already about to be said
I once met a guy, at a party I think, who told me he believed that if a discussion continues for long enough, and has enough participants, every possible point of view will be expressed. He used this conviction as the basis of a private game: he liked to sit silently and listen to discussions. He’d plan what he would say, and then he’d wait until someone else said it for him. He claimed that when there were more than three people in the room, in addition to him, one of the others would invariably make his point for him, allowing him to remain silent.
Ideas floating around waiting for a host. Sometimes finding several.
Metafilter is one of the most active collaborative blogging sites around, but oddly enough, though the number of subscribers has grown a lot, the number of comments has remained stable. About 100,000 comments are posted to the site every half year.
In response to the graph showing this, a MeFier wrote, “I know that I’ve basically given up commenting on Mefi because generally what I want to say has already been said by someone else.” That guy I met at a party would have nodded in agreement. Maybe he’d have been a little sad to think of the game wasted – it would have been so much more fun to plan your comment and then see somebody else post “your” words.