An interesting exchange broke out on my recent, typically arcane and impenetrable post, Choices. I replied with something close to this which I thought a damn sight better than the original post. It is more personal and direct:
“The thing is, we each have preferences and prejudices.
I have a very few good friends. They exist in little circles. I have an unconscious but ruthless tendency to prune and move on, retaining a very few over time. I reckon to make 2-3 long term friends per decade, though once you are in, assuming it is mutual, you are in for life.
I love small groups, of say 2 to 6. I hate parties but enjoy crowds.
I really struggle when I am thrust into any group where circle A is mixed with circle B because I behave differently with each and the average does not work. I have found myself at dinner parties experiencing the agony of being sympathetic with and interested in the person on my right, while being bawdy and foul mouthed with the person on my left.
The way I behave in this blog I find bizarre. It is usually thoughtful and fairly serious even if often flawed and wrong headed. In person, while I can be like that, my default, face to face with friends, or 1:1, say by email, is I think at best playful and likely downright facetious most of the time. You’d never guess that from my earnest outpourings here.
The discussion thread that sometimes follows these posts is my favourite bit. I suppose because it moves from being a house party (run away!) to a dinner party (stay up all night and hang the consequences!) and is a conversation, usually with a very few people.
My philosophy overall is that we live and work to create the opportunity and surplus to play and enjoy, otherwise what’s the bloody point!
As to Kindles and so on [the focus of the debate in the original post, where bar a few corrections and tweaks, this appeared as a comment]:
When I travel it is books on the Kindle and news and magazines on the iPad. To add a little twist, I consume autobiography as audio, which brings it alive, and business and factual books on paper, so I can scribble on, highlight and rapidly relocate the key parts in a way that the laughable and toy-like attempts at offering the same on the Kindle don’t even begin to replicate (“Pah!”, indeed!).
I generally like the random and spontaneous. I get a thrill from observing and adding to the incredible associations and diversions that happen in intense conversations, especially in pubs. I enjoy consuming content on the web because it allows for rapid connections of ideas. I still do, but I realised that I had stopped thinking about things, so I choose at times to constrain the connectedness a little to ensure I read long pieces fully and think about them. As a result, when I am at home I restarted reading news and magazines on paper a while ago.
My preferences drive my choices. My mother tells me I am complicated. I suspect that to be code for, “A pain in the arse”.
As I said above, I enjoy this bit of blogging the most.”
I did make one or two tweaks to that but it is pretty much the same as the original.
With thanks to @fridayfood and Mary, for joining in and for making me think.