I said something in the log this past week about "reading too many blogs," and maybe there's something to that, but probably not what I think it is.

Blogging, like other human activities, is inevitably subject to the provisions of Sturgeon's Law. But that still leaves about ten percent — call it fifty thousand blogs out of half a million — that are worth reading. Obviously, I'm not reading 50,000 blogs or any substantial fraction thereof; my list of Frequently Consulted Blogs, which is not necessarily reflected on the Links list, contains a total of 41 entries, about as large a list as I can hope to maintain. (In some weird example of reciprocal processing, the average number of persons who arrive each day at this site through the front page, instead of through a subsection by means of linkage or search-engine results, is right at 41, about one-sixth of total traffic.)

Who are these forty-one bloggers? I'd hesitate to call them a representative sample of blogdom, but they do seem to run the gamut. Most of them are younger than I am, but then most people in general are younger than I am. And most of them seem to evoke Tom Lehrer's comment that "It's people like this who make you realize how little you've accomplished." (Lehrer, then thirty-seven, continued with this sobering thought: "When Mozart was my age, he had been dead for two years.") Some of them I can outwrite, perhaps; I doubt seriously I can outthink any of them. Well, maybe one or two, if I'm having a good day, and how often does that happen?

I hasten to point out that I'm not seeking to bask in the reflected glory of this group of bloggers, some of whom have reputations (at least within blogdom) that border on the colossal. My choice of readings surely says something about me, but it's not the sort of something that converts easily into a value judgment. There's certainly no reason to think that more than one or two of them ever read anything over here. And I'm not so desperate for visitors that I would resort to trying to cadge linkage from the blogeoisie: should someone find an item of interest here, he will say so; if he links it, they will come; and that's that.

There are times, however, that I must remind myself that I can watch all the World Series replays I want, whenever I want, and it still won't qualify me to be so much as a pinch-hitter in the Sally League. The Big Boys of the Blogosphere (despite the name, a substantial number of the Boys are actually Girls) don't have a closed clubhouse, but you've got to have the right stuff to be able to play. As of yet, I don't. Maybe I'm better off in my current position of Smartass Without Portfolio, and I shouldn't aspire to such heady heights. (I am subject to dizziness, after all.) Still, when all this comes to a halt, along with such mundane processes as breathing, I'd like to be able to tell myself that somebody thought it was worthwhile.

The Vent

#289
14 April 2002

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