Monday, March 22, 2010

Welcome to The Longer Web

On every blog there is the fateful plunge called "the first post". It's time for me to take The Longer Web out of limbo and make it public. Welcome to my first post.

The Longer Web (TLW to save needless typing) is my attempt to share the parts of the net that are longer and require time to read and digest. For all the impossibly short blurbs on the web there is much that proves that people still think and consider. This is the place where I can share links to what I started to call "the longer web".

Now before you say it out loud... let me beat you to the punch. Yes... I know it's ironic to have a blog of relatively short posts with links to well written longer works. On the other hand do you want to read a novel length post before you speed off to a piece by someone much more eloquent than myself? I thought not.

On occasion I'll have a lot to say and there will be lengthier posts. And yes... that's a threat as well as a promise.

Back to the matter at hand. Why embrace the longer web? Why create TLW?

The summary is the Longer Web Manifesto but that isn't the whole story. The other part is that I'm constantly surprised by people.

It turns out that if you scratch the surface most people are deeper and more thoughtful than we tend to think. We like to think we're the smartest and everyone else is shallow by comparison. The reality is different. Your plumber probably knows more about Indian cooking than his Italian background would lead you to believe. Your dentist not only collects movie memorabilia but he's written thousands of words on the subject as he contributes to various movie websites. It's impossible to guess what a particular person is passionate about at first glance.

Literacy isn't dead. The ability to express ideas is not a lost art. Look online for a while and you'll find ample evidence of that. So let's celebrate being substantive.

Plus deep discussions are linked to increased happiness. Research has shown that "the present findings demonstrate that the happy life is social rather than solitary, and conversationally deep rather than superficial.". Want to know more? Just read the actual research paper "Eavesdropping on Happiness: Well-Being Is Related to Having Less Small Talk and More Substantive Conversations". Go on give it a read. It's not much over 1,000 words.

Is it bad the first links on TLW are to reasonably short articles?

Welcome to TLW. I hope to share choice pieces of the longer web. Just before I go here's what's coming up next.

I've decided that just posting seemingly random links isn't as interesting as being a bit more focused. So I'll be picking a topic and sharing what I've found. Some topics will last a few posts. Others will keep us busy for a while. To start... let's look at how we understand and comprehend the world around us. Let's look at our senses.

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