16 March 2008

Und warum? An Ecoist rationale

Of all the "clocks" that we keep track of—national debt, population of the world, casualties in [favorite unjust war of the week]—the one that spirals out of control the most senselessly must be the number of blogs on the Internet. The "check availability" of domain names for Blogspot.com is probably one of the most clicked links on the web, given that nearly every witty, literary, or common name has now been taken. So why another?

I can only offer weak arguments. The first from necessity: my web page, so well-suited to undergraduate life and adapted adequately for the world of grad school, is a little out-of-date for a professional academic. I'm looking for a place to put ideas that aren't yet ready for full publication, and Wikipedia just didn't seem the right place. I certainly have the HTML skills to create something similar to a blog without the stigma the term entails. But at a certain point, one needs to acknowledge exactly what one is doing and embrace it. That doesn't mean I won't try to obfuscate this blog via perl sometime later...

The second reason comes from a challenge that Umberto Eco (a name surely to appear often in the blog) threw upon American academics over twenty years ago. He wrote:

"I believe that an intellectual should use newspapers the way private diaries and personal letters were once used. At white heat, in the rush of an emotion, stimulated by an event, you write your reflections, hoping that someone will read them and then forget them." (Travels in Hyperreality, p. x)

Perhaps some time in the near future I will be emboldened to take up his gauntlet directly, to actually send my thoughts off to newspapers (thereby destroying rain forests, reaching octogenarians, etc.), but for now, this blog seems an adequate post-modern solution.

And the title: mode and time may govern our life, but prolation gives order to the minima of our daily activities.

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