Thursday, April 03, 2008

Benjamin Franklin, blogger

I happen to think Benjamin Franklin is the role model for nearly everything good about the creation of the United States: liberty, self-sufficiency, strength coupled with restraint, freedom of the press ... (Remember how the Constitution explicitly recognized slavery, by allocating partial value to slaves in population counts? Franklin was the only signer who, in his lifetime, repented of that position and came out against slavery.)

Mark Andreessen has a nice post
about why Franklin would have made a good blogger. (I've long argued that Tom Paine certainly would be blogging at, but never considered Ben.) You'll enjoy some of the sample Franklin prose he offers in support. Here's a taste:

[Concerned that the British did not fully understand the potential consequences of further alienating the American colonies, Franklin] published a parable in January 1770 about a young lion cub and a large English dog traveling together on a ship.

The dog picked on the lion cub and "frequently took its food by force."

But the lion grew and eventually became stronger than the dog.

One day, in response to all the insults, it smashed the dog with "a stunning blow," leaving the dog "regretting that he had not rather secured its friendship than provoked its enmity."

1 comment:

  1. I've always thought that early American newspapers were essentially blogs.

    Many were sole proprietorships (maybe you rated an apprentice, maybe you didn't). Editors wrote about whatever they pleased - often with opinion overriding accuracy. Folks would post comments by writing letters (Silence Dogood anyone?).

    So ol Ben WAS a blogger, only they called them "newspapers" back then.