Tuesday, May 27, 2008

All Good Things Must Be Remembered

I dedicate this post to my blogging buddy Little Cicero. In three days his blog will expire (according to his statement, not mine).

LC, as I call him, has been a worthy blog friend for several years now. I still remember his first comment on my blog. I remember laughing at it. After a couple more similar comments I began to think I would never be rid of this annoying, highschool boy. Perhaps because I am too nice a person, perhaps because I attempt to see the good points in everyone -- I don't know -- I linked to LC's blog. I kept up with his writings and commented. I never directly said anything insulting. Over time I began to realize that my first impression of LC's comment missed the story by a lot. Yes, he is young. Yes, he has no problems with self confidence. However, he is also a very thoughtful young man with a pretty good head on his shoulders. LC is always willing to listen to the opinions of others. But he doesn't change his mind with every comment from a passer-by. He holds to his convictions. He argues in favor of them. He modifies them at times. He is a worthy writer. He puts his heart into his writings whether they are correct or not.

I am sorry to see him go. Very sorry. I know, he's still going to be around reading and lurking. But I will miss his writings on his own blog. I will miss his philosophy rants even though I generally disagree with them. I will miss his jokes. I will miss the long comment arguments he managed to spark from time to time. I have known few people as thoughtful and introspective as LC. I appreciate his sensitivity to his readers even when they are morons. I predict one day he will be someone great. Maybe not well known -- in anything other than a George Bailey sort of way -- but he will definitely give back to his community and world.

Here's to you my fine friend. *raises glass* Only you can't have any, you're not old enough to drink.


little-cicero said...

An honest eulogy from an honest blogger (probably the most honest I've found). Part of the reason my blog is closing to the public is that I am embarrassed by most of what is written on it, and would rather not have to consider prior opinions every time I contradict them. It's easier to put them in the trash bin of my intellectual development than to think that others still hold me accountable for them. The fact is, I was wrong in most of those posts, and I'm just thankful that no one took anything I said as gospel. In other words, I've always had a pretty intelligent readership- starting with you. I've always had a readership that was tolerant of my annoying idiosyncracies (which oddly enough appeared perhaps more in writing than in real life). Best of all, I think y'all were extraordinarily capable of appreciating both my development and the merits of my argument at once, which is more than I can say for a lot of people who teach for a living.

I'm half tempted to keep the blog up and post on what I'm really thinking these days, but there's too much commitment to ideas for me in this forum. Socrates was right about writing, and I would expand that if you have to write it in order to remember it, it's probably not worth remembering. What do you think about the merits of written word in recording intellectual development? (that is, as opposed to recording ideas)

Thank You for the generous tribute, and for being a first-rate blogging-buddy.

little-cicero said...

(I say "honest" in reference to your first impressions- I find it amusing that you have the same first-impression criticisms of me that most people do in real life; myself included. On second thought- all the complements are also RIGHT ON!:)

Esther said...

Since you found me on the blogosphere you might say you have good judgment in friends. ;oD

To tell you the truth, there was a time when I would have agreed with almost everything you have written over the past few years. It was when I was younger. Socrates was correct when he said that young people have trouble understanding philosophy due to lack of experience. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Growing and changing ideas is part of life for people who mature at a normal rate (which seems to be you).

A fresh start might be fun someday. Besides, school and blogging is a tough mix.

I enjoy recording my intellectual development. I find it helps me remember where I have been. That way if I change my mind I can point it out to others that I once thought one way, now I am disagreeing with that. Being wrong is part of living. If I write my thoughts then I have a map of my intellectual development. Sometimes I forget why I decided to agree with a certain opinion. It helps to go back over past writings and remember what led to my current beliefs. Reworking my thoughts can help me objectively evaluate my current opinions too.

little-cicero said...

You might be thinking of what Aristotle said about youths and politics. Socrates certainly had no problem with youths and philosophy- because of our lack of corruption by common sense and dogma, and perhaps also the elasticity of our minds, we are in prime condition for philosophy. Politics, however, if we consider it as a completely separate art from philosophy (which I would argue very strongly to be wrong) would be the art of finding "practical" means to enstating moral judgements as laws, and therefore politics would require experience. As I said, he's wrong here. You can't force people to attain moral habits without showing them that those habits are best for them to attain. Aristotle seems afraid to admit that virtue of thought (attained by educations) must be prior to virtue of character (habitual virtue). I complete the argument thus: the art of educating is the same as the art of philosophy (see: allegory of the cave :)

Thanks for your kind words- I am probably being as snotty as the day we (blogishly) met by arguing at this time and place- consider it a trip down memory lane! I may make a fresh start at some point, now that I've learned that this medium is useless for lecturing and defending a thesis essay. If I were to do it over again, every post would consist of a thesis question, and I would argue strictly in the comment threads with my readers (I think they call it a "forum" in the biz). I would also avoid posts that discussed specific philosophical texts- that is best done in college, and it alienates too many readers. I know how these readers feel, as in one of the more recent posts, Sam Rocha insisted that I had to "read Aristotle" before discussing akrasia any further than me. Sam is sort of my reverse role-model. As I advance my academic education, I always keep in the back of my head as I carry on discussions with those behind me "don't be like that guy," You are quite the opposite- you have read more Aristotle than I, yet you never make it seem as if I'm behind you.

You know exactly how seriously to take this medium, and I wish I'd learned from you earlier on that blogging should be affected by our lives, not so much the other way around.

Tracy said...

LC - don't worry about your contradictions...it's all part of having an easily searchable history...after all...I claimed publicly that McCain's campaign was finished months ago.

Hey Esther, I wrote him a beat poem in the comments of his coda.

Esther said...

Tracy: I loved the poem. Remind me to hire you to write my 50th anniversary renewal of wedding vows service in, oh, almost 50 years. ;oP

LC: I don't mind arguing with you a little. Besides, I don't take this stuff personally. I just enjoy myself. It's good to have friends who are willing to discuss stuff. Most people are boring. I know, I listen to their conversations when I am grocery shopping.

Yes, I meant Aristotle. No, I don't feel the need to hold my learning over anyone's head. You can learn the same stuff I know. So, whatever. Besides, I spent 6 years as a debater. I've had enough knowledge held over my head to get sick of ungraceful people. The real trick to good debating is this (quoting an old friend of mine): "You have to know what you don't know."

tully said...

This is LC,
I've decided on a whim to change my blogging name to tully- the name by which I'll return should I ever continue blogging. I feel that I've outgrown the "little" part of the name which should be reserved for high-school students or younger. Cicero's middle name was "Tullius" so he was known personally as "Tully" hence the name change.