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Pondering the South African Memesphere – Looking for the Good in Everything

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Hello World, this is my blog, beware!

January 23rd, 2007 · Posted by Hugo · No Comments

When writing, you ought to have some idea who you are writing for – keeping your audience in mind generally results in “better” writing. I suspect some bloggers just write the way they want to, and then naturally collect the audience that finds their blog interesting, making this mostly a moot point? In my case my writing is mostly targeted at my friends. That’s really not a unique case, I bet. What makes writing for your friends challenging, is having very diverse friends.

I live in a very interesting multi-cultural country (South Africa). One of the aspects of this that I sometimes find intriguing, is a somewhat odd dissonance between “very conservative” South Africans, and a rather liberal constitution. For example, we became the fifth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. Now on the other side of the spectrum, I often witness various forms of bigotry, including racism (of course) and homophobia. The bigotry that most bothers me, is that inspired by religion, specifically Christianity. (Please, it is not my intention to equate “conservative” with “bigoted”, I hope using quotation marks makes that clear enough.)

I was raised a Christian. With that, came the idea that “being a good person” is very much the same thing as “being a Christian”. Only rather recently (the last couple of years?) have I noticed or realised exactly how bad an influence “Christianity” can be, and too often is. It always reminds me of Mahatma Gandhi saying: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

I still am a Christian, and consider myself to have embarked on the lifelong journey to find out what exactly that means to me (and what it doesn’t mean). There is, however, so much dissent in the ranks of “Christians”, that there are times I feel I want to adopt a different label, in order to differentiate myself from that which I am not. I have a better idea of what I do not believe, than what I do, which is why I find the idea of a “twyfelbelydenis” (doubt creed? – a declaration of doubts) rather intriguing (compared to the “geloofsbelydenis” – the Apostle’s creed – a declaration of “beliefs” that many denominations use). This thought was mentioned by the “lead pastor” of “my church”. Anyway, I should get back to the original purpose of this post…

My intended audience includes atheists and theists (e.g. Christians), conservatives and liberals, go players and chess players, emacs users and vi users. This blog will probably contain a rather odd mix of subject matter, ranging from general things happening in my life, to theology, economics, and technology. This makes it rather hard to “target” my writing correctly. Some might advocate having multiple blogs, with each blog more targetted. I don’t want to do that. In fact, what I want to do is write my own website software, that would, amongst other wonderful things, make it much simpler to target multiple and diverse audiences, allowing the reader to more easily read only the things that are of interest to him or her. Until that time, however, my readers will have to put up with this interesting mix.

Yup, this post is too long, and I can’t think of a good descriptive title for it, but I don’t think that matters too much. I am bound to revisit everything stated here anyway.

To finish off, I found an interesting link about writing for your audience in the context of writing some academic paper, from the first 10 links of a Google search for “audience”. There, now this post is related to my thesis, and I can justify spending time on it. <grin> Yes, I’m busy finishing my studies, so if you see too many updates on my blog, please discourage me. Thanks!

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