Contrariously circular logic

I’ve been an infrequent Shetlink dipper into-er over recent weeks due to commitments in the ‘real’ world, but on a recent sojourn through the forums one discussion in particular enticed my attention, entitled “The need for Shetlink”

The inaugural salvo from the malcontent individual who initiated the discussion was “As far as I am concerned this Shetlink is a complete and utter waste of time and space.”

Contrariously circular logic I reflected; why would someone use a medium of expression to voice one’s opinion on how the medium is itself a waste of time?

But the disgruntee elucidated that if people didn’t have the “guts” to post commentary using their real name then their remarks are “not worth reading”

Fair enough, I thought, as many folk choose to use pseudonyms rather than their real names on the Shetlink website, and the pros and cons of anonymity are raised regularly. But do we need to know a persons identity for their opinion to be valid?

I’ve had many a yarn with people who I don’t know from Adam (they may well have been Adam) who have espoused countless cogent convictions. Similarly, I’ve read many a veridical article by scriveners who offer their name and address but remain unidentifiable to me.

Perhaps it’s a Shetlandic “whaa biggit dee” compulsion where name, rank, number, place of birth and parentage are compulsory before credible communication can commence?

In my opinion (the credence of which may depend on how many of my particulars you profess) being able to exchange opinion with others without the baggage of prior interpersonal prepossession can be a more valuable interchange, allowing focus on the subject in hand rather than on prejudgements based on perceived knowledge of participants; phatic emancipation indeed in a community as close-knit as Shetland.

Article for Shetland Life magazine – September 2008