Thursday, August 15, 2013

The current purpose of these paragraphs

You may not care what the purpose of these paragraphs is supposed to be.  But sometimes, you can understand something more fully if you do know its purpose.  Clarification through better understanding purpose (or "mission" or "aim" or "design goal") most recently showed its potential to me in the area discussed by the book "The Information Diet" by Clay Johnson.  The name didn't strike me as that interesting until I found how accurately the title fit the purpose of the book, which is to compare what sources of information ones pays attention to with the sources of food calories one uses to satisfy daily hunger.  As I read, I saw how powerful and fitting the comparison between food sources and information sources was.

The striking moment of revelation came when the author described a well-known news organization aiming at a new purpose for news orgs, not that of providing the news in a broad, comprehensive way, but instead providing a steady flow of information that affirms a given point of view.  For all I know, affirmation of a point of view or philosophy is actually an old purpose of a news organization.  Anyhow, a new and struggling group found that it gained subscribers rapidly, paying customers (!), if it found this fact and this semi-fact and this probable-fact and had good writers weave an account of them all that affirmed the general slant this organization wanted to convey.  Once I understood the satisfaction of the human hunger for affirmation that one has one's mind aimed in the right direction, the idea clicked.  "Oh, it's like professional wrestling: a dramatic story with a good satisfying ending!"

When I first started this blog, I thought I would try to convey simply and helpfully, in adult, non- challenging language how deceptively simple yet powerful 5 or 10 minutes of silent, still sitting was.  I was only one of dozens and dozens of people with the same idea and after a year or so, I started asking myself if there was any other purpose to achieve in writing.  Over time, a group of friends starting accepting the blog daily.  I started seeing a connection between course/lesson planning and posting statements, explaining how things look from my angle, my location, with my limits and my biases.

So, my main purpose is to use the practice of writing to mention things that seem interesting or puzzling to me.  They may be interesting or puzzling to you. The Google Blogger service shows 45 pages views of my blog so far today that come from outside the United States.  Since all the personal friends to whom I email the posts are inside the US, I assume these viewers are not my group of personal friends. So, that is one of my main purposes here: to notice and convey in English aspects of life and thought that catch my attention.

Main blog: Fear, Fun and Filoz
Main web site: Kirbyvariety

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