Autonomous Source

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To blog, or not to blog?

It's March, but outside it feels like January. We should have puddles, birds, and that fresh, organic smell (which is probably thawing dog poop) that says Spring is on the way. But instead we have a deep freeze outside, cutting wind, and way too much crunchy, squeaky snow. There's no way I'm going anywhere without warming the car first for 10 minutes. Rick Mercer can bite me.

Blogging has been sporadic lately. This has mostly been due to household logistics. I had no laptop, so to plug into the blogosphere -- either to read or write -- I had to isolate myself in the messy room, otherwise know as the 'den', where I could interface with the Frankenstein's monster of spare parts that functions as my other computer. It's been pretty difficult to arrange, so the world has been deprived of my wit and wisdom for the past couple of weeks. But now that I've finally got my hands on my new toy, hopefully that will all change.

But there's another reason things have been slow lately. (And there's another another reason too, but I won't get into that right now.) I've been wondering whether to keep this blog going. Two great Canadian blogs, The Smug Canadian and Trudeaupia, have shut down in the past couple of weeks, and I'm wondering whether I should join them.

Blogging can really take a significant part of my free time away. Writing takes effort, and effort takes time. Perhaps even more distracting is that it alters the focus of my life. After blogging for some time, a filter has been built into my perceptions of the world. When seeing something new, reading a news story, or just thinking about something familiar in a fresh and interesting way, I immediately try to fit this information into fodder for the blog. I can't help it. The problem is, this process cuts off the further explorations I might have made had I not immediately started planning how to distill what I'm thinking into prose.

But blogging has its benefits too. I get a feeling of accomplishment when I've written something I'm proud of. It gives me an outlet when I feel powerless and isolated. And it plugs me into a community of interesting people.

For now, I've decided to keep it going. I've been pretty happy with the readership I've built up, and enjoy participating in my insignificant way to the weird synergy of the blogosphere. Besides, I'm already paid up for a year and half for this domain name. Quitting would be throwing that money away! But I will be taking breaks every now and then where I won't even think about blogging. It's good for the soul.


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I, for one, would miss reading Autonomous Source very much! I'm addicted!

Isn't the unexamined life not worth living?

I think you have pinpointed the writer's defining predicament -- living life at a remove -- very neatly. As usual. See?! You can't stop blogging!!

Seriously, though, I would respect your decision. It's a viable and honest reason to stop.

Don't stop! This is the only way I get to find out what is happening with the grandkids. I appreciate looking at their pictures and finding out the little things they do. Keep up the good work with the kids and stop the pontificating if you want.

Do not stop pontificating, you'd leave me in a portentous place of pious pettiness and provinciality. Also do not stop writing about the children. Also do not stop making a fire in the woodstove. Also do not stop feeding the cats. Or me. M.

I hear what you say, because similar thoughts have been worming their way through my addled encephalon of late. I've generally been disenchanted with the slop the media feeds us as "news" here in Canada. The Vancouver Sun has pages and pages on Avian Influenza, and here and there a sideways smug and patronizing jab at the US and "traditional values". So I browse the blogs to hear some alternative views, but find that I visit the blogs that align with my views, where I find resonance.

But do they enlighten, or just reinforce my prejudices? Do they open the mind, or just shut the doors?

The cup is both half full and half empty. Focusing only on one half only explores half of the picture.

I recall an interview with Henry Kissinger some years ago, after the fragmentation of the Soviet Union. He was asked what the next big challenge was for the "free world". His response was "Fundamentalism".

So are we part of the problem, or part of the solution?

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