Can’t Tie Me Down

Hi.

I know it’s been a while. I feel somewhat sheepish. But I can explain, if any of my six readers are still reading.

I recently read Neil Postman’s excellent and prophetic book Amusing Ourselves to Death. I highly recommend it. In that book, Postman posits that new information technologies come with a price tag which we cannot calculate ahead of time. He gives the example of the telegraph, and this is so good I’m going to quote him at length. This is from the beginning of chapter five of his book:

[The] telegraph erased state lines, collapsed regions, and, by wrapping the continent in an information grid, created the possibility of a unified American discourse.
But at a considerable cost. For telegraphy did something that Morse did not foresee when he prophesied that telegraphy would make “one neighborhood of the whole country.” It destroyed the prevailing definition of information, and in doing so gave a new meaning to public discourse. Among the few who understood this consequence was Henry David Thoreau, who remarked in Walden that “We are in a great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate. . . . We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the old world some weeks nearer to the new; but perchance the first news that will leak through the broad flapping American ear will be that Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough.”
Thoreau, as it turned out, was precisely correct. He grasped that the telegraph would create its own definition of discourse; that it would not only permit but insist on a conversation between Maine and Texas; and that it would require the content of that conversation to be different from what Typographic Man was accustomed to.

My point is this: I don’t want to be banal on this blog. I want to share the wonder of what I see in the world and in God’s Word. When I read Postman, I realized that in having a blog, I feel compelled to post semi-regularly, which leads me at times to try to come up with things to say when in reality I don’t have anything worth saying. I don’t like that. I have no wish to become a slave to communication. I know that blogging inconsistently is no way to build a readership, but I’m more interested in sharing things of depth than sharing frequently.

So, I’ll continue to post when I feel I have something to say, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride! The best way to keep up is to follow me via email on the top right there. I hope you will enjoy it.

-Daniel

2 thoughts on “Can’t Tie Me Down

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