Although it’s not exactly my turn to post next (sorry Matt), something urgent has come up. This post is a form of Family Discipline, and it will largely be directed at you, Katie (which by the way, even though you’re not one of the authors of Consanguinity, I’ll have you know that the term consanguineous includes you just as much as it does us). This post is strategically made public so that I can guarantee that there will be accountability for you. In order to explain, I must first rewind to when it all started. It began shortly after I posted Part II of the story project. Katie commented:
Good job! So far, so good. Wish I could write like that. I only fooled those silly AP test grader people…. HAHA!
[“Exhumation (Part II)” Jan. 21: 3:26 p.m. ]
Now, this comment was generally positive, Katie, since you were trying to applaud me for the hard work I had done, but I obviously wasn’t very happy with the latter part of the comment, because of how I replied less than an hour later:
Thanks. I’m flattered, but I also happen to have read samples of your own writing, and I know that you’re an excellent writer. It’s just the case that it’s really easy to be critical of your own writing, so whenever you read something that someone else wrote, you praise the very same kinds of things that, had you written them yourself, you would have considered flaws.
[“Exhumation (Part II)” Jan. 21: 4:10 p.m.]
I wrote this, assuming that you were just cheapening your own verbal skills in order to kindly augment mine, and I didn’t expect the problem to persist. To my surprise, when Allison and I returned home last night from her parents house (they just got an awesome new piano we were checking out), I found the following comment recently posted on Consanguinity:
[…] The number is currently at 526 hits, which is quickly approaching my blog’s 1,607 when you consider that mine has been there for over a year accumulating regular hits. I personally tend to think that it is a combination primarily of 1) the fact that your topics are exponentially (as indicated by aforementioned numbers) more interesting than the things I tend to post about, and 2) that you advertised your site in a different way which warrants more often checking of the site. I also think that another thing played a part in people’s interest which was 3) the consanguineous watching of B20 and the discussions which followed. Kudos to your early success in this project. [….]
[“En Garde: Church and State” Jan. 25: 8:46 p.m.]
I greatly appreciate your support. It is true that Consanguinity has been relatively successful in its first few weeks (more than I think that either Matt or I anticipated), and it is kind of you to point out how many hits we have been getting. In fact, a few people have even strayed onto the website from Google. I have to agree with your points 2 & 3, namely that the consanguineous hype associated with B2.0 and the fact that Matt and I are corresponding publicly via Consanguinity have greatly contributed to our numeric success. I must quarrel, however–nota bene for those reading this post, that it is not stylistically acceptable (and I see a lot of people doing this these days) to begin a sentence with the subordinating conjunction “however;” instead, it should be inserting in the middle of the sentence as I have done above–with your statement that our topics are, how did you put it, “exponentially (as indicated by aforementioned numbers) more interesting” than your own. First of all, the numeric success can be primarily attributed to reasons 2 & 3, so it is not clear how much our numeric success supports the conclusion that our posts are “exponentially more interesting.” In the following section, I aim to render this claim doubtful.
My first point will be an ironic one. What you didn’t know when you posted that comment is that over the past few days I was growing almost irritable over the fact that you hadn’t posted anything on your blog. You see, before Consanguinity, I rarely even read other people’s blogs. But now, having been dragged into the blogging world, I am much more aware of what is going on in other people’s lives, and I can tell that it has already made me a little more others-focused than before, which is a good thing. The negative side-effect of this, however–see, I did it again–is that I am beginning to depend on the blogs of our family members. So, the mere fact that I couldn’t wait for you to post again undermines your argument that Consanguinity is more interesting than Musings of an Outdoor Addict. I was delighted, by the way, to see this morning that there were TWO new posts on your blog. (HOO HAH!) Also, your blog always has awesome pictures that accompany your posts, which gives it a “one-up” on Consanguinity. That candy photo looks like it came straight out of Good Housekeeping. I seriously wanted to lick my computer screen.
Secondly, after reflecting some on our recent exchange about what it means to be defined by our siblings and family members, I realized that I wouldn’t be anything like who I am today if it weren’t for you. I was thinking about this last night, and quite frankly, it started to scare me, because when I looked at Allison, I thought: “Oh my gosh, if it weren’t for Katie, I might not be married to Allison! I could be married to someone terrible.” Although this is a highly hypothetical realm of speculation, there is some truth to it. For instance, I know for a fact, that if you hadn’t started your own blog, I would never have thought about starting one with Matt. So in many ways, deferring some of the credit to B2.0, you provided a significant impetus to Consanguinity.
Thirdly, I must point out a flaw in the general flow of your logic. It can be diagrammed in the following way:
- Consanguinity is really amazing.
- Nopockets is less amazing than Consanguinity.
- Therefore, Nopockets isn’t really amazing (1,2).
This line of reasoning is generally valid, except for the fact that Consanguinity (as quoted above) says, more or less “Nopockets is really amazing.”
So, the argument now must be formulated:
- Consanguinity is really amazing.
- Consanguinity says that Nopockets is really amazing.
- If X is amazing, then what X says must be amazingly true.
- Therefore, it must be amazingly true that “Nopockets is really amazing” (1-3).
- Therefore, Nopockets is really amazing (4).
Clearly, Katie, you have tried to make the weaker argument the stronger, and although you may be guilty of sophistry, you’re definitely amazing, and I look up to you a lot. So basically, don’t forget to be awesome!