I apologize for the lighter posting over here recently. I’ve been sitting on some stuff, but have not been sure how to articulate it. I’m still not sure I have a totally clear sense of what I’m getting at, so some of this will be pretty free form. I’m still groping my way towards verbalizing some incohate (but strong) feelings.
The basic version is: I just don’t feel like I have anything to say. I feel drained of a motivation to blog or to take much interest in anything going on in the blogosphere. I thought maybe at first this was just the inevitable post-election comedown but it goes much deeper than that alone. Maybe there is just a natural cycle of push/pull, but somehow this one feels different to me. It’s not a bad feeling. I actually feel quite relieved in many ways. Lighter, freer. Unburdened of the need to say something, respond to events, give my opinion on X, Y, or Z.
The blogsophere is very good it seems to me at responding in quick fashion to unexpected events, particularly black swans. The worst case of this is excessive political rumor mongering, fauxtrage (whether left or right, see Rick Warren selection), but at its best information streams much faster than the traditional media outlets. Think Russia-Georgia war, Mumbai bombings, and so forth. As a consequence right now, many of the best blogs to be reading are econ blogs, since that is where the action is at. If some foreign policy, global event takes place, then those blogs shift back in. Perhaps we will see some good blogging coming out the attempted coup in Guinea, breaking as I write.
Another kind of a blog that would work well is something along the lines of a time-specific event-centered blog that runs for a few weeks/months and then naturally dies its proper death. Perhaps my favorite work of C.S. Lewis is A Grief Observed where he (in diary format) recalls his reflections on his grief process after the death of his beloved. You can find similar type writings in blogs of folks who are recounting an experience of living abroad. In my experience you (the reader) typically need to have lived or visited that country (or a nearby one in the region) to really get the gist of what is going on.
But in the interim periods of those events or domestic-based bloggers, what are blogs really about? Back to first principles kinda stuff. I’m asking myself that question as well as when I read others. Good blogs, bad blogs, whatever. I feel like something is missing. I’m not sure what but I can’t shake the feeling. At the point of supposedly the most connection, biggest spread of blogs, I feel like the format is already in decline in some fashion. Feels to me like it’s increasingly just running on steam and becoming corroded from within.
I don’t think (at least I hope I never did) have any grandiose dreams that blogs would bring universal enlightenment or whatever. But I’m really wondering if the creative novel moment (in process terms) of all this is now passed and everything from here on is just various forms of quasi-reaction. There are a slew of really sharp folks blogging (far sharper than me), but it still all comes across to me as fixed positions for everyone which they simply repeat over and over again in sundry ways. Depending on the proclivities of said individuals, agglomerations or teams come into being, and then they tend to interact with the other teams. Not always so fruitfully. Some of this undoubtedly is bound to occur, but I wonder if I a different way could be found.
It’s been four years now (with about a year break at one point) since I started this blog. When I first started I mostly wrote content-dump long-form meditations. Mostly around integral philosophy. That phase eventually ended, I took some time off to re-think, and then returned and tried to enter more into the format itself instead of just using the format/medium for thoughts I already had. I also read more deeply in strategy to put some flessh on the bones/structure of the integral overlay. That period had its pluses and minuses–I feel like I learned pretty well what I had set out to achieve. I’m at least functional in both of those directions. That phase it seems now I feel is coming to an end, is dying it’s natural death. I mean it’s not like I won’t ever do posts in that vein anymore–I still occassionally do posts like I did in phase 1. The subject of one stage becomes the object of the subject of the next. What’s not clear yet is what is the next subject? What are his interests and goals, his commitments, his motivation?
I need to really think of what I have to offer given my limitations as a human being. I’m not an artist so that is not a way forward. While I flirt with political philosophy and read in it, it’s not really a prime target area for me. A. There are already people out there doing that work who do it much better than I ever could. Just read them. B. I find those discussions, as illuminating as they can be (and are in many cases), too often abstracted from history and context, floating in or on a kind of ether. Philosophy philosophy, the kind I read in my off-school time is not well suited to blogging. Or at least I haven’t found the way to merge medium with such thinking to date. What then?
I don’t feel the need to take time off like I did last time this occurred. For the next while I’m guessing that I will be experimenting with attempts at different writing forms. The failures hopefully will teach me as much (if not more) than the successes. Failure and success being in some measure in the eye of the beholder in what I’m talking about here no doubt. I should say I suppose this will be the case–who knows with this stuff, it’s totally unpredictable what course it will take on and what time line. I certainly don’t.