Tag Archives: Blogging

Blogging as Placebo?

In my feed reader today I found an article from The Scholarly Kitchen about how blogging is good for you.

“Hah!” I chortled. “Scientific proof that I’m not wasting my time!”

The Scientific American article that was the basis of the post started out so well, describing the “therapeutic benefits of writing about personal experiences,” both psychological and physiological. (Hey: did you know blogging cures cancer? And it’s a happy pill without a prescription!)

But then things started to get a little less complimentary toward us bloggers (emphasis added):

As social creatures, humans have a range of pain-related behaviors, such as complaining, which acts as a “placebo for getting satisfied,” Flaherty says. Blogging about stressful experiences might work similarly.

People with Wernicke’s aphasia speak in gibberish and often write constantly. In light of these traits, Flaherty speculates that some activity in this area could foster the urge to blog.

Located mainly in the midbrain, the limbic system controls our drives, whether they are related to food, sex, appetite, or problem solving. “You know that drives are involved [in blogging] because a lot of people do it compulsively,” Flaherty notes.

Well. I think they just likened blogging to complaining, spouting gibberish, and uncontrollable monkey-brain drives.


Then the article’s author redeemed herself with this last paragraph:

Some hospitals have started hosting patient-authored blogs on their Web sites as clinicians begin to recognize the therapeutic value. Unlike a bedside journal, blogging offers the added benefit of receptive readers in similar situations, Morgan explains: “Individuals are connecting to one another and witnessing each other’s expressions—the basis for forming a community.

That’s right, we’re forming community! Remote, electronically mediated, asynchronous, nonsensory community.

But hey, I’ll take it.

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Filed under Blogging, Health, Rants, Silliness and Mayhem

How We Read

I learned to read when I was four years old. I soon became quite avid and I remember feeling a bit at sea if we went out somewhere and I forgot to bring a book “just in case” we had to wait in traffic or something. My parents enrolled me in a Book of the Month Club for kids, and I was always glad to see the MS Read-a-thon come around.

I was always in honors English throughout the school years, and in college I majored in English with a side of Italian literature (would have been a minor but they didn’t offer enough courses while I was there). Lots and lots of reading. After a long stint in the corporate world where all I read was emails and procedure manuals (with still a slightly obsessive amount of reading for pleasure) I am now a book editor. The highest reader’s ambition: to be paid to read!

But…reading also has a flip side. Have you ever tried to not read something in front of you? Next time you’re out on the town, try to not read billboards, or shop window signs. Can you do it?
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Filed under Blogging, Books, Deep Thoughts, editing, Writing

Now I’m a Slightly Mollified Blogger/Reader

I just read this on the guardian.co.uk books section feed: Random House will offer online access to up to 5,000 books, AND THEY SPECIFICALLY WANT BLOGGERS TO USE IT: “Random House wants the tool to be picked up by book fans and bloggers who can modify it for their own sites.”

Now there’s a company that accepts the power of blogs. Can you say, “free, minimal overhead advertising”?

I’m waiting to read about the catch, of course. I still find it hard to believe that a huge, mainstream publisher will willingly give books away for free on a large scale. But hey, it’s an improvement.


Filed under Blogging, Books, computers, Rants