Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Quote of the week No. 17 : On virtual chatter

Cold. Cold. Cold. Sunny. But cold.

When I think of the millions of people who write weblogs, and the millions more who chatter to themselves on Twitter, I think of Adlai Stevenson, the American politician, who wrote :

"The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions."

Stevenson died in 1965, and could never have imagined the virtual cacophany that would break out in the last decade of the 20th century. We all have the legal and political right, and now many of us have the means, to publish our own thoughts and opinions. But amid the millions of voices all busily trying to make sense of the world as they know it, who is there listening to just ours? Tuning in to just our one voice amid the chatter?

And, most important, who out there cares what I have to say anyway?

18 comments:

CathM said...

Interesting quote and thought... and in the end are we really making sense of the world or just creating more undecipherable noise?

Cairo Typ0 said...

Brilliantly written! Posts like this are why people do care what you have to say.

Désirée said...

The right to express yourself on your own terms in various forms on Internet is wonderful.

It is easy to say that too many uses the opportunity.

But I think that the question who cares to listen is irrelevant.

What I think is most important is if you have a need to express something, or if you just join because everybody else seem to do so.

Mrs B said...

Well as your blog is one of the very very few that I regularly visit.... I do for one!

ladyfi said...

Great quote - and a good point you make too... I wonder why it is so important to make our opinions heard to complete strangers? Although they don't really feel like strangers...

I for one like to hear what you can have to say!

Vanessa said...

Your opinions are as good as any. And I for one am reading every day.

Anonymous said...

Hi Louise, I care greatly about the time you take to just "sit and stare" and your beautiful photos. You have no idea how important your funny remarks and thoughtful insights are to someone who has spent the entire afternoon editing a paper on Hepatitis B! Now, how far is that book? Then you'll really know how many people do care. Ilse

Debbie said...

I love what you have to say on this blog. But, I am having a hard time embracing the Twitter craze. What is that all about?

Kia said...

Ciao Louise, great quote! :) If we keep coming to your blog, that means we care to hear what you have to say. Happy "Giovedì Grasso" (dunno if you celebrate it).

Caution Flag said...

After a lifetime of shyness,what I do acknowledge is how absolutely wonderful it feels to shout and hear myself. Maybe some day I will care more about who listens.

Steven G said...

Adlai Stevenson and I share the same birthday, or as Jeanne points out, 1 year, 1 week, and 1 day before hers.

Your words are good medicine. Whenever I read you, the day is sweeter. The girl at the coffee shop is more important than the quality of the coffee. The quality of the way I thank her is more importanat than the money I hand her. My radio is stupider when I read you.

Thnaks for forgiving my typos........sg

Chairman Bill said...

Having opinions is good. Having your own opinions, based on analysis, is better.

Miss Attica said...

Well, it's all about getting in contact with interesting people. If it weren't for the web - we would never have "met" - and I am glad we did! :-)

SMS said...

Is being heard more important/valued than being able to express something? I guess it depends..

Aren O. Týr said...

I like modern life in moderation. Hence why I tend to retreat into my own escapist world a lot of the time!

BPOTW said...

It's great to be able to express opinions on a blog. With readership comes some responsibility though if the writer wants to be taken seriously. Deciding how to express opinions with the right amount of tact is hard.
I think it's a good exercise for any and everyone to be able to voice their thoughts. The people who are better able to do this are going to be the ones that are heard.

Louise said...

Thanks to everyone who sent so many positive thoughts.

@Chairman Bill & BPOTW : Yes, I would agree with you that the better-written and more thoughtful blogs get more air time, or I would like to think that's the case. But it beats me how these ones float to the surface, as it were.

@Aren : I'm with you on modern life in moderation, which is probably why I live half way up a mountain in a medeival village with no cars and no tv.

Miss Attica : I'm glad we did too.

Cairo Typ0 : I'm very happy that you're back in the blogosphere. Thank-you.

CathM : Perhaps in total we're making a whole bunch of indecipherable noise, but individually...?

Desiree : I don't know about the question of who cares to listen being irrelevant. I know that most people would say that they blog for themselves, but isn't it nice to know you're not just talking to a brick wall?

Mrs B : Ha! How do YOU have time to read? Love the new blog!

LadyFi : Thank-you. I look forward to your thoughtful comments every day. They mean a lot to me.

Vanessa : And thanks to you.

Debbie : Twitter seems a bit maniacal to me, even demonic!

Kia : A belated happy Giovedi Grasso to you to. Only we're not Roman but Ambrosian so our carnival doesn't start till next week, and God only knows when I have to give up chocolate!

Caution Flag : That's a wonderful angle to the whole question, that blogging allows one to express oneself in ways one wouldn't face-to-face.

Steven G : Welcome! I didn't know you read. And what a beautifully eloquent compliment! You must be Italian!

SMS : Hmm. I guess it depends too.

Désirée said...

I agree I don't want to talk to a brick wall.

My associations with the question was more like if I ask myself if someone cares about what I have to say, I humbly must say no, and don't blog.

I made a connection with my father and his assumptions that he is unimportant and irrelevant in every situation. And backfired a little. Sorry.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Quote of the week No. 17 : On virtual chatter

Cold. Cold. Cold. Sunny. But cold.

When I think of the millions of people who write weblogs, and the millions more who chatter to themselves on Twitter, I think of Adlai Stevenson, the American politician, who wrote :

"The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions."

Stevenson died in 1965, and could never have imagined the virtual cacophany that would break out in the last decade of the 20th century. We all have the legal and political right, and now many of us have the means, to publish our own thoughts and opinions. But amid the millions of voices all busily trying to make sense of the world as they know it, who is there listening to just ours? Tuning in to just our one voice amid the chatter?

And, most important, who out there cares what I have to say anyway?

18 comments:

CathM said...

Interesting quote and thought... and in the end are we really making sense of the world or just creating more undecipherable noise?

Cairo Typ0 said...

Brilliantly written! Posts like this are why people do care what you have to say.

Désirée said...

The right to express yourself on your own terms in various forms on Internet is wonderful.

It is easy to say that too many uses the opportunity.

But I think that the question who cares to listen is irrelevant.

What I think is most important is if you have a need to express something, or if you just join because everybody else seem to do so.

Mrs B said...

Well as your blog is one of the very very few that I regularly visit.... I do for one!

ladyfi said...

Great quote - and a good point you make too... I wonder why it is so important to make our opinions heard to complete strangers? Although they don't really feel like strangers...

I for one like to hear what you can have to say!

Vanessa said...

Your opinions are as good as any. And I for one am reading every day.

Anonymous said...

Hi Louise, I care greatly about the time you take to just "sit and stare" and your beautiful photos. You have no idea how important your funny remarks and thoughtful insights are to someone who has spent the entire afternoon editing a paper on Hepatitis B! Now, how far is that book? Then you'll really know how many people do care. Ilse

Debbie said...

I love what you have to say on this blog. But, I am having a hard time embracing the Twitter craze. What is that all about?

Kia said...

Ciao Louise, great quote! :) If we keep coming to your blog, that means we care to hear what you have to say. Happy "Giovedì Grasso" (dunno if you celebrate it).

Caution Flag said...

After a lifetime of shyness,what I do acknowledge is how absolutely wonderful it feels to shout and hear myself. Maybe some day I will care more about who listens.

Steven G said...

Adlai Stevenson and I share the same birthday, or as Jeanne points out, 1 year, 1 week, and 1 day before hers.

Your words are good medicine. Whenever I read you, the day is sweeter. The girl at the coffee shop is more important than the quality of the coffee. The quality of the way I thank her is more importanat than the money I hand her. My radio is stupider when I read you.

Thnaks for forgiving my typos........sg

Chairman Bill said...

Having opinions is good. Having your own opinions, based on analysis, is better.

Miss Attica said...

Well, it's all about getting in contact with interesting people. If it weren't for the web - we would never have "met" - and I am glad we did! :-)

SMS said...

Is being heard more important/valued than being able to express something? I guess it depends..

Aren O. Týr said...

I like modern life in moderation. Hence why I tend to retreat into my own escapist world a lot of the time!

BPOTW said...

It's great to be able to express opinions on a blog. With readership comes some responsibility though if the writer wants to be taken seriously. Deciding how to express opinions with the right amount of tact is hard.
I think it's a good exercise for any and everyone to be able to voice their thoughts. The people who are better able to do this are going to be the ones that are heard.

Louise said...

Thanks to everyone who sent so many positive thoughts.

@Chairman Bill & BPOTW : Yes, I would agree with you that the better-written and more thoughtful blogs get more air time, or I would like to think that's the case. But it beats me how these ones float to the surface, as it were.

@Aren : I'm with you on modern life in moderation, which is probably why I live half way up a mountain in a medeival village with no cars and no tv.

Miss Attica : I'm glad we did too.

Cairo Typ0 : I'm very happy that you're back in the blogosphere. Thank-you.

CathM : Perhaps in total we're making a whole bunch of indecipherable noise, but individually...?

Desiree : I don't know about the question of who cares to listen being irrelevant. I know that most people would say that they blog for themselves, but isn't it nice to know you're not just talking to a brick wall?

Mrs B : Ha! How do YOU have time to read? Love the new blog!

LadyFi : Thank-you. I look forward to your thoughtful comments every day. They mean a lot to me.

Vanessa : And thanks to you.

Debbie : Twitter seems a bit maniacal to me, even demonic!

Kia : A belated happy Giovedi Grasso to you to. Only we're not Roman but Ambrosian so our carnival doesn't start till next week, and God only knows when I have to give up chocolate!

Caution Flag : That's a wonderful angle to the whole question, that blogging allows one to express oneself in ways one wouldn't face-to-face.

Steven G : Welcome! I didn't know you read. And what a beautifully eloquent compliment! You must be Italian!

SMS : Hmm. I guess it depends too.

Désirée said...

I agree I don't want to talk to a brick wall.

My associations with the question was more like if I ask myself if someone cares about what I have to say, I humbly must say no, and don't blog.

I made a connection with my father and his assumptions that he is unimportant and irrelevant in every situation. And backfired a little. Sorry.