Monday, March 26, 2007

The Thinking Blog Award

Do you like to think? Do you like to read blogs? If "yes" seems to you the natural answer to both questions, then the Thinking Blog Award might appeal to you.

Last week, Mystic Wing suddenly honored Anne and I by tagging this blog with the Award. No doubt he was suffering from a momentary lapse of sanity when he did so, but we'll happily accept the Award anyway.

So, what's the Award? Well, The Thinking Blog Award has been making its way around the internet since February 11th, when it was begun by none other than The Thinking Blog. The idea is simple: If someone tags you as a blog that makes them think, then you respond by tagging five other blogs that make you think.

I've discovered that while the idea is simple, executing the idea is not so easy as it sounds. There are so many quality blogs out there that make me think. So I've have some difficulty narrowing my list down to just five blogs.

One thing that helped to narrow the list is that many of my favorite blogs have already been tagged. For instance, Mystic Wing tagged Brendan's Off the Beaten Path at the same time as he tagged Cafe Philos, so that's one down. Again, most of the science blogs I like to read have already been tagged, so that's a whole category all but eliminated. Yet, there are still gobs and gobs of blogs that I would like to tag if I were not confined by the rules to just five.

Having said all that, I shall now present my list in alphabetical order.

Baghdad Burning is by all accounts one of the best and most widely recognized blogs on the net today. It is written in beautiful English by an anonymous Iraqi woman living in Baghdad whose perspective on the war is, to say the least, not that of George Bush, Tony Blair and Al Maliki. She revealingly contrasts the daily lives of herself and her family and friends with the almost obscene spin of the politicians who caused the war. Her writing transcends the immediate conflict in Iraq. It is perhaps some of the best war writing from a civilian point of view of all time. You would be doing yourself a disservice if you missed reading some of the archives too.

Burning Silo, by Bev Wigney, is both a nature and a photography blog. The photos alone provoke thought, but the detailed, professionally executed writing is immensely stimulating as well. When I read Burning Silo, I find myself wanting to get up out of my chair and set off to explore nature -- even if that means exploring only the nature in my back yard. The blog does more than make us think: It restores to us a sense of wonder too.

Church of the Churchless is Brian Hines' wonderful blog for those of us who have, or who want to have, a spiritual life apart from organized religion. Brian is heavily influenced by Taoism and good sense. I don't always agree with him, perhaps because of my notable lack of good sense, but I am always stimulated both by the questions he raises and his responses to those questions. He has another, equally good and thoughtful blog called Hines Sight.

High Plains Buddhist is, more often than not, an account of Todd Epp's insightful application of Buddhist principles to his own life. That tends to make those principles fascinatingly concrete and fresh. We get to see the Buddhist way in action through Todd's eyes, and the result is great food for thought.

Think Buddha is Will Buckingham's profound blog that covers nearly every strain of Buddhist thought, rather than focusing on only one or two traditions. Will writes beautifully, making even some very difficult ideas and principles comprehensible. This blog goes beyond thought-provoking. It's educational, too. Well worth a bookmark, I think.

So, there you have it. My list of five blogs that rise to the challenge of provoking even me to thought. I haven't really done any of them justice here in my brief descriptions, I'm afraid, but perhaps at another time I can give each the detailed review it deserves. I would like to thank Mystic Wing for honoring Anne and I with his tag. It was more fun than I at first thought it would be to make the above list. And perhaps Anne, if she gets the time (she's been very busy lately) will offer her own list of five blogs that make her think.

UPDATE: I've been tagged two more times for this same meme, and post my response to the tags here.

1 comment:

Mystic Wing said...

Hey, Paul, this is great. You've listed some new ones here for me to add to my daily digest.

Thanks for participating.