I used to teach high school English. I really enjoyed it and I learnt a lot about human nature in the process. The children were great and often had very fresh perspectives on the literature in the curriculum.
One thing that often perplexed me was that some students seemed to think that one can proverbially purchase a pound for a penny. Let me explain. There is little value to be gained from little investment.
I’m no financier, but even I know that it takes money to make money and it takes a lot of money to make a lot of money. This is quite true, in a different way, for comprehension.
You have to invest a lot of learning effort in order to gain a lot of useful insight into literature, for instance. I used to say “You can’t read Shakespeare in the same way you read a price tag.” Shakespeare does not give up his meaning that easily. You have to work to gain the understanding, and the marks, that you want.
Shakespeare invested a lot of his time writing his works and presumptuous, and foolish is the student who thinks that a cursory reading of one of his plays will yield a profound response and huge returns in comprehension.
To some extent, this is how I also feel when I write something that requires some thinking and get an asinine comment like “Nice post”, or even worse, a link to an advertisement, in return, which do not require thinking.
Isn’t blogging all about discussion and the commerce of ideas? I frequently respond to a comment like “Nice post” by asking “What did you like about it?” To date I have not had a single reply.
I know it seems like I’m fishing for compliments and I am not denying that either, but my main reason for asking is that I did not start blogging to get bland comments in return. Imagine your teacher in high school writing on your twelve page report on your science project “Nice”.
I did not get into blogging for that. I know it is nice, since I enjoy writing. I got into blogging to discuss ideas and generate new ones. Blogging is meant to be about finding answers and intellectual stimulation, isn’t it?
If it isn’t then what is the motivation for wasting one’s time carefully formulating your ideas so that people can window-shop them like cheap garments?
Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am” and bloggers that comment “Nice post” seem to be saying “I don’t think, therefore I spam.”
What, after all is the difference between a link to an ad for a reply and a comment like “Nice post” – they seem to fall in the same category. Just a comment – u.i.d.u.i.
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