Monday, March 05, 2012

The Internet-Discussion-Board Junk Shop Analogy

The Bible says we are to confess are sins to each other (James 5:16).  I still visit Internet discussion boards. There I said it.

I don't do it to the extent I did previously, but I still check in to a few places. I've been a member of the CARM discussion boards since at least 1997. I think it was CARM's "Calvinist Corner" that I first participated in. Before the rise (and fall) of blogs (now trumped by Facebook and Twitter), I had periods in which I spent a considerable amount of time on CARM. I've been a moderator at least twice, but it came to the point in which I simply didn't have the time, nor the interest to keep up with it. I still visit there, but not nearly to the extent I once did.

Visiting Internet discussion boards is very similar to going to a certain "type" of  antique shop: one second in the door you realize you've stepped into a disorganized collection of junk, probably very similar to a horder's basement, musty smelling, dirty, piles of this or that, broken stuff, and bizarre curiosities that demonstrate what humanity can produce. Every so often though, you find something of value or worthy of purchase (like my 1837 copy of Luther's Galatians Commentary). You've got to have the patience though to wade through a lot of junk. Sometimes what's junk to someone else you'll find to be treasure. Sometimes what you find to be treasure, everyone else thinks is a piece of junk.

That's sort of like what discussions boards are like. I was going to launch into a recent discussion board conversation I got myself into, but time has slipped away from me.


Ken said...

Before the rise (and fall) of blogs (now trumped by Facebook and Twitter)

I think you are right as far as the general culture is concerned; but I confess I don't like that trend. I like the slower pace of blogs (and emails) to give me time to think. Twitter is too concise and fast and FB just has takes up too much time to spend and manage, etc.

Blogs are more substantive, in my opinion. I hope that our culture will not go so far that only FB and Twitter are the main things, and that Blogs go the way of discussion boards.

James Swan said...

Hi Ken!

I like blogs too. I will say this though. I typically don't like long blog or computer reading. I typically try to write shorter entries myself, though I've put forth quite a number of long things over the years.

I do this because I think most people, like me, have short attention spans or lack of time.

I can concentrate on lengthy Internet writings when I need to, but more often than not, that time is reserved for a book I can hold in my hands.

I use FB, sparsely. I've yet to find any value in Twitter.

Mrk said...

I gotta say, I do like your style in the example you gave. You don't seem to take the "normal" tack that most blog debaters take, and it seems people just try to stick you in that mold, regardless--hence the "talking past each other". Blessed by your blog here, esp. in light of the Evangelical drift toward the RC church. Keep up the great work. It's important.

James Swan said...

Thank you Mrk.