So if the answer is no,
can I change your mind?
--The Killers, "Change Your Mind"
The other day I saw one blogger take another to task for "flip-flopping" on an issue she had posted about previously. Things got a little nasty, so I clicked myself out of there. Life's too short for such foolish and unproductive arguments. But that one gave me an idea for today's post.
What do people want? A blogger (or a mate, or a polititian) who changes her mind every time someone coughs in disapproval, or one who sticks by her words even when she's proved wrong? We'd prefer something between those extremes, right? But sometimes the middle ground between wishy-washy and pigheaded is such a narrow strip that it's difficult to land on. So why do people delight in attacking bloggers (or their mates, or polititians) who occasionally change their minds?
Even intelligent, well-meaning people are bound to contradict themselves from time to time. Although it's often not actual contradiction, but rather a refining of opinions (perhaps based on new information) or just a broader, clearer expression of the opinions that were originally presented.
I have been accused of reversing some of the opinions I've expressed on the internet, and that's sometimes frustrating. First of all, if anyone deserves to be capricious, surely it's a fifty-year-old romance writer. What can it possibly matter to anyone if I hate, let's say, a certain kind of book today and love it tomorrow? And second, a single bulletin-board post or comment on a blog--or even a post here on my own blog--isn't likely to contain all of my thoughts and feelings on a given subject. For one thing, I'm not that clever a writer. But even if I were capable of exhaustive discourse, I doubt I'd have the time or the inclination to engage in it.
As I recently pointed out, I have now logged over 500 posts here at No rules. My writings have been widely quoted in the blogisphere, and between that and the comments I've left at other blogs and forums, my words are scattered around the internet like so many grains of sand. But I have always been very much aware that anything published online is "out there" forever, so I'm okay with that. I have written what I have written, and while I probably meant most of it at the time (watch out for my facetious streak), I may have changed my mind on a few things.
I don't call that contradicting myself. I call it living and learning.
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