posts but just as you say, I feel driven enough to bray out once in a while.

T F Carthick said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, umashankar.

Suresh Chandrasekaran said...

AN I you know keep vocalizing my views on topics - generally, though, on topics that are not of current interest though, yes, every now and then even such slips through :)

Need I say how much I agree - esp. about people who attack the conclusions and assert the possible non-existence of your brains merely because they have not bothered to consider the fact that the conclusions rest on certain assumptions, which you only SAY are assumptions but do not necessarily hold to be true.

Anonymous said...

There are other kinds.... soft, souffle-like posts, that say a lot if you choose to peel the layers and look inside, if I'm allowed to mix metaphors.

I believe in greys.... nothing is black and white.

There are people, you are aware of some of them, who choose to attack you instead of your assertions. When they do that, I know I've won, because they've just realized they are defending the indefensible. Thus the loud yelling, name calling etc.

T F Carthick said...

Yeah Suresh - you are pretty much more vocal. And we have often discussed about the issue of name throwing as well.

T F Carthick said...

True, slo. One can write such posts - but then no one bothers peel the layers - they would just give a superficial glance and conclude it is all going over the head and walk away.

And naming calling, personal attack are the other extreme. I am talking of altogether a different level of discussion. I would not even want attacks on the assertions - which is simple my opinion versus yours which is a meaningless discussion. I would rather prefer attacks on the though process of arriving at an assertion which is more like a joint search for truth.

Amit Agarwal said...

Good that you tend to slip past your resolution sometimes, otherwise we would have been deprived of this wonderfully analytical post, Carthick,
with chunks of logical reasoning:) Thanks a lot!
...and yes, keep slipping;)

T F Carthick said...

Thanks Amit. Glad you liked my analytical post.

Anonymous said...

Other than "emotional" which could be full of empty rhetoric and "intellectual", there could be mix of both. Because I think even an intellectual post is driven by an emotional need. Especially if the topic of interest is not something entirely scientific and can be proven / disproven by facts and theories. I liked the way you have analysed your approach and I do hope you would continue espousing your thoughts in such a logical manner :)

T F Carthick said...

Thanks Asha. Let me see. As I said, I found most people did not appreciate the logical approach and talk only of the conclusion.

Agree - everything has an emotional side. But was demarcating the two to just make the point.

Anonymous said...

Karthik - Don't throttle your natural inclinations. Once Picasso was sitting in a restaurant. A lady came upto him with a table napkin (belonging to the restaurant, of course) and asked him to draw something for her. He sketched a few lines on the napkin and handed it to her. "How much should I pay you?" she asked. "$10,000," he said. "$ 10,000 for drawing a few lines on a napkin?" The look on her face was ghastly. "No my lady," Picasso said. "The napkin is worth nothing. $10,000 is the cost of the time I had to spend in order to make you feel you should own a drawing by me."
So keep writing. Today or tomorrow somebody will pay you the price you crave. If you feel nobody pays any attention to you, remember this story of Pablo Picasso.

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