Monday, October 13, 2008

Access points


I finally realized why I've been having such a difficult time posting regularly on this site. The fault is two-pronged: one part new tech, one part content. To some extent I blame my twin obsessions of twitter and Facebook, which enable me to have snippets of conversations with friends whenever they or I see fit. Twitter and Facebook lend themselves well to off-the-cuff comments and engender more feedback than long-winded musings on the blog. When blogging was new and we were all so outraged with Pres. Bush, I had loyal readers that would engage with my political screed on a daily basis. Now that everyone reads my posts via RSS aggregator (I'm guilty of it as well), I don't put the effort into creating posts that will elicit dialogue. I've noticed that I lapse into introspection, because that requires a long-form platform. However, one of the things I try not to do with blogging is bare my heart and soul to the ether. You never know who might be reading. This leaves me with a dearth of topics. Perhaps what I need is a way to integrate some of my twitter chatter and facebook back-and-forth onto these pages. Essentially, all my sidebar content should come to the center.

While that might do something for posting frequency, I'm less happy about what communicating in incomplete sentences is doing to my ability to direct my thinking toward a concerted end for an extended period of time. And as per usual, my job does not feed my desire to study everything under the sun, as I naively hoped it might. I recently watched a google tech talk with David Levy called "No Time to Think" which talked about how we have created tools that support gathering and disseminating information, but that we have not created spaces online for the kind of deep thought that furthers the enterprise of new understanding, theories, ideas, etc. I have often posted about my own desperate drive for productivity and depth of thought, finding the two irreconcilable and resigning myself to a life of frenzied response to new informational stimuli. And despite all the anti-multi-tasking literature and its burgeoning movement, I don't see how, short of Vogons, we stop this bullet train.

In the context of too many stimuli and too much thinking, this blog can be a sanctuary. A place where I give myself permission (or even force myself) to engage with an idea for at least 60 minutes a week. Therefore there is certainly room and cause for me to continue posting, perhaps using the venue to explore my interests at a deeper level. I tend toward the philosophy that language and thought are similar enough to be synonymous, and that working on writing clearly engenders clearer thought, which is something I could use a great deal more of.

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