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« The Leopard _ Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa | Main | 3 Quarks Daily is looking for new writers »

October 19, 2010


Not a co-blogger, but a reader that comes and goes. I congratulate you all on completing five years, and keep this cause of writing alive (but not half heartedly) along with real life issues and other priorities. This is commendable.

Ludditism is a good thing, but these media are not mutually exclusive, and they do not demand allegiance. Let's again adjust our historical perspectives here: Gutenberg did not precipitate a revolution. Nor did Walter Benjamin, for that matter.

Sujatha pretty much catalogs the reasons the 'net hasn't for me been quite so "generative" (Jonathan Zittrain's silly notion), more than a year of familial upheaval being a big source of distraction, but also insufficient break time at work. And then I'm not much of a writer-thinker, anyway.

Still, it amazes me that the current political theater isn't now at least as provocative of pamphleteering as it was during the first decade of the 2000s. It's convenient for the current administration that folks have succumbed to fatigue. But as I remarked in the comments to the social networking post linked from this one, I believe the problem has to do with disappointment in the technology. I would not have a hard time accepting that there has been no net gain from the ill-managed deployment of these technologies since the early '90s. They held and hold promise, but they are badly designed, built, and operated. Better tools would have facilitated better time management.

But HB, AB, accidentally 5YO! Impressive. To Andrew's brew post I'd add Ruchira's review of The Leopard. It hasn't generated the traffic, but like Andrew's it has real substance.

Sujatha, thanks for the anniversary wrap up. As Dean says, I think you have accurately pointed to the reasons why blogging is languishing here. Since my eagerness for political commentary has dried up, so has the rate of blogging. One way to revive the moribund state would be to pivot away from politics altogether and look elsewhere for substantive thoughts - books for example. As I have indicated more than once, although I launched the blog primarily to write about politics and world affairs, some of the posts I most enjoy writing are book reviews. Perhaps that is where I should focus, along with other cultural commentary.

Dean, thanks for your appreciation of The Leopard. Hope a bigger blog will notice it and drive some traffic to the post. Perhaps some of us will be able to shake off the intertia and begin blogging again at a more lively clip, even if we never go back to the frenetic pace of the first three years. Sujatha, please finish the fall raking job soon. But as Dean pointed out, it's five long years and we are still here and still talking to each other :-)

Happy 5th anniversary to Accidental Blogger and many thanks to my co-bloggers and our readers.

Better time management, is alas, not the point for the new technologies. They are meant to waste the user's time, maximizing ad revenue for those who count their success by eyeballs gazing at their page. The effect is to lull the user into thinking that they have been productive with their time, making connections, even as those to the real world fade away and reality is reduced to a PC,Mac, iPhone or Blackberry screen.
Current political theater is all frenzied lemmings predicting election results right and left, "Vote", "No, Don't Vote", "I got what I wanted", "I didn't", "Glass half-full", "No, half empty!" It's a zoo out there, without A.B. adding to the clamor.
Ruchira's book review is like a refreshing drink of water to the thirsting traveller in a desert.

Many a time nowadays, an article or proposition catches the eye and captivates the mind. I ponder and start trying to find more information to compose a suitable post, collecting links and references. Then I get drawn away to some more pressing real-life matter, outside of the confines of my office, and when I come back, the moment and the urge to post has passed.

This (above) happens to me. But more than that, the urge to blog isn't there in the first place. Maybe I'm not meant to be a journalist, or an op-ed columnist. Or maybe I'm just a lot busier, so the time and energy that go into wanting to blog aren't there.

Happy Birthday, AB!!!! I think you are all doing a splendid job. And I appreciate that you are here.

If you are feeling unexcited to write, may I suggest an exercise I learned in a fiction-writing seminar? Create a persona to write in like an actor prepares for a role using the Stanislavski Method: know what the character ate for breakfast, wrote in her diary, how the parent with whom she is not obsessed died. A whole life history, honing in on sensory experiences and unexpressed desires. Write as that persona, about your normal material. Get a new username. See who makes you out.

If you don't want to do any of that, please just keep on.

Ruchira, my commendations to you for your management of this site even as you show the strain. Judging from your list of categories you always meant it to be more than about politics. You done good. People actually write for your blog and I thank you for accepting my ramblings. In this respect 3QD can learn from you (with apologies for the handful that do write for 3QD).

Dean, Joe, thanks for confirming my suspicion about the main reasons why blogging has become less frequent these days.
But my hope is that A.B. will continue to still have the kind of thought-provoking posts and discussions that it always has, even if the frequency is down. My experience of about 4 years (doesn't seem that long!) has been something that has vastly expanded my horizons, seeing other viewpoints on issues not necessarily consonant with my own, and learning to handle the back-and-forth banter gracefully.

Thanks, Narayan. I have said more than once that although political commentary (remember it was Bush-Cheney in 2005) was the fuel that jump-started my blogging energies, some of the posts I have most enjoyed writing are book reviews. They may also be among my best written pieces. Apart from that, my occasional forays into art and artists, as also cultural topics, too are fun. So may be I should ignore politics for a while and revitalize the blog with other thoughts. Hopefully, other authors too will feel motivated to do the same.

Congratulations to Ruchira and the A.B.ers -- "cerebral table talk" here is both entertaining and stimulating. I would be an even more active participant if not for my screaming babe -- I have been a big Ruchira fan ever since her great rants against Thomas Friedman. Here's to the next 5! I wonder if any of us will be able to remember Sharon Angle's name in 2015?

Hang in there and enjoy your screaming babe, Andrew. Eventually he'll grown into a gangling teenager who will argue with your every word, so you will wish him back in diapers again;)

I really enjoyed this anniversary rumination on Accidental Blogger and meta rumination regarding the various internet media, Sujatha. So much more interesting than a throwaway-- "sorry, too busy"-- and an excellent testament to this site and to the writers Ruchira attracts and goads into contributing. Congratulations, AB! I continue to enjoy this site. The screaming babe-- actually more given to soft whinging, rather than screaming-- is a problem I, literally, share, as is work. But Sujatha makes a good point that those of us on facebook certainly manage to find time for that. There's definitely a race to the bottom, with respect to quantity versus quality of interaction, that stems from the information fast-food aspect of social networking technologies. We fritter away time with many five minute breaks-- facebook blurbs or forwarded links-- rather than working efficiently and then setting aside time for a real blog post or email...just as those replaced the real article (with fact checking and footnotes) and letter.

I have more thoughts on this-- but work is calling me back. Do we blame the technology that is lowest quality but best fits into our hectic modern lives, or blame our hectic modern lives for being badly organized for reflection and a genuine meeting of minds?

Who, knows, but in any event-- thank you, A.B., and its contributors and organizers, for continuing to function as an oasis amid the clutter. Here's to 5 years!

Facebook allows us casual interaction without being too invested in the outcome, a sort of one-minute stand. But then, I've always preferred a cozy chat by the fireside with friends, with a good cup of tea. There's more danger of revealing yourself, but it's a danger I gladly welcome, since the alternative is shallow ramblings that give you the occasional glimpse into how the other person thinks, or rather how you think they think about something. There is too much room for artifice there.
A.B. is one of my cups of tea. I hope that we will keep this cerebral table talk going on for many more years.

A.B. is one of my cups of tea. I hope that we will keep this cerebral table talk going on for many more years.

When I chose the descriptor "cerebral table talk" for the blog, a cup of tea was implied:-)

One of the ways to reinvigorate the blog is to add new authors, those who haven't done this before but have thought about blogging. They may therefore bring fresh energy to posting and in turn re-energize the older authors into contributing more. I had been toying with the idea for a while but did not act on it because I felt that we already have a cozy club where "everyone knows your name." After the possibility (it is now a reality) of Norman Costa joining us was presented to me, I started thinking of expanding the roster of authors once again. I have contacted a couple of more potential authors who have shown interest. If and when they decide to come on board, I will introduce them to our readers.

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