WutoWu #13: Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Hi Jessica,

Ahhh! I’m getting this in right before the weekly deadline, which means I get to come up with a fitting punishment for you. I haven’t decided what it’s going to be, but when I do, I’ll let you know.

I’ve been singing a lot this week. The Glee Club is going to Princeton on Friday for our first concert, and we are rehearsing everyday this week except for Friday.

Classes are coming along as normal; I have a lot of reading to do in Gov 20 (and a midterm in a little over a week!), problem sets in Math 21a (and a midterm in a little over a week and a half!), more reading in Ethical Reasoning 39, and more problem sets and labs in LS1a. My social life has definitely taken a dip in the past week or so.

On Sunday I went to Head of the Charles River, which is a regatta (italics to indicate snooty pronunciation). It sort of reminded me of a swim meet, since there are a bunch of food tents and the crew teams just walk all over with their boats held over their heads. Unlike a swim meet, there is a high concentration of tweed jackets and Sperry and Brooks Brothers corporate tents.

I titled this post “Meta-blog” after I was inspired by a poster which said “When Does Blogging Become Narcissism?” It was promoting an academic event, so I assume that the organization posting was referring to academic blogging, like that of Greg Mankiw, a economics professor, rather than this type of personal blogging. However, I think the question is even more appropriate for this type of blog.

Blogging and narcissism can exist in a vicious circle. For those who have a widely read blog, that audience can trigger a sense of narcissism by offering some validation of one’s view of the world. Narcissism in an academic context poses a danger to our ability to critically examine our own views. In a personal context, a blog can create an impression that people like the blogger because they like what he has to say. Narcissism also creates a need for us to use blogs to amplify and/or distort the person we would like the world to see.

I think personal blogging is essentially an exercise in self-reflection, and that we can get consumed in navel-gazing, just like Narcissus. We have to be on guard against this. However, I think blogs also serve as a way to connect (like this) and grow. Unlike Narcissus, we should try to be critical in our self-reflection.

Much more could be said about the ways blog typify our self-obsessed age, but I’ll leave that to Goo-Goo. I hope Sweeney Todd is excellent, and that you’re getting enough sleep. I know I’m not.

Camembert.

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