Short Thoughts on Long Arguments

As I mentioned in my last Bibliophile’s Journal post, I recently read one of St. Thomas Aquinas’s Biblical commentaries. Since I have a lot of time to kill at work and not a lot of time to read at home, at least recently, most of my reading is from blogs and Twitter. These, however, never really satisfy me, and St. Thomas’s commentary made me realise just how unsatisfying they are.

Twitter is fine for sharing links, aphorisms, and especially snark, but I greatly prefer a thorough treatment of a subject. This is why I never tweet about politics or religion – I want to explain things. Many times I’ve seen a tweet that catches my interest, and I’d love to hear a more; one that’s nagged on me, for example, was a comment on how Tanigawa Nagaru, in his Suzumiya Haruhi novel series, often grapples with how the world often just isn’t amazing. I respect the opinion of that tweeter (twitterer?) and would love to hear him expand on this, because that theme is, I think part of what draws me to the series – and this frustration is just on a light novel; imagine how much room for expansion there is on a political or philosophical topic!

Now, brevity is the whole point of Twitter, but the problem also applies to blog posts. A few people do attempt full essays, but the nature of the internet with all its distractions, and the discomfort of reading on a monitor, discourages lengthy posts. Breaking up a long essay into multiple posts only mitigates those problems, and makes it more difficult for an audience to follow a complex argument. Even I sometimes find a post that sounds interesting but give up after seeing that it’s especially long.

Note: I’ve spent the past few days moving to a new apartment, haven’t had regular internet access until yesterday, and not much time to write, so please pardon a short, slightly off-topic post. This should be just a short interruption, though.

Leave a Reply