Saturday, June 19, 2010

About blogging in the 19th century

The following is a quote from Soren Kierkegaard - 'the great Dane'.  It written in 1846.   It's wise and strangely prescient about the problem of too much hasty opinion when the means of communication are swift:

'Such a thoughtful one does not willingly pass judgment on many things, and just this helps him to will only one thing.  He thinks it is not altogether an advantage to live in a populous city where because of the swiftness of the means of communication almost everyone can easily have a hasty and superficial judgment about everything possible.  On the contrary, he looks upon this easiness as a temptation and a snare and he learns earnestness in order as an individual to be concerned about his eternal responsibility.

'"Even a fool might be a wise man if he could keep silent, " says the proverb, And this is so, not merely because then he would not betray his foolishness, but also because this self-control would hep him to become conscious of himself as an individual, and would prevent him from adopting the crowd's opinion.  Or if he had an opinion of his own, it would prevent him from hastening to get the crowd to adopt it. '

From: Soren Kierkegaard "Purity of Heart is to will one thing" (1846) translated by Douglas V. Steere;  Harper 1938.

Thank you to my friend Tim Clark for having this excellent book on the kitchen table and finding this quote.