Ming the Mechanic:
Blogging as Bohmian Dialogue

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 Blogging as Bohmian Dialogue2004-05-24 05:13
picture by Flemming Funch

Is blogging Dialogue? Well, in many ways the medium succeeds better in creating such a space of dialogue than any other online communication method I can think of.

I've tried to create dialogue in chat rooms and mailing lists in the past. Trying to make sure people in advance had read something like Dialogue - a Proposal or Bohm's book "On Dialogue". But each time it tended to degenerate into normal discussion and arguments and smalltalk, despite that most members tried to make it Dialogue.

In one's own blog, one isn't directly answering anybody, isn't being held to any set topic. One might start off with what somebody else said, but one isn't arguing directly with them. It is one's own space, and one usually feels free to say what one wants to say. Most people don't feel a need for being defensive, or for resorting to the various covert verbal combat techniques we often use in direct conversations. We might even feel safe enough to be vulnerable and question and examine our own assumptions. Plus we can get away with examining the assumptions of others without it being a confrontation.

Dialoguing is an almost paradoxical combination of a meta perspective and vulnerable personal communication. One talks about something in the middle of the circle, examining it, inquiring into it, questioning it, trying to say what it is, from a bit at a distance. But one is also saying what one feels and thinks, as authentically as possible, without trying to censor it or making it be acceptable or slick.

Same when blogging works well. One is talking about something, trying to understand it better. And the most enjoyable postings are often when somebody opens up, and shares their personal process.

And blogging becomes a group activity when multiple people are talking about the same general subject, even if it is vague what exactly it is. When we're referring to and commenting on and expanding each other's words. And it usually happens in a remarkably constructive and peaceful manner. Most people don't argue in their postings, they just say what they see and what they think.

People who teach or promote dialogue are often posed the question of what one should do if the other people aren't doing it. I.e. if one is trying to create a space of dialogue in a certain group, but the other members are just arguing and posturing the same old way. The wise answer is usually that one should just do it oneself. A one-person dialogue is a good start, and others might be inspired to join. One might start all by oneself, getting centered, speaking authentically, examining what is there to examine, inquiring in an open manner, avoiding defending your own ego. And that is meaningful and productive, even if everybody doesn't join right away.

Likewise, a blog might just be one voice at first. But if it is real, one tends to attract others who either are inquiring into the same general areas, or who respond to the authenticity of one's words.

So, maybe, just maybe, that has a bigger effect than we notice. More people might become inspired to inquire and share and say their truth. It might even become the "norm", and we might become so good at recognizing it that it grates in our eyes and ears when we notice somebody who isn't being real. And it might just be so obvious that things work better if we show up as fully as we can, if we inquire into how to make things better, without undue attachment to the outcomes, and we speak our truth, and share where we can.

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24 May 2004 @ 05:21 by jstarrs : What if...
...'dialogue' is inappropriate to net communication?
Do we need to accept another form of communication, net-wise?  

24 May 2004 @ 05:34 by celestial : Gratitude
I AM eternally grateful that you have provided this site. I know it must have ongoing expenses and I AM willing to offer any means to forward the cause ov this work.  

24 May 2004 @ 05:56 by ming : Net Communication
I have from time to time realized that, yeah, of course the net isn't going to do everything. Maybe community doesn't really form there. Just a storage place for information, and real community forms face to face. And dialogue, yes, seemed very much like it wasn't really going to happen online. And, yes, maybe some of us were a bit too optimistic about what would happen when we all connect online. But sometimes surprising things happen, and community does form, and dialogue does happen. And sometimes new tools are invented that make it more likely. Or more channels and dimension open up, and we meet in person, chat on the phone, comment on each other's blog postings and THEN suddenly notice that something added up to community or dialogue or useful business relations. It is not one thing or another. The net or the real world. It is mainly us people, and the ways we manage to connect, despite the inadequacies of our tools.  

24 May 2004 @ 10:12 by ed3006 @ : Just a question
Where might one get the tools/software to start his or her own blog?  

24 May 2004 @ 10:38 by ming : Blog
Well, this particularly software is one option. It is available to members of the New Civilization Network at {link:http://www.newciv.org|www.newciv.org}. It runs on a server, so there's nothing to download. Or you can go to {link:http://www.blogger.com|www.blogger.com} and use the widely used Blogger program, also server based.  

24 May 2004 @ 10:57 by swanny : Degrees of Communication
I suspect that there are different levels or
degrees of communiction....
It is partically based perhaps on
ideas of proximity.....
Prozimity is an interesting notion.
or is it all fair game....
then why the push for privacy laws.....
Oh sorry changing the subject....


27 May 2004 @ 18:45 by Quirkeboy @ : Strange..
I agree totally with your conclusion.. people need to be more open.. not just on the net but in everyday life!! We need to be ourselves and feel free and unjudged by others.. and whats strange is.. especially recently..
Ive surrounded myself with such close, open minded friends.. I can be myself.. and speak my mind without concern of what they will think.. BUT.. it has become so natural for so long.. that NOW when I find myself in a situation where I know someone is a fake.. and I know Im being judged.. I CANT even fake it anymore and play along.. I get claustrophobic and need to escape.. I just smile uncomfortably and find the nearest exit.
Maybe my instinctive defense systems have been reactivated.. I mean.. isnt insincerity a subtler form of deception? And wouldnt neanderthal man be especially sensitive to this insincerity.. because deception could be life or death?? Do you honestly think neanderthal man COULD fake an emotion? Nope!
This could be why I have the fight or flight reaction to yuppies ..  

20 Dec 2008 @ 17:25 by don factor @ : your blog on Bohmian dialogue
If you have ever participated in a live face-to-face dialogue you will discover that the same kind of behavior you describe here happens there too. But that is really, in my experience. part of the process. Dialogue is not about creating a separate separate from everyday intercourse but rather it has a kind of approach that is aimed at keeping the dialogue going in order as much as anything, to see what happens. We have had an on-line bohm dialogue group that has been going for more than ten years now and its still going strong. It can work if you let go of your own preconsceptions and expectations. But it ain't easy. Anywyay many thanks for the above.  

Other stories in
2014-09-27 00:04: You must be an expert by now
2014-09-26 15:15: Brevity
2011-11-06 21:33: Counting what counts
2011-01-23 13:46: Authenticity
2010-08-23 01:31: Semantic Pauses
2010-06-27 02:28: Doubt
2009-10-25 17:04: Opinions, perceptions and intuition
2009-10-15 08:32: Abstraction
2008-06-29 16:47: Complicated and Complex
2008-02-20 16:39: The universe as a virtual reality

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