Tuesday, November 30, 2010

News break

I took a three-weak break from reading the news, and it made me feel like a self-centered asshole out of touch with the world. Not coincidentally, that's what I felt like before the news break, but the feeling worsened. The problem, or at least part of it, is that I used to read my blogs for several hours a day, four or more, and finish the day with ten tabs open I promised to myself I would read the next day. And this would repeat for weeks. And Firefox would crash, and I would archive those links and feel guilty I wasn't able to read more, and feel terribly stupid and ignorant.

I'm typing this in Safari, because if I try to restore my Firefox session my computer will hang and I'll just have to force quit it, but I'm not ready to give up on those articles and admit I'll never read them. I don't understand how other people do it. What it is it they have that I don't, and how can I get it? The depth of understanding the bloggers I read seem to exhibit is something I lack, and my incapacity pains me. Part of the point of this blog was to be proactive about it. But I can't think for myself or remember what I read.

I would like to be the sort of person who convinces other people of my views, and thereby makes the world a better place, sort of, but it turns out I'm bad at that. I tried that on Facebook, and I just wound up tired and frustrated, leaving many comments unanswered, feeling that the people I was responding to were making fundamental, simple mistakes, but not calling them on it because every time they answered, I felt like I had to answer again, and there was another hour gone when I tried to assemble my thoughts into coherent form. And I realized, yes, that's the nature of political debate, but I'm not up for it.

In summary, I am not the kind of person I want to be.

I also would like to be the sort of person who reads a lot of books, Chomsky and Bakunin and Shakespeare and Virgil and and and and... and learns a lot (retention is a problem), but my news hobby was such that it was all I was doing. Yet I was still behind, never able to catch up with the events of the day.

And ultimately, the point wouldn't be to analyze the news, but to do something about it, and there I've fallen far shorter than anywhere else. I cannot contribute to society in any way.

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