To Blog or Not To Blog

Back in the early 1990’s when the World Wide Web was new, before there were page spinners and WYSIWYG HTML editors and cascading style sheets, I learned HTML and crafted a personal web site. Most sites of that era fell into two categories: lists of links to other sites, and vehicles for personal self-aggrandizement. Mine fell into the latter category. Rare were the sites that actually provided a substantial amount of useful content.

It would be a few years before the porn sites would drive the need for online exchange of money and thus pave the way for and the eventual web presence of virtually every retailer on the planet. In the mean time, little sites like mine that held a smattering of actual content were being aggregated by search engines and would eventually result in the web being a useful tool for discovering arcana.

In the mean time, sites like mine — carefully hand-crafted from primitive HTML and designed to work well with “high-speed” 28.8 Kbps modem connections — grew stale. The maintenance of them was just too complex to lend themselves to the rapid-fire pace of change in our world.

Enter the Blog

Blogs were born when software became widely available that would allow rapid posting of content on the web with a minimum of effort. I resisted, stuck in the paradigm of HTML-as-art. When my son Matthew was born, I needed a more useful (if less noble) tool, and I implemented this TWiki site. Except for Matthew’s page, though, I didn’t really use it much, but slowly I came to realize that I was destined to enter the blogosphere.

I think I have something to say. I have had careers in both computers and medicine, and those are both fields with a lot of currency. At the same time, I don’t really have anyone to say things to. Yes, I have a handful of friends to whom I could send my ramblings, but friends are rare enough that I’d like to keep them as friends, and having them feel that they had to respond to my bizarre rantings would surely drive them away.

A blog seems the perfect solution. It’s here, everybody, come and get it! But it won’t be advertised anywhere. There will be a link from my main site so search engines might find it, and the occasional Net traveller might stumble across these pages should a search string produce a match. Basically, though, I don’t expect much (if any) traffic. Perfect: I can rant, and nobody is obligated to read.

Even better (than perfect?): I can address my Muse, and She can choose to read or not as Her spirit is moved.

Loose Associations

“Loose associations” is a term of art in the mental health business. It refers to a form of thought in which the relationships between elements are difficult to follow, presumably the speaker’s thoughts are following a path that makes sense only in his or her psychotically deranged world. Loose associations, though — the act of seeing connections between concepts the others miss — are also the stuff of genius.

If you have read this far, you are doubtless pretty sure to which side of that fine line I am currently falling.

Thank you for joining me on this path.