Sunday, April 27, 2008

Blogotype Revisited

Now that I’m about six months into it, I wanted to look back and see what kind of blogotype I am. When I first started I believe my self-categorization was #5 workaday and #24 actuary with #9 outsider tendencies. In the opening days, I’m pretty sure I pulled a #4 newbie by heartily recommending Dan Heisman. I’ve worked hard to try to let my personal thoughts permeate my writings, so methinks I’m no longer an outsider. Someone recently accused me of vanity and I would normally take umbrage at such a suggestion, but I try to maintain open-mindedness and hear what people say. Perhaps I should just get it over with and admit elements of narcissism with tendencies toward #2 scholar, and #16 pedant.

To go along with pedantry, some days I feel like #26 neglected baby. Comments hardly ever break 2 for one post and I sometimes envy the attention that others get. Casually, I think about returning to obscurity as have several of my fellow clubmember bloggers, but I’ll hang on for another twelve months at least. I think that partly this is my own fault in that I don’t religiously reply to all commentators. Why should my audience give me feedback if I don’t return the favor? However, someday, when a hater with a flamethrower finds me and calls me a narcissistic twit who publishes useless actuarial drivel that no one bothers to read, I won’t have the counterargument that my large and wide readership invalidate his assertion.

It occurs to me now that the threat to quit is the main weapon my #21 passive aggressive side has to protest being negatively labeled as a narcissistic whiney baby.

I suppose that chess blogging has its elements of fad and passing fancy. It seems that every other week, another of the First Ones, announces his retirement from the blogosphere. The bloggers of my club seem to be flagging, too.

Oh well. I mainly remind myself that the perception of writing for the public pushes me to try to be more creative and disciplined in my content and that in most ways, the blog is for my own benefit, pushing my writing and my chess to new horizons, and preserving the mementos of my journey.


Temposchlucker said...

Citing Soapstone:
Generally I feel the discussions of a theory of chess learning to be a distraction from actual learning

Sounds not very encouraging.

Soapstone said...

Oops, I see that in my oblivious, egocentric way, I’ve managed to insult your work without even intending it. I’m sorry. Let me backpedal. I’ve read your blog and find it valuable despite my derogatory comment on theories of chess learning. In fact, something you said about the imperfection of scanning got me thinking that finding a more thorough yet efficient scanning method may help my chess tremendously. However, much of what you say and the jargon of motorskills seems like over-my-head theory and pure (as opposed to applied) research. Until you write Temposchlucker’s Chess Master At Any Age: The New Way Past Stagnation, I’m going to follow traditional training methods, spending most of my time trying to pour cupfuls of chess knowledge into by brain. Chess improvement could be divided into A) those like me who think their problem is that they don’t have enough knowledge and B) those like you who are addressing the outcry of chess players who are sick of watching their efforts lead to stagnation and futility and are looking for improved methods of learning. The methods seem implicit, yet not verbalized by successful learners and masters who have lost touch with their humble origins and yet need to be elucidated and verbalized for the less successful of us they left behind. By addressing A), I realize that I’m reinventing the wheel and trying to compete against books written by masters. By addressing B), you are trying to revolutionize chess learning in the ways that de la Maza and Wetzell did in their time.

Temposchlucker said...

I hadn't my own blog in mind.

You "complained" about the amount of readers and I wanted to help you by expressing what holds me back to comment. You make the impression that any comment is a distraction from your training. That doesn't sound very encouraging to make comments.

Soapstone said...

Uh. Double oops. I think I'll pause now to extract my two feet from my mouth.

Wahrheit said...

That was a great comment reply (10:59), Ernie! See, you're already doing the things that will take you to the elite ranks of chess blogging.

Going back to what you said earlier in the post, a good flame war would certainly generate some excitement and interest. Your exchange with Tempo is way too civilized, correct and polite for that, but maybe if you're lucky a club member disgruntled with the pairings or just a random chessnut will write a ridiculous, anonymous screed. I've had a few and they're quite entertaining.