This was in comments below:

...the late philosopher Richard Rorty wrote a powerful review essay of Umberto Eco's great book Foucault's Pendulum titled "The Pragmatist's Progess" where he talks about how one can read books like one does debate prep cutting and pasting 'evidence' for one's pre-judices or one can expose oneself to books (different life experiences/points of view) with the hope of having one's understanding/empathy/world widened.

I haven't read the review, but I think that's such a good point about reading nonfiction. The airwaves\blogs\books\magazines are filled with fucking idiots who just cherry-pick to make cliche point after cliche point.

I shouldn't call them "fucking idiots." Humans have a deep-seated desire to have their views confirmed by people who they perceive to be more articulate than them. Thus there is some money to be made talking, but not as much listening. And yet it's the listening that gives you the ability to talk with any sort of richness and depth.

I've said this before, but I think at some point, I'm going to have to step away from writing for awhile--maybe a year, two, three, I don't know, and just read\travel\hike\live do whatever. Before I started blogging, I spent long periods talking to no one really. Just living and being quiet. I was young and hungry and desperately wanted a megaphone. And yet I learned so much in my time without one. Youth wasted on the young. At some point, I'll have to go back and try to be that kid again.