It’s funny, this blogging thing. It seems so spontaneous and throw-away. Many of us just dash things off when we get inspired or pissed off. I mean, who visits the archives anyway?
What is so funny about this attitude we have is that it is wrong. Thanks to Google-like entities and way-back-machine-type entities, each spontaneous quip is immortalized for all eternity. We who start our careers in the blogsphere and end up in politics and business are going to have our words read back to us at opportune times in the future.
I’m OK with that, myself. Just for fun, let’s say that I’m running for President of the United States. (This is, I’ll admit, rather unlikely.) I have eluded to drug use and sexual behavior. I have uttered profanity-ridden diatribes against politicians, writers and bloggers. I am mean sometimes, intolerant sometimes and plain ol’ wrong sometimes. All of it squirreled away on hard drives scattered throughout the globe, well beyond my means to destroy. These words would be used, in or out of context, to make me look like a looney. They have me on the record saying taxes are good, Bush is a complete moron, Republicans are hypocrites, all drugs should be legal, speed limits are too low, religion is evil, etc. ad infinitum.
But, provided I get a chance to address these issues if brought up, I have no problem with being on the record. There are really three things you can say when presented with your own words:
1. I was right and I believe that now.
2. I was wrong and I believe something else now.
3. I was right but I believe something else now.
None of these are hard to swallow. Present day coward politicians have a problem with #2 and I don’t get it. It is a sign of intelligence if you change your mind based on new information. Yes, I agree, you can’t blow with the wind but you can and should re-evaluate decisions. #2 means having to say you are sorry sometimes, as well. That’s not hard. I think people that can admit when they are wrong, say they are sorry and change their beliefs and behaviors are the very best kind of people. Nothing flips the bozo bit faster than someone who is more interested in winning than being right.
I’ll stand by my words from now until the end of time. There may be times I change my mind and disagree with my former self. There may be times I have to say I am sorry. I can handle that. I do very much enjoy the spontaneous nature of the blogsphere and it will suffer if we all get overly focused on the permanence of what we say.
Although, to be truthful, 99.9% of it will be pretty much gone like it never existed in fairly short time scales. Still, I suspect the presidential candidates for the 2032 election will have some Internet skeletons in their closet.