This is an update and extension of a previous post, when friend Perry commented about this in a group email, and I thought, what the heck. (For his post on this year's theme, go here, where he talks about Obama now re-entering the "endless war" arena with his decision to keep troops and airbases in Afghanistan.)
So, I joined Blog Action Day.
The first hashtag is the theme this year.
As a newspaper editor, I won't say that blogging, or new media in general, has replaced traditional media but, whether conducted by members of the traditional media or others, it is an important adjunct. Perry does good work on Houston City Council and Harris County issues, and it's not all "just" links to and analysis of Houston Chronicle and other media coverage, for example. It's his take on mayoral debates, etc., from his own attendance.
I've used this blog, at one place, as an adjunct to my newspaper, to get a couple of "leakers" to talk about serious problems with a school district bond issue. I've used it elsewhere to take a more hardnosed stance on some issues than I felt I could comfortably do there.
So, the voice is needed.
And, it's a voice that, even in the democratic "West," let alone elsewhere, needs to be encouraged. And, in a variety of subjects.
Politics, culture, environmental issues, philosophy, sociology all need a variety of thoughtful, articulate voices. At the same time, it needs less in the way of irrational, fear-mongering ones.
Per the theme, issues important to me include:
1. Environmentalism, including defending climate change science;
2. Secularism, defending it both against anti-First Amendment attacks from the Religious Right in the US and also defending it against the caricatures generated by New Atheism;
3. Reforming US politics, especially getting outside the two-party Republican/Democrat box;
4. Philosophy and speculative thought;
5. The arts and their need in modern society;
6. Futurism that isn't, in some way, shape or form, whether by New Ageism or salvific technologism like Ray Kurzweil, pie in the sky.
7. Being a deliberate contrarian, part of a budding Neo-Cynicism program of mine. The online world, and the world in general, needs more of this. Some modern-day Ambrose Bierce types, or similar.
What ideas matter to you? Have you blogged about them?
Do you think that, in the era of Facebook, blogging is dead? Actually, given Mark Zuckerberg's high-dollar connections to the tech-neoliberal world, blogging is more needed than ever with Facebook.