I am writing this as a follow-up to "Why I Blog" after the "Why I Work" and "How I Work". Somehow, there is a natural logical sequence to one's train of thought, and the things one writes goes seem to have a life of their own.
It is tempting to treat each post like an anonymous shot into ether, meaning no harm whatsoever except to vent one's frustration. I think this is a very dangerous thing to do. Ether may respond in ways that one can never imagine, and by then it may well be too late - even if one were to say sorry.
The blog is not like the Hyde Park corner-type of freedom of speech one may imagine oneself to exercise. In Hyde Park, one can conceivably stand on a upturned soap box and mouth anything that comes to one's head, and then go home to sleep with the empty soap box. However, one would be very suspicious if one notices that there is a man standing behind the bushes with a tape recorder and taping your little spew - thinking, why are you doing that? In blogging, we are doing exactly the recording ourselves - and I think I should be very very careful indeed which what I am trying to say in my blog, no matter how anonymous one may pretend the blog may be. (Even in newspapers, your anonymity is not protected when a gun is held to the head of the editor.)
I make this point about care because, once in a while, a commentator would remark that my sentences are too polite.
I think one should be polite, or try to be polite. It is the only decent thing to do, to show respect to the reader, as well as the issue that one is addressing. Once that respect is gone, then there is really no point in all the effort that goes into the (thinking and) writing a piece of work.
I always associate writing with effort because Winston Churchill said, "That which is written without effort should be read without effort." The effort is in dissecting the issue in the hope of coming up with an answer to a problem.
I am not sure that I would write in hope of stirring up violence, of which we already have too much - others are doing an excellent job in that without me helping to stir the pot.
The Churchill statement also brings out another point about blogging - how much effort do we require the posts to be read. Most people associate blogs with lightness of touch and content. Even so, posts can be hard to read and understand because they are badly written (typos aside).
There is need for effort to ensure a certain flow of argument and ideas down to a natural conclusion. That comes with a bit of practice (effort).
There are issues that are naturally very involved in concept or implication and these need effort to be drawn out carefully, strand by strand. In this, effort is also required to separate the logic from the emotion or judgement, of which the latter should be reserved in order to let the readers form their own conclusions.
It is only by exercising some form of consistency in the thought process that human beings can each other of the right things to do together, as a community.
I used to lump all the difficult pieces together in order to sustain the flow. This could be difficult for readers when there are many different ideas to deal with. Nowadays, I am a bit more charitable and intersperse the "serious" stuff with "light" pieces like this one.