Monday, December 11, 2006

Blog and communicate

JP has written again about blogging:

“…this is where blogs are fantastic. They demolish the barriers to entry that are often present in society, barriers that affect curious people. Barriers that are primarily social in nature. Barriers like “I don’t want to appear stupid, but...”.

…Blogs are often written by people who are passionate about something, something specific. What
Christopher Locke used to call Organic Gardening. Whatever gets your fancy.

Blogs are … written by people who want others to read what they say in order to receive criticism. Constructive criticism.

Blogs, like real learning, represent a two-way process. The teacher learns and the learner teaches.

I’ve said it before. Wisdom of crowds is not a mode thing. It’s a mean thing. Every person is different. And it is in that difference that we learn.

…Mutual admiration society? Not really. Common interests, not always common views. And an openness and honesty that is the antithesis of the mutual whatchamacallit.

…Blogs are conversations. Two-way. Which is why they are great ways for us to learn.”

I have received a number of messages recently from readers of my blog. I’d like to share these, in corroboration of JP's views.

I enjoy reading your blog and wanted to contact you because I will be coming to Kolkata in a few days to research the politics of urban redevlopment/resettlement/eviction etc. Perhaps we could meet up and you could share with me some of your insights on such a long period of activism?

Dr Douglas Hill

Lecturer in Development Studies
University of Otago
New Zealand

I came across your blog and read about your concerted efforts in education and teaching. We are a group of students from MIT in Boston, USA, and are planning to start a project in improving the quality of education in schools serving lower income groups ( e.g., urban slums). We were looking to talk to a few representative schools in West Bengal and wanted to ask you if you would be able to provide some relevant contacts. Would it be possible to talk to you sometime this week?

Chetan Choudhury

My name is Sahar Romani. I came across your blog. I also noticed your other blogs. The reason I am writing to you is because I'm apart of a program in Calcutta called Kalam: Margins Write. We're a critical and creative art education program working with marginalized youth on issues of identity and voice. Kalam has been working on the ground since 2004 in partnership with local cbos and ngos. Check us out at I'm currently in Seattle and am returning to Calcutta on December 12th for some time. I was wondering if I could possibly meet with you to talk more about City Renewal and Talimi Haq School and share with you some ideas we have underway at Kalam. I'm an youth educator myself (although, I'm also technically and currently a student again) and am always seeking conversation and 'mind-share' with community organizers and educators. I hope we can meet.

Sahar Romani

I am a writer in Washington, D.C., originally from Kolkata. I stumbled across your blog today and enjoyed reading many of your posts. My wife and I are visiting Kolkata in December/January and would love to make some new friends there. Perhaps we could meet up for coffee sometime?

Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
Staff Writer

I read your blog on the Palestinian question and noted that you describe yourself as an educator. I hope we can make a connection. I plan to be in Kolkata in January and would appreciate making connections with individuals and organizations concerned with the Palestinian question. There is great need for progressive Indian perspectives to be known among Palestinian and international intellectuals working to end the occupation. After reading your blog, I thought you may assist me in making these connections.

I look forward to hearing from you about individuals and organizations I can meet while I am in Kolkata in January.

Howard Davidson
Associate Professor of Extended Education
University of Manitoba

Thanks for a nice blog. I was born and raised in Sweden, but went to study in the UK for three years. Now I'm 26 years old. I plan to come to Calcutta to continue my studies next year. I am studying Persian, and have spent half a year or so in Iran. Do you think it seems like a good idea for me to apply for a MA in Persian in Calcutta? Is the teaching in English only, or maybe in Bengali as well? I am happy for any information and hints!

Pär Fredborn Larsson


Thank you friends for your messages! I am quite overwhelmed.

1 comment:

Yves said...

Yes, Rama, as the months go by I see more clearly that blogging---which a certain good friend, who runs a literary journal, despises to the point where she "never has time" to look at mine or anyone else's---is a form of literature superior to other traditional forms.

It's not elitist, isn't a way to make money, doesn't result in collectible objects---but these are no reasons to despise it. You and JP have listed its important virtues.

I'll confess that I do actually want to write books for all the reasons I have just listed. But I cannot bring myself to be unfaithful to blogging, for it is nobler and teaches me faster.