Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Benefits: Thought Experiment


No!  This isn’t about the UK benefits system.  Here I consider the benefits of my posting on Scottish independence issues.

My stats show that very very few people read my blog and even fewer comment.  Other than 2 regulars there is no-one.

Now imagine standing in a remote part of Scotland, no-one else around.  What would be the point of standing with a ‘Vote Yes’ banner?  There’s no-one to see it, no-one to be  convinced but I’m doing more than standing with a banner, I’m taking time to read, think and write and still there’s no-one (virtually) to read it.

Why continue?  I don’t need to be convinced of the independence case?  My blog won’t suddenly be inundated with readers – never has been – and so I’m left standing with my banner, no-one around.  Some time even I will recognise the pointlessness of my lonely vigil.

This isn’t a plea for readers.  It’s a straightforward process of thinking through why I do this and to what purpose.   I do it to convince but there’s no-one around to be convinced. 

Can there be a better definition of pointlessness?


  1. 5726I visit your blog most mornings, not least to enjoy your very catholic and eclectic choice of music. This has widened my own appreciation, and I would sorely miss it were you to give up.

    I do read your posts, as I read Wings, Wee Ginger Dug, Derek Bateman and others, but I rarely comment, being largely content to absorb.

    I am a very definite Yes voter, and a religious man, so you may feel that you are literally "preaching to the choir" if I am counted as one of your regulars.

    Obviously, you put a lot of work and thought into your blog. I am both surprised and sorry that you have so few takers.

    I have only ever seen one link to your blog, and that is from "To September and Beyond" (a blogger who rarely posts, and who probably does not have a wide readership, for that reason.

    Before you are tempted to chuck it in, and it would be understandable if you did, I think it would be worth mentioning your blog on Wings and the others I listed.

    Easy for me to say, of course, as I am enjoying your blog without having to put in any work. Please think it over.

    God bless


  2. Thank you for your kind words. I shall take time to think through my options.

    God Bless


  3. I visit and often comment (probably being one of the "2" you mentioned) but I have never been persuaded by your words to change my view about anything. Nor, I expect, has anyone ever been persuaded by my words to change their view about anything. I ignore your religious posts because I consider them all to be based on utter delusion (but your version of it seems to help you and seems to harm nobody so it's fine by me - not that you should care whether it is or not), but I must sometimes enjoy reading your other posts because otherwise I wouldn't do it. Everything is pointless, ultimately, in my opinion so what's the point in trying to find a point, other than just doing what pleases you and doesn't harm others? You should just please yourself and blog if you feel like doing so and not blog if you don't. Good wishes whatever you do. We are on a brief journey through life and will soon be gone, completely and forever I expect (though you may disagree these days).

  4. I wasn't clear enough. The pointlessness was to do solely with my independence posts. My music and religious posts will continue.

    I have long since stopped trying to convince you of anything, Andrew: you're much too hard a challenge. :)

    I leave you, sadly, with your views of my utter delusion but I will pray for you in the certain knowledge that God loves you and would celebrate your turning to Him.

    Obviously because of my faith I know that our lives are not pointless.

    I await, but not with bated breath, your opening yourself to God and I hope I am around to welcome you.

  5. Ah... If it is going to be music and religion now then I will shut-up and probably retire from view.

  6. It takes more than closing your eyes and putting your hands over your ears to keep God at bay. I know I tried and I am now delighted that I failed.

    One day, perhaps, you too ..............

  7. Oh... Dear Calum. I don't close my eyes and put my hands over my ears. I would LOVE IT if I could convince myself a benevolent higher power was looking after me like mummy and daddy did, and I have actively TRIED to believe it, but I simply cannot because to me it is so obviously a comfortable delusion some people can bask in to help them through a difficult life. Funny how all religions, while each at loggerheads with one another about every detail (while each claiming to know every detail), still manage to convince themselves the Higher Power(s) really care about us and will make everything lovely in the end. I don't hide. I WISH I could be lulled into that cosy delusion, but I cannot. If one day I can, as my sense deserts me, that will be lovely. But there is no point in discussing it with those who believe. I hope you enjoy it. I really do. And now, I think, Goodbye.

  8. If it is goodbye, then, although you won't see this, may God bless you.

    And if it is not goodbye, then I add a wee bit more. Three years ago I could have written your words, more or less. I didn't want God in my life although even that was ridiculous to think because there could be no God. Despite this He brought me to Him.

    I say this not in any attempt to convince or convert but simply to explain ... and I know you may not even read these words. So be it. May God bless you.

  9. Keep on keeping on Calum.
    The music is great and the yes/no vote is of great interest here in the forgotten lands.
    Local newspapers have had a debate about whether to join you if you leave. Let's face it the Westminster Parliament is not interested in us; you realise that the A1, the main trunk road from London to Edinburgh, is still single carraigeway north of Newcastle! That's what the English think of us.

    Blogging? Why not! You are doing it for you - think of Simon Rodia and the Watts Towers. He built them because he wanted to build them :) That is what life is all about.

  10. Thanks, JD.

    Am I like, for example, a painter who paints because he loves painting and it is irrelevant whether anyone sees, likes or buys his paintings?

    Unfortunately not!

    Or am I more like a painter who paints because he can but needs some form of recognition?

    Unfortunately, this is much more me.

    I know why this is so but I haven't managed to get beyond this state and so I continue repeating my history.