There's Already More Than We Can Read - So Duh! Why are you Writing?

Posted by Rahul Sethi on 6:56 PM

By conservative estimates, the New York Public Library alone has over 5 Crore Books!

On an average, a person probably reads about 5,000 books in his lifetime.

So why are we incessantly creating more content every day. Often - in various fields, mankind has gone to the depths of knowledge and grappled with some of the most important questions and yet, often; most of us love to air our opinions on everything under the sun - speaking without listening and observing. Speaking for recognition, speaking to just oil the mental machinery, speaking almost always - just for the heck of it! (possibly this piece of writing comes in the same category - it does, actually)

Maybe speaking and being heard is a desired necessity. Something that sparks off a sense of importance, a sense of instant immortality - a chance to be remembered. So you have about one blog or more being born every half second!

The result is content that is churned out - most of which bases itself on pop culture crap or conventional wisdom. While a lot of the content that blogs churn out is interesting, useful - very little of this content actually has lasting value.

So should we be blogging? Or should we trying to gather more information and contemplating more than the average human being - listening more, observing more - and 'doing' (observing and listening is also 'doing' - but people conventionally think of the 2 as extremely passive) ? Should we be reading few more of those 5 crore books in the New York Library!?

Wavering a bit - just looking at the sheer numbers is humbling - 5 crore books in one library = millions of hours of contemplation - much more than we can imagine. With the lower barriers to entry and the blog - as a - book phenomenon; i seriously sometimes question the value in what most of us consume. The social media/ web 2.0/ blogging revolution has most certainly made us poorer readers (note, i am completely aware that we read faster and that we read more) and we often cannot determine the depths of value in pieces of work.

I guess blogging has it's place in the mass media spectrum - and it satisfies the inherent need that everyone has. With respect to value, i think people will place more value in the future (near future) on ability to collate and piece together information and make sense of it - in the larger perspective.

Blogging i think for all at some base level is a means of expression and more. So a few got on board. But what about the others who couldn't do so on a consistent basis. Well for them, the stuff they shared is now being compiled as a feed and being made into a life blog. Sharing options are easier - feeds are easier to access. So one part of blogging is moving towards just a compilation of expression.

While this is great, it still probably does not hit the sweet spot of the lowest common denominator. So lo and behold - before you know it - we'll probably have an aggregator that makes a big deal out of every click we make out fingers perform on that mouse (which is soon to be obsolete btw). The result will be a ton of senseless information and too many inflated egos trying to make a point with every click.

Have we gone any further?

I think i'll read one of those books now. Or maybe sit still, and think. I rarely do that these days.


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