I’m still here

I just haven’t posted in a while, that’s all.

Hmm, why? I haven’t been extraordinately busy. I just haven’t had anything to say. I’m hoping to break the trend by saying something about not saying anything.

One reason I haven’t had anything to say is that some of the things I have to say are not for public consumption. And though I have no readers of this blog that I know of, I know that this is a public space. One reason I decided to start this blog (apart from the simple need to understand this technology) is that I know that to be a good writer, you need to write. I value keeping a broad set of skills in good working order, so I want to be, among (many) other things, a very good writer.

Of course, two rules of thumb to being a good writer are probably to avoid parenthetical remarks (like the “many” above, and (come to think of it) this one too), and to elide “very”. Samuel Clemens said that you should write “damn” every place you are considering writing “very”. Then your editor will remove the “damn” in each sentence replacing it with nothing, and your writing will be as it should have been to start with.

Alas, I don’t have a damn editor.

Another reason I want to keep this blog is that I would like to have a journal I can look back at in the future. I have appreciated the value of keeping a journal since high school when Mrs. Doerner forced me to keep one for a semester. Alas, the habit wore off, almost immediately. Since then, I have started and aborted several journals, each lasting one or two entries. This is my most recent attempt, and this entry is a desperate attempt to keep the habit.

So, at the junction of those two points, lies the problem. I want to have a journal, but the journaling medium I’ve chosen is a blog. I want to have a journal, in part, to record private thoughts, but a blog won’t allow that. Simply adding a feature to mark some posts as private, or keeping them perpetually in “draft” status won’t work either, since I could not write freely knowing that one operator error, or one software bug might publicly publish my private thoughts. In fact, I’m familiar enough with the problems of privacy and technology that I probably would only put the private thoughts onto paper.

So, I’m stuck. What self-respecting blogger would stoop to writing a blog on paper? 🙂

Seriously, it’s at once a solvable problem and an unsolvable problem. Working on a blog subtly changes your inner dialog, since there’s always a little voice suggesting, “hey, that might be a good blog entry”. But another little voice chimes in and says, “yeah, but only for a private blog, which you don’t have”. If several days go by where it seems most of your bloggable thoughts should be private, then you don’t post to the public blog, and start losing the hard-won habit of writing daily. And then you risk losing that inner dialog, which points out topics which are blog-worthy, which should be helping with the journaling habit.

So what are all these private thoughts, you ask? Well, if I told you, they wouldn’t be private, now would they? OK, in general, they are thoughts on the war, statements about my state of mind, and behavior of friends. Stuff Jan Woodcock used to call “Heavy, Deep and Real”. Stuff that is too complicated to explain in a few paragraphs, and that I don’t want to be held responsible for.


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