On not having kept a journal
Or, indeed, written in any coherent reflective way.
For a long time I have wondered, what am I doing chasing new ideas?
If it were focused, fine; if it were part of a deliberate attempt to be open to particular kinds of new things, fine;
but no, perhaps like many other people, I find myself, well, surfing the web, as it used to be called.
So, I was thinking of having a New Year's resolution to write more.
As it happened, today's Brain Pickings
resolution number 2 was from Virginia Woolf: Keep a Diary.
And then, I've been following Peter Limberg's Stoa Journal, which has many admirable features to it.
What do I want to do here? Ah, so many things...
- Keep track of my own thoughts and feelings, so that I can reflect at some distance, learning about myself perhaps. And that, learning about myself, is only so that I can share and give more. Much of my learning about myself will not be about the cognitive, the logical, the rational – I know I can do these things. It will be about the emotional. And I haven't yet worked out how I will balance privacy and openness, thinking about myself, and also the people who are implicated somehow in my emotional life.
- Share more with others: when I die, all my memories die with me, unless shared, somehow.
Best if I get to pass on ideas directly by word of mouth, but where that is not feasible, at least I can leave some kind of trace. What is the point of learning new stuff unless it is made sense of and passed on? The purpose of life is not, I believe, simply to inform oneself and die knowledgable. So what?
- To have a central spine, from which I can gather together ideas.
Michel Bauwens doesn't publish a journal, but his work on the P2P Foundation Wiki (to which I contribute) could be seen as his intellectual journal about the Commons and related topics.
- To include the aspect of the "work blog", like I used to do at Cetis.
I'd like to bring all the Cetis posts here, particularly including the long-running "Logic of Competence" series.
- To reflect on how the technology does or doesn't support this kind of writing.
I'm doing this to start with using what are now very old tools -- a text editor, HTML, CSS and FTP.
I'd like to automate some, to make writing easier or more accurate, but how difficult is it, in fact?
Is it that much more effort to write like this, when it saves energy by being much quicker across the Internet?
One thing that the Web by itself lacks, and I want to include (starting by hand) is having all internal links two way, and ideally with semantic intent. I'm looking for some Wiki software that automates that bit, at least, and ideally does so across different sites hosted in different places.
- But, maybe first and foremost, to write about what I have called the CHOICE, as I know full well that there is much to write about that, to answer people's questions, and to give more people a way in to understanding how the ideas will fit together.
It's not important to me to have a 'readership': if these posts are there for people to read when they seek them, that's fine. It is for me, a new year's resolution.
If you have any remarks on any of my posts, please send me e-mail,
saying what you want me to do with your remarks.
Are they private to you and me, or would you be happy to quote you
(I will always attribute your words unless you ask me not to),
and add your response (or parts of it) to the post it's about?