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Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Google God

About an hour ago, I wrote a Daily Mumble entry which made fun of certain segments of society. Nothing new there then. I had my usual mental list of people who might read it, and figured that they wouldn't be offended.

However, in the course of doing a bit of post-publication research, a Google Search led me to a website of which I was completely unaware of until today, a website owned by someone whom I know personally (something that only dawned on me after a few minutes of reading), someone I'd forgotten about, indeed someone whom I have a good deal of respect for - and someone who would be offended by what I'd written.

My search terms had not been specific to me or that person or anything to do with the nature of our connection - they simply contained the name of a shop.

That was a bit of a shocker. Sometimes I'm a right idiot. That post came straight offline (although not before it had made it onto my RSS feed...) I have no idea if that person knows about this website or not. If they do, and they are offended, my sincere apologies.

I think the Google God was at work here. By leading me to the homepage of someone I had forgotten about who would be offended by what I had written, The Google God was saying, "Joseph, you are making a mistake here. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

The thing is, there's this battle going on. This battle between the freedom of speech, Don't let anyone else define you or confine you, and sensitivity towards others. Yet that statement is only valid if one is morally in the right - otherwise one could get away with anything, and justify oneself by stating that you are simply refusing to accept the straight jackets handed to you by those around you.

For the record

In the midst of all this I also happened to read something someone had written on their blog, words to the effect of "I dislike blogs that are overly egotistical".

This all led me to query my style, and purpose. What IS the purpose of The Daily Mumble? Surely, as with everything in life, if it has no goal it will just drift aimlessly on the surf, until washed up one day on some internet backwater beach. Initially it was to communicate with friends and family back home. Some may argue that it has become a portal for me to spout off about why I am the top of the cake that humanity has ever created, although I would dispute that - that accolade goes to the person who invented chocolate.

Its secondary purpose was to help others who wanted to live and work abroad to do just that. These days there's an awful lot of information and inspiration on this topic out there, but back in 2000 that wasn't the case. Thus, that purpose has served its time. There's the epilepsy thing, although that is pretty much separate from the Mumble. So where does this all leave me now?

I suppose there are two main reasons for Mumbling: one is that it helps me remember what I have done, and thus helps me learn from my mistakes. Think soggy omelettes (update on that story later in the week). The second reason is that I would like to help others achieve their dreams. Thus, when I talk about something I've done that I feel is a great achievement, I don't mean it to come across in a "Look at me aren't I great" kind of way. Rather, its meant in a "If I can do it, so can you" kind of way.

Anyway, that said, I shall now move on. To grammar study. Hurrah. :-)

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