Saturday, January 2, 2016

Culling the Blog

Welcome to 2016! We have another ugly presidential election on the way, but otherwise, things in my life are shaping up fine for the next twelve months.

Over the holiday, I had a few minutes to spare and used it looking over this blog with a critical eye, something that probably needed to happen long ago.

You can see that I've run low on steam - or more to the point, run far shorter on time - since 2013. But for the most part, it's a decent collection of blogs. Some posts worked really well or hit the right nerves, which I maintain a distinct pride in. For example:

There are also posts like my review of Jack Donovan's The Way of Men that I just enjoyed writing for reasons outside the merits of the post (Donovan himself linked the review). I needed to write Back to Life after my experience in higher education, just to get it down somewhere and take stock. And there are posts - Hierarchy and Inflation, Rules and Values, The Golden Rule, Votes and Dollars - which were necessary and possibly too thought out, because they went on way too long given the simplicity of the point I was making.

And there are some posts that were just not very good, like Self-Creation and Denial, Stereotype within a Stereotype, Big Kahuna, or Truth and Neutrality. I definitely had my days where I wrote without any sort of self-consciousness and the result was unreadable. Or I tried too hard to fit too much into a single, all-encompassing post. Those posts needed more than an editor. They needed to get benched. Maybe I was writing just for the sake of publishing something, which I won't do anymore. This was during the depths of my final two or three semesters at the university, and the urgency to put something out there, no matter how slapdash, was a lot stronger because I felt my intellectual life coming to an end. 

I'm going to delete these posts soon. I'm glad I wrote them and, since digital space is cheap, I'll keep them in my files and hopefully come back to the ideas, clarify them, maybe repost them with less dreck. It's not easy to admit something sucks and remove it, but they take away from everything else here. There may be a couple of people who go through several of these blogs post by post, and I don't want to waste their attention or increase the odds that they stop reading in disgust before getting to something good. 

This is also in part why I made that list up there. Some of those posts weren't popular, and some did fairly well as long-winded essays go. But they are good representations of what I do.

The best representations, happily enough, are some of the most recent: Structuralist Reformation and especially Your Attention, Please. If I have any intellectual legacy at all, it's going to be with the attention economy, and I'm still working the ideas from the end of that post.

There's a lot to do, but the forthcoming blogs are going to be worth it. My life is tough to imagine without that goal, without trying to pull all this together.

Here's to an excellent year!

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