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Saturday, December 11, 2004


I'm so much more a consumer of blogs than producer. It's easier for one thing, and quicker: my workadays are filled with five-minute snippets where I've nothing better to do but twiddle my thumbs while the machines whirr and build. I use the time mostly to read blogs, rather than write them. I've tried writing five-minute composites, of course, but with embarassing results. When I do write it takes me forever, and when I publish it is almost always days late, by which time both you and I have forgotten what the post was about in the first place. I tried this week to write about electronic voting machines, and how they might be constructed and used in a way that gives us confidence that the results are not hacked? But that was days ago I started, and only two half-paragraphs to show. Too slow, too late: day late, buck short, insert own proverb here. It isn't just that my attention span is so slim and my rhetorical skills so poor, nor even that my attention is most definitely required elsewhere, lest I be sacked and kicked to the curb a pauper? It's that all my retentive abilities are lodged up my jacksie. I can be incredibly picky and obsessive about some things - utterly trivial, pointless things. My dinner often grows cold while I fidget about - up and down, here and there - making sure everything is set before me just so: that I have the favored silverware, the solid plate, the TV-tray stood the right way round and at the correct distance from the couch. The napkin - I always forget the napkin, being a Brit - the napkin I have to get up and fetch, and one for my beloved too, because I forgot hers also. Every night. The salt. The pepper. The tabasco. The same. Or, on going to bed, the sheet and the comforter, both have to be trimmed to the correct length all the way down, to the exact preferred width past my edge of the bed before I'll slide in. My wife finds this amusing, she says, be we all know that really means irritating as all hell, don't we? Writing is the same. There are rituals, sacraments, pre-conditions that have to be met. There has to be time, time before doing something better, like shopping, time to sit and write and re-write and tweak and corrupt. Time to think of something anything to write about. Or nuthin', like now. And nobody'd better be lookin' over my shoulder - just can't type like that.

So blogs, for me, are better read than written. And if there's time, like I have today, follow through the links in hope of serendipity. A few weeks back it went Normblog->Charlock's Shade->Outer Life->StephenEsque.

Today it runs: Yglesias->Unfogged->The Weblog.

I'll never get anything written, this rate?


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