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• Small Pieces From 2002-06-08 •

Tom, Cory describes his blog as his 'outboard brain'.

Personally, I like the Harry Potter idea of the pensieve - a pool of memories that others can dip into.

Of course, what Harry really needs is Google - 'The Goblet of Fire' would be half the length if he had a usable search engine instead of having to sneak into the restricted section of the library in the middle of the night wearing an invisibility cloak....

Loosely joined by Kevin Marks06:38 UTC

A few quick points in catching up:

1. David, if you're going to keep on agreeing with everyone at the first sign of controversy, how are we ever going to stage the Agon of Agons, the war of words, the battle of wits, the agreeable disagreements that solve world hunger, or help pass the time?

2. What's more, I disagree with your claim that the Muse of Cliches (Klipsaccherie) authored your statement. I think Steve was more correct in saying that you meant something by it that not only is not cliched, but must be taken in the context of SPLJ (and perhaps SPLJ jr.) if it is to be taken at all. Resonant phrases aren't bad, just dangerously liable to be hijacked by those in search of anthems or slogans.

3. I will disagree with both you and Steve on the matter of blogging as an incitement to organize experiences that otherwise may have escaped recording. Actually, I do not disagree with that. I think blogging is inciting people to capture epiphanies, images, memories that might otherwise have gotten away. But I don't necessarily think this need occur in the form of a re- or pre-hearsal with an audience in mind. One of the best things to come out of it for me, anyway, is the experience of reading across a bunch of blogs and gradually forming a perception or observation which is partly based on that reading, and partly on ideas or insights that might have formed years ago, but only now seem to find a venue for delivery. That's sort of what blogging does - deliver one of thoughts, memories, etc. that otherwise might have languished for want of venue and impetus. Don't you dare agree with this!

Loosely joined by tom04:21 UTC

[saving early and often...]
What a tough job it must be for the Muse of Cliches: inspiring brand new commonplaces.

Though the framing in narrative reinforces what might be forgotten, internal narrative can get in the way of the groove, you know? My richest memories are of whole sensory/emotional experiences. If I'd been trying to be a back-seat journalist at the same time, I would've missed something. Maybe it's just me. I'm terrible at multi-tasking. But is the lack of intervening auto-narrative why childhood memories are so strong? Maybe, but it's probably also the replaying of the memories to ourselves and others that keeps them strong over the years. The narrative needs to come later. Separation of blurts and state.

Loosely joined by Steve00:31 UTC

• Small Pieces From 2002-06-07 •

[What I posted an hour ago apparently didn't make it through's Random Frustration Synthesizer. Damn. Here's sort of what I think I said:]

I hereby renounce any special standing presumptively accorded me as the author of "We are writing ourselves, etc." It was merely the Muse of Cliches speaking through me. The various hermeneutical exegeses offered in this gang blog outweight whatever I might have had in mind.

As for Steve Y's drive time experience: Isn't this what we all do? We rehearse our day to see how it will sound in the telling? Except now we are all writers and we're telling our stories not to our weary spouses but to friends and strangers. And they're writing back. Isn't what's old about the Web at least as important as what's new?

[And then I said something else. I can't remember what it was, but I do recall thinking that it was staggeringly clever and ineffably profound. Oh well.]

Loosely joined by David21:57 UTC

There's a sort of Heisenbergian problem to blogging that I noted awhile back. I came across it this morning as I was driving, just enjoying the rain and the music -- "hmm, how would I write about this?" I've also felt a tug to blog, even when uninspired, just to keep my small audience from going away. How did that happen? I started out just blogging as a way to organize my own thoughts and interests, with the self-imposed vetting of considering potential readers. Having people respond and interact has made my blogging a community thing-in-itself, not simply me-on-the-web. Blogging does help me reflect carefully on what's important to me (but for me only certain things, and not even the deepest personal things -- I'm probably more private than most), and in that sense, something of me comes more fully into existence. But it also has its own separate motivations that are inextricably part of the fabric.

We can look at all the arts -- writing, music composition, music performance, painting, etc. and ask to what extent the act is influenced by the relationship to an audience. Of course within each, there's large variation from person to person, just as there of course is in blogging. But that begs the question (uh-oh, rue this, baby) "is blogging art?".

So, while I think "writing ourselves into existence on the Web" is a great resonant phrase (just a little too long for a bumper sticker) it's not quite on the mark when you get down to the details. Not that David intended it to be -- it's we who picked it up just because it did grab us.

Loosely joined by Steve14:53 UTC

You may rue the day, Kevin. I'd welcome some discussion of: "We're writing ourselves into existence on the Web." On its face, does it not seem a bit blandly unproblematical to adequately address the representation of the self in a networked environment? Too...conflict-free? Of course, a worry-wort could easily fix that, saying, "It might be an expression of satisfaction, but might it not be a too great a stretch to experience it as setting off alarms? What if we change writing to painting? -- 'We're painting ourselves...into a corner...on the Web...' ''

It seems fair to ask, is this self-writing always an affirmative proposition? Is there some reason writing should be allowed off the hook of being examined in all its effects and implications, just like any other human act?

I've got a bunch of even dumber questions, like: what's the difference between "we" and "ourselves"? And, is that "ourselves," or "our selves"? But in the absence of any evidence of conflict, I'll sleep on them.

Loosely joined by tom00:12 UTC

• Small Pieces From 2002-06-06 •

This is slowly turning into a monologue here - wake up!

Loosely joined by Kevin Marks07:16 UTC