Sometimes Bloggers are on the Same Wavelength, Without Knowing It
Dave Aiello wrote, "Earlier today, Doc Searls talked about a discussion that he had with his son while riding somewhere in the car. Doc's memory of that discussion was prompted by his reading of Self-Reliance, an essay written in 1841 by Ralph Waldo Emerson."
"By conincidence, I picked up a copy of the 1967 edition of Self-Reliance published by The Peter Pauper Press when I attended the Friends of the Princeton Public Library used book sale a couple of weeks ago. I finally started reading it last night as my wife and I were going to bed. I remember saying to her that this book was too difficult to read without devoting my complete attention to it, because the vocabulary Emerson uses is difficult for my non-liberal-arts-trained mind."
"I find it interesting that an Emerson meme has made it around the weblog world this summer, finally ending up on CTDATA almost by accident. Chris Lydon delivered a spoken essay singing Emerson's praises in honor of his 200th birthday. Dave Winer pointed to Lydon's essay, bringing it to the attention of many in the weblog community. Doc Searls talked about the predecessors of weblogs possibly being the works of Benjamin Franklin and Emerson, and Searls mentions Emerson again today."
"I sometimes wonder about my own emotional maturity, stumbling as I do into the works of authors like Emerson or even Lance Armstrong. Their writings should begin with some sort of disclaimer: 'Don't start reading this unless you have the depth of character to adopt our principles.' But, I see titles like
Self-Reliance and Every Second Counts, and I say to myself, 'Yea, that's for me. That's the kind of person I am.' More accurately, that's the kind of person I want to be."
"I see why the weblog community has adopted Emerson as a sort of patron saint. Everyone who does this sort of writing has their own purposes in mind. Some are more successful than others. Most are talking to a world-wide audience, offering strongly-held opinions, and trying to make the world a better place. That's certainly the case with many of the things that I write."
"But, I'll go on wondering why I skimmed the writings of Lydon, Winer, Searls, and other webloggers this summer, never bothering to dig into what they were writing about. I'll puzzle over how I managed to buy a near fine copy of Self-Reliance for 50 cents as a used book sale was closing-- it having been picked over and left by far more literate people than me. And, I'll marvel at the fact that a prominent weblogger mentioned this specific Emerson essay again on the morning after I started reading the book."
"Maybe this is what they meant when they coined the term synchronicity."