I now sit in the pleasant position of pretty much only blogging when people ask me to write about things. I have a friend here in Aberdeen called Wilson who is a pastor from Singapore. He is doing his PhD on Slavoj Zizek and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, because everyone here seems happy to spend years throwing fascinating and apparently clashing ideas together. Wilson asked me and two other guys to share some of the blogs that we read regularly.
I might take this as an opportunity to do three things. I subscribe to hundreds of blogs and journals and have a very efficient way of filtering the noise out to find the good stuff. So out of those sources, I am going to share ten blogs I think everyone can benefit from reading. But over the next few days I’l also briefly outline my philosophy of data, if I can refer to my ignorant hunch about all the news on offer to us by such a glorified title. I am also going to write tomorrow about why I think it is pastorally important that we are thoughtful about the way blogs are shaping Christian discourse.
But before that, some blogs (or websites more generally) I think everyone could enjoy:
- Bogwitch: The largest folder by far in my feedly account is friends. I could link to any of them (many of them are linked on the right hand side of the blog’s homepage), but as a representative, I link to this one. Laura, who writes this blog, is my internet-friend. She consistently throws up stuff that is delightful. Especially stuff about inter-species friendship, naturally occurring crystals and webcomics. I think you’ll like it.
- Everyday I’m Pastorin’: This is one for my readers in Christian ministry. Animated gifs posted by someone in the American mainline Protestant church, beautifully detailing the absurd and inane work that pastoring sometimes involves.
- Twitter: The Comic: I could easily make a list of 100 Twitter people you should follow, but maybe this will suffice. The genius behind this blog takes some of the funniest tweets and depicts them graphically. Pure gold. Everytime.
- Space Avalanche: Even more comic genius here, from a Dublin-born artist. The punchlines sometimes arrive deliciously late. It is rarely updated, but worth keeping track of.
- Hark! A Vagrant!: I presume you are familiar with this blog. If you are not, welcome to the 3-panel historical cartoons you have been waiting for. Beautiful.
- Vinoth Ramachandra: Vinoth works for IFES in Sri Lanka. He is an atomic physicist and one of the great Christian ethicists of our age. He writes things for free and publishes them on this innocuous little website every few weeks. He is a wise and compassionate man, who isn’t afraid to say hard things. It is a true promise to declare that if you tune into the quiet voices of practitioners like Vinoth, you will be better off than paying heed to the constant flamewars that happen in the fancier parts of the internet.
- Kottke: Old skool lovers of blogs will of course know about Jason Kottke’s daily dedication to excellence. But the chap who asked me to write this might not be aware that there is a full-time blogger in New York “curating” the best of the internet for you.
- The Medium and the Message: Adam Curtis is an acclaimed BBC documentary film maker. Every few months he spews the results of his research on this blog, which means he throws together an analysis made of clear thinking and grainy archival footage that makes sense of a single stream out of the gulf of rolling news data we are immersed in.
- The Soccer sub-reddit: Reddit is obviously a mixed-bag, a sort of synecdoche for the entire Internet. It is gloriously rambunctiously libertarian in its rhetoric and could be purely draconian in practice. It is home to glee-inducing creativity and heart-sinking depravity. I limit myself to a pretty tight leash in those parts of the interweb and the soccer thread is my favourite. Quirky gifs and insanely passionate disputes about silly football theories means that it never fails to deliver. A royal waste of time, to mis-use a Marva Dawn phrase.
- The Last Psychiatrist: Finally, the greatest blog on the internet. It is headed up with a quote from Wittgenstein: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”. For long periods of time, the Last Psychiatrist will be silent. Then all of a sudden s/he will break out in into a torrent of verbosity. The rambling, digressing, meandering posts sometimes read as long as a novella and they rarely hold together coherently. Sometimes they exhibit a wanton disregard for all that is decent in this world so that you fear they bear a kind of philosophical virus that will infect the reader with a Clockwork Orange style nihilism. But when the author hits the target, s/he destroys it. S/he is a prophet of culture. If I could get everyone to read it, I would. So go subscribe.
What did I miss?
Your Correspondent, Agrees that the internet is the most important single development in the history of human communication since the invention of call waiting.