2007-12-24

The old, rusty blog empire

Looking at my blog with renewed interest, I wonder what should come of it. More than a year and a half have passed since the last entry - something that's not so uncommon in the blogosphere, but rather a natural and widespread phenomenon. New interests come along and the old ones wither and wane.

Why would one keep blogging? Perhaps to:
  • Drive a personal brand (marketing and egoboo)
  • Advocate ideas and opinions (change the world)
  • Research and gather feedback (learn and communicate)
I guess that pretty much sums it up. Then what makes a good (or a passable at least) blog? How about:
  • One that you can keep updated (at least once a month?) - for years and years
  • One that can provide interesting and useful information - now that's a feat right there
  • One that you are comfortable writing in public, in the front of tens of millions of eyes out there - remember it might be possible to retrieve the information much later, even decades from now
There are so many interesting subjects to write about, and only so little time to delve into anything, so where to start in hopes of actually producing something worthwhile? The icct blog served nicely for tracking the developments of the mobile world, and I suppose it could be refocused just like that into other embedded issues and the whole fascinating world of professional Quality Assurance in general. Then again a strictly formal and professional format might fit the bill better for me. icct also had its philosophy-of-technology side too, although I never really developed it.

I've always viewed computers with the fascinated eye of a humanist - they provide a means of communication, and a world that is not just technological but a human reality as well. Late during my studies - I majored in philosophy - this interest deepened with analysis and began to connect with environmental thought and spirituality. Today's key human issues are intimately connected with how technology has transformed us and how we are transforming the natural world using technology. One could talk of sacriledge of the Mother Earth, but the connection with spirituality is larger and more interesting than just that.

Since the turn of the millenium I've recognized that there must be a spiritual component in my thought - during much of the decade before that, I would turn to philosophy and the sciences - the natural and the behavioural - as the sole toolbox for building my Weltanschauung. But this kind of strict formal discipline, where you present your data, make the inferences, and others have to accept unless they find a fault in either, has its limits. How we experience the world, how we feel our relation to the world, and how we can hope for a better future - these are subjective projects and do not admit of such objective rationality. Although a correctly implemented religion does not admit of any irrational element, building a discipline of spirituality is a difficult task, partly due to the controversial and traumatized relation to spirituality that is almost the modus operandi in Europe.

Although such lofty ponderings do have their touch on the very everyday existence, these matters can be discussed as just that, as straight practical issues. Consider boating - I took up this enterprise quite exactly a year and a half ago, and now I've been wading through a dozen or a two of books on various aspects of the marine subject - combined with a growing body of first and second hand experience, and personal reflections, something should come out of it, if nothing else then at least a few enticing reading tips. Perhaps the importance of seaworthiness and seakindliness could be discussed, as the trends of our time in boating seem to be speed, performance, speed and more speed, combined with luxurious saloons that look good in the show room or in the marina. But the sea is the same as it ever was: there is wind and water, they can be rough and cruel - to ship and sailor alike - and in those conditions, safety and comfort should not be sacrificed, lest pleasurable experience also become compromised.

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