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Ranting and Raving

September 6, 2018

I started this blog on the instructions advice of my friend Lindy. Lindy is one of the people who have known me longest: we were in primary school together. Therefore she knows my indolent and disorganised character all too well. She is full of activity, volunteering, being fit, writing and performing. She is all of three months younger than me and makes me feel very much older.

Lindy had encouraged me to enter a writing competition for a site that was seeking new volumes of essays. I managed to get shortlisted (1) which persuaded Lindy that the essay was my forte. Start a blog, Michael! Write frequently Michael!

I nodded. So here we are. There follows a brief bit of special pleading about why I’m not doing this more often.

Much of my web output at the moment is on a site called QUORA which is a general purpose Question-and-Answer site where I find time to spread my enlightenment and wisdom on many subjects, contemporary and historical, literary and political, philosophical and comic-book related.

It astounds me how much I know sometimes.

I was naturally pleased when one of my friends at my Wednesday night RPG (2) group said he had found me answering a question he was interested in managed to absorb several hours he won’t have back again diving into my content. I am now one of their ‘top writers’ (it says here) and if that impresses you, then you are the first of my acquaintance to be so moved.

I get to Quora about an hour into my morning ramble around the internet, sometime before I go for my daily walk and shop. It can then take up several hours of my day. I can answer interesting questions or stupid questions. I can argue with people who are Wrong On The Internet to my heart’s content and they can reply and tell me how I’m wrong. For a cranky old gentleman it’s a god-send though possibly not good for my blood pressure overall.

You too could put the world to rights. God knows, there’s a lot of it needs a proper seeing to.

And if you are feeling less cranky than I usually do you could help the kids with their homework. You can generally tell when they have cut and pasted their essay topics into Quora. If I actually find it to be a good question then I answer it anyway. What puzzles me are the people who would get a perfectly good answer if they just pasted the same question into Google.

I do get a little paranoid about the social media side of it. There are a lot of questions that are intended to stir things up rather than gather information. The Russian government (or posters indistinguishable from Russian paid trolls) seems to be very active whenever the slightest criticism of them: I expect them to be out in force over the naming of the two Novichok poisoners.

And there are a lot of questions that seem to have been written by badly programmed software. My leading theory is that it’s the equivalent of the agony column messages that in the last century were used to pass code alerts to secret agents.

Anyway that is my current excuse for why there is not more material in my blog.

(1) Note to self: Pad this blog with the stuff you wrote for the competition.
(2) that’s role-playing games not Rocket Propelled Grenades

From → Excuses, Rants

  1. I occasionally dabble in StackExchange, but there are already plenty of people answering most of the questions I know something about. And of course it’s a huge time sink that I could be using to write role-playing stuff.

    • I do not always allow the fact that other people have already given perfectly adequate answers to stop me from sticking my oar in. Vanity, I suppose.

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