Drowning in a sea of surety

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I think that we should designate one day per week to be Humility Day. Or perhaps Day of Doubt or Insecurity Day.

Each weblog we visit, the owner–myself included–pontificates on all the wrongs and evils of the day. Expressing opinions is a good thing, but lately it seems that even the most thoughtful weblog writers are screaming their words out, pages covered with the spit of their emotional outbursts, saturated with surety.

Not just in politics: I’m finding the same level of surety in technology and tool usage, even which operating system we use. It’s as if none of us can tolerate even the slightest possibility of doubt in our choices. We can’t just talk about how nice our TiBooks are–we have to extol their virtues, defend passionately the interface, angrily denounce the competition.

And don’t even get me started on syndication formats or weblogging tools.

More than the absolutes, I find myself getting burned out by all the good people who are writing for change, as if they’re desperate for change now. Now! Now now now now now! People I admire and agree with, or not, but after a while it’s exhausting reading about one evil after another–bang bang bang–like a machine gun of outrage and despair. And anger.

It sells, too. We once talked about what would it take to get more women in the top of the buzz sheets, and now we know: sex and anger. Technorati 100 is dominated by the Suicide Girls, and many of the top women, such as Michele at A Small Victory, well, they’re angry all the time. Once upon a time Michele didn’t seem so angry but I’ve been reading her these last few weeks and she’s gone after one person or another–and her rank rises with each volley of words.

Anger and sex. Anger, sex, and absolutes. Just listen to the opinions, right and left. If we lined up all the online pundits, end to end, their perceived influence would stand ten times as tall as the actuality. Not only that, but their crap would provide enough ethanol to light the planet.

It’s not that people have opinions about the US President or the election or the war in Iraq–it’s just that they’re so damn sure they’re right. We’ve been talking about how polarized the upcoming election in the States is but on a good day nowadays, I’ll take polarized over what we’ve got. Everyone is so damn angry.

Look. It made me angry.

If we could have just one day per week when we all talked softly and quietly; when we listened to others views, and actually listened, not filtered; where we didn’t shoot from the hip, bringing out the verbal axes at first word; maybe where we even acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers–I can’t help thinking that we’d all be richer for the experience.

I’m not talking about expressions of brotherly love and joy-joy talk from feel good brothers and sisters; I’m also not saying we need to agree– that’s not the point. Trying to pretend we’re all one big loving family would be just as hollow, and fake, as implying that those who disagree with us are evil.

What I’m saying is: no bad guys; no heros; no absolutes. Can’t we set aside one day per week when we’re not a hundred percent right?

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