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Thread one: Defective Yeti is a humor site I read often, filled with things like this qualification test George Bush gave Harriet Miers.

Thread two: I worked on the Los Angeles Times Web site in 1995.  We developed a Custom News Agent we called “Hunter.” I remember at the time there was great wailing and teeth gnashing about how, given a “Custom News Agent,” you’d be able to read only exactly what you wanted, and you’d never find out about other useful and newsworthy items.

For example, you could read soccer stories without reading hockey stories, and certainly without reading the front page story about mudslides in Guatemala.

The future, news editors said with fear in their voice, would be filled with people who only ever heard what they wanted to hear, read what they wanted to read, learned what they’d already decided to learn.  No one would come across anything outside of their own sphere of interest.

How do these two threads tie together?  Because today, the fellow who amuses me, Mr. Defective Yeti himself, wrote a long, sharp and heart-bending article about his child being diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder.

It’s as detailed and revealing a human interest piece as I’ve read online in a while.  In addition to being personal, it was informative, and researched, and revealing.  I don’t know this guy, and yet now I also feel connected to him in a way that I never have to the local newspaper, or the local radio station.

I think we bloggers get b(l)ogged down in whether comments or trackbacks or categories or permalinks make a blog a blog.  I think it’s none of those things, and I think the defining characteristic of a blog is also the reason why people react so harshly to “fake” bloggers.

The thing about blogs, you see, is that there are people behind them, and you get to see those people, and connect with those people.  That’s something that is exceedingly rare in traditional media—it’s something that traditionally only columnists get to do, and even then, not every columnist develops the same openness that most bloggers seem to do intuitively.

It’s something companies don’t do.  Heck, it’s something even families don’t do (see my next post!)  And so, to the smart ass who runs Defective Yeti, I say, thanks for sharing, and my thoughts are with you.

 

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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