Sunday, May 20, 2007

Asked and answered IV

The interview meme1 lives again.

Recently, yet another regular visitor here, Jimmy Sligh of The New York Minute (one of those many blogs out there that deserves many more readers than it has), surprised and flattered me by volunteering to be interviewed and then posting his responses over at his place. Fortunately for me, I had just attended my college's commencement and saw some things there that, to my mind, would be the sorts of things that Jimmy would turn into a blog post; and, well, voilà. I hope you'll go there--and that you've allowed yourself some time to read around a bit. Jim's writing is the real deal.

My particular thread of this blogospheric genome and some further yammering are below the fold.

1Said meme got its start when I volunteered to be interviewed by Randall Sherman of Musings from the Hinterland; here is the result of that. As the meme asks, I asked for volunteers to be interviewed, thinking (I thought, realistically), no one is going to ask me to interview them. I was mistaken--many times over, and happily so.

If this meme appeals to any of you, just know that I'm still looking for volunteers. You let me know in comments or via e-mail that you're interested, and I'll send you five questions and the request that you ask for volunteers as well. For me, at least, this is more interesting than the standard meme because the participants select themselves--it actually comes closer to modeling, I think, what Richard Dawkins had in mind when he coined the term. Without meaning to slight anyone who's chosen not to volunteer, I'll just say that I've been most pleased with the people who have volunteered and the quality of their responses. This is one memetic expression that merits preservation.

4 comments:

Winston said...

Jimmy's answers to your questions were very good, especially #5, which sounded as if I wrote it.

He had comments closed, but perhaps he will see this note that I have been there and added him to my list of Places2Go. It appears he has some stuff to say on occasion.

John B. said...

Winston,
He does indeed. I'm glad you linked to him. I don't know the extent to which he desires an audience, but he certainly deserves one.

Jim Sligh said...

Winston,

Thanks very much for stopping by, and for linking; I didn't realized comments were closed (a posting accident).

Sorry to eavesdrop. John, I've been thinking quite a bit about readership lately, with the hiatus and all; there may be a(nother) post about it coming. Audience aside, for those of us casting Whitman's filament after filament into the void, it's always a treat to have thoughtful readers, and feedback.

I enjoyed today's Stretch of River, and the odd circumlocutions of the official rhetoric. I haven't read Slotkin yet, though the name rang a bell and the Amazon link confirmed it. It might be for the best; the first pull sentence from THE FATAL ENVIRONMENT is close enough to the angle I took on the post you linked to that I might have been unable to write it under Slotkin's shadow.

Sometimes citation is better left unconscious, or waiting in the wings.

John B. said...

Jim,
No worries about the eavesdropping. I've always thought it strange that people publish blogs and then get upset that they sometimes get in trouble because of something they've written, as though they regard blogs like diaries. If I don't want someone to read something, it sure won't get written here . . . especially since, in the past month, this humble blog's readership has dramatically increased, for some reason.

I know what you mean about the Anxiety of Influence. You reach a point where you have an idea so good you just don't want to know if someone has had it before you. Of course, I'm pretty comfortable with the fact that my ideas are rarely worth being jealous of; and in any case, grad school kinda trains one to look for coat-tails to hang on to so as to legitimize one's thinking. That, of course, is more of a problem with education than it is with ideas.