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My Internet bubble

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve done little except revise my book. All day, every day. Well, I’ve had a couple of events I’d committed to, including a keynote at the Scottish Learning Festival that I leave for tonight—I was supposed to be done with my revising by now—but basically I’ve been head-down in my book.

Which means I haven’t had time to read other people’s blogs.

The blogosphere and its local eddies are often thought of as bubbles, little hermetic worlds unaware that there’s a bigger world with bigger ideas beyond them. But not reading blogs now feels to me like being in a bubble. I’m cut off. I don’t know what’s going on, what people are talking about, who’s on a high, who’s on a roll, who’s just keeping on.

The truth is that we humans always live in bubbles. While our ideas and ideals may strive for the universal, we are embodied locally. So, living in a bubble isn’t an objection; it is our condition. The question is whether we seek to expand our ideas and—more important—our sympathy or we think our local bubble is the one that’s figured it all out (as per Mel Brooks’ immortal caveman anthem: “Let ’em all go to Hell, except Cave Seven”). Even the best intentioned of us still live locally—damn bodies!—so we’re talking here about trying, about a dialectic, about a failed awareness. But, that failure keeps our bubbles honest.

I look forward to breaking out of my bubble of self-involvement pretty soon now. I hear it’s been a mild September. [Tags: ]

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