Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why am I blogging?

Why am I blogging? It's almost ludicrous; I'm sneaking online in the middle of the night, trying desperately to catch up on email and work, have thousands of other productive things I could be doing, and... the first thing I nearly always do is post here. (For the record, every blog entry since October represents nearly every time I've managed to get online. So you can see why I've got a growing backlog.)

I write most of my posts offline (as I write most of my emails now, and read most of my webpages). This one is an exception. It means it typically takes about 30 seconds to actually post the thing live - so yeah, I stay productive online. For the most part, it's spent in a furious attempt to keep up with wikis and docs and remote server configs and occasional forays onto IRC to stem the flood of "shit, I have to catch up" panic by talking to Bostonians up far too late.

Efficiency aside, I blog because it's one of the things keeping me sane. I need to talk, to spout, to hash out things that may occasionally be more in keeping with Western cultural norms than Eastern ones, to use complex English words and American slang, and (most importantly) to yammer about technology and geekiness and crazy ideas about education with... anyone. People. Even if I'm tossing these words out into a black hole most of the time, I get to say them. Sometimes I even hear something back.

I need to speak and not have to explain for the umpteenth time why open source is not ridiculous, to not have to bang my head repeatedly against the "but this is the proper way to teach children because otherwise the poor misguided souls won't do things correctly" wall. To speak into a space where I've made myself belong somewhat, instead of into one where I'm expected to belong but don't quite. To feel entirely and completely, even for a brief moment, like myself again, and not an awkward variant of the young lady I'll probably never properly become.

I guess that's it, really. Despite this being a post where I'm trying somewhat to explain myself, the internet - and my blog - is a place where I don't have to ask permission or explain myself. I blog so that the person I want to be gets a chance to de-rust her vocal cords once in a while and speak (however incoherently) so that I don't lose her in the rush of things which are often beyond my control.

Despite the ranting, I'm really having a great time in the Philippines - it's just that this part of me needs feeding too, and I don't know a better way to get it.


Erin said...

If it helps, most people here don't really get what's so great about open source, either. I got my Dad started on Ubuntu, but he has yet to do anything with his Ubuntu box other than play games- and he's an old-school, punch-card-programs-to- beat-the-Russians veteran.

good luck over there!

Anonymous said...

Here's another voice just to confirm to you that your blog is not a black hole. I like knowing about your adventures, and all the metaphysical speculations that they cause.

And I'm taking a class about deafness at Brandeis so next time I see you in a crowded room I'll actually be half decent at communicating.


Tom Cecil said...

Mel - I assume you've seen this, but I just ran across it this morning, a way to utilize a number of web services offline. Google Gears, they call it.

Keep blogging - writing is discovery.