I took time off, and thought about scrapping this blog entirely. At the time, I felt that there were more than a sufficient number of old men, waxing philosophically about what’s wrong with the world. It felt somehow selfish, and less than constructive.

Before the internet, this would have been true. It would have been nothing more than a single voice, irritating friends and family.

Over the last year or so, I’ve engaged in many debates - Politics, religion, crime and punishment, and a number of other topics. Some were excercises in futility. Others were lively. Still others were incredible learning experiences. I’ve changed a few minds, and had my own changed.

I’ve even had meaningful exchanges with trolls, once the name-calling was dispensed with. It’s hard work, and requires a pretty thick skin. More often than not, it ends up being a complete waste of time.

But there are those rare occasions when the walls come down, and real communication takes place. I can’t speak for anyone, save myself, but in my opinion, it’s eminently worth it.

This technology has allowed us to exchange ideas in a way we had never been able to before. All the barriers that existed before – cultural, political, economic, social, and geographic – have essentially been rendered obsolete.

Sure, it’s dirty, and messy, and we’ll probably screw it up in ways we can’t yet imagine. But it’s my belief that the end result will be a positive one.

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