TITLE: Interlude AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: July 09, 2008 1:57 PM DESC: ----- BODY: [Update: Added a linked to my interview at Confessions of a Science Librarian.] Some months, I go through stretches when I write a lot. I started this month with a few substantive posts and a few light posts in the span of a week. Back in November 2007, I wrote twice as many posts as the typical month and more than any month since my first few months blogging. That month, I posted entries eleven days in a row, driven by a burst of thoughts from time spent at a workshop on science and computer science. This month, I had the fortune to read some good articles and the chance to skip real work, think, and write. Sometimes, the mood to write takes hold. I have had an idea for a long time to write an entry that was motivated by reading George Orwell's essay Why I Write, but never seem to get to it. I'm not getting to it today, either. But it came to mind again for two reasons. First, I spent the morning giving a written interview to John Dupuis, who blogs at Confessions of a Science Librarian. John is a reader of my blog and asked me to share some of my ideas with his readers. I was honored to be asked, and so spent some time this morning reflecting on my blog, what and why I write. Second, today is the fourth anniversary of my first blog post. Responding to John's questions is more writing than I do on most days. I don't have enough energy left to write a substantive post yet today, but I'm still in a reflective frame of mind about why I write. Do I really need to blog? Someone has already said what I want to say. In that stretch of posts last November, I cited Norvig, Minsky, and Laurel, among others, talking about the same topics I was writing about. Some reasons I can think of are: There are certainly other self-interested reasons to write. There is noble self-interest:
Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
-- the 14th Dalai Lama
And there is the short-term self-interest. I get to make connections in my own mind. Sometimes I am privileged to see my influence on former students, when they respond to something I've written. And then there is the lazy blog, where some reader knows or has something I don't and shares. At times, these two advantages come together, as when former student Ryan Dixon brought me a surprise gift last winter. Year Five begins today, even if still without comments. -----