I enjoy blogging so much more than Facebook or other forms of modern communication. I know I don't update my own blog nearly enough, but I enjoy checking up on the blogs I follow--my friends, family, and even some strangers whom I have come to regard as friends. Blogs are like a secret window into someone's life, and a well crafted blog is thought-provoking and engaging, like a good novel. I'll admit, there is a degree of voyeurism and hyper-reality to the culture--many people write about this or that outfit, makeup, interior decorating, crafting, or party planning--but behind all of that is a narrative arc that to me is completely sincere. I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way, but explaining it to someone who is not familiar with the culture is very difficult.
My book club just read the book The Most Human Human by Brian Christian. I highly recommend it! It is all about the author's endeavor to win the most "Human Human" award in the Turing Test: A test where a judge will chat for five minutes with a human "confederate" and an AI chatbot and afterwards guess which is which. The most "Human Human" award goes to the confederate who was able to convince the most judges that he was a human. The book got all of us thinking about what it means to be human when computers and AI are becoming increasingly complex.
I brought up my blogging "hobby" and one of my friends jokingly (but a little not) asked how I know the people who write these blogs are who they say they are. "I know a Nigerian prince who could use some money..." she teased. She has a point, and I was horrified and enthralled by the documentary Catfish (Watch it! I won't give away anything here). It would be very difficult for a chatbot to maintain a sophisticated blog... but a very bored human could exaggerate the details of his or her life or fabricate something entirely. But I've never mistrusted the blogging community...at least not the ones that I read.
What do you think? Do you have a similar relationship to the blogs you read? Have you ever doubted an author's sincerity? Do I live in a gullible la la land?