Second Post

I don’t imagine it would surprise anyone that a blog whose first post consists of reasons why having a blog seems like a good idea to the author doesn’t get a second post for a long time. Having reasons to want to have a blog and for it to have a lot written in it doesn’t really amount to much motivation to actually write anything, and I personally am a horrendous procrastinator.

So, I’m going to commit to making at least one post a week (at some point I’ll get around to setting up a Beeminder for this), and because part of the problem is that I often don’t feel like I have anything to write, I’ll also commit to having basically no standards for what’s “worth posting” on an actual wordpress blog as opposed to a tumblr or whatever, so that I don’t have that excuse.

After it feels like I’ve actually made a habit of doing blog posts, I’ll move on to a less pathetic writing goal like a wordcount or something.

First Post

Well, I registered this blog about two months ago now, so I think it’s about time to introspect on why I even have a blog if I haven’t posted anything on it yet.

I mean, I kinda know, but that sort of thinking-aloud makes a decent sort of intro post, and that’ll help get around mental blocks on making anything that’s not an introduction type thing be the first post here.

Some years ago, I found the vlogbrothers Youtube channel by stumbling upon this video about the Orion Space Vehicle while searching for stuff about the other, cooler Orion. I quickly started dreaming of having a successful video blog of my own, and when I saw this video by Louis Cole a year later, the dream was solidified and it’s been sitting in the back of my mind ever since. I want to live this awesome life where I travel wherever I like, meet cool people, the only actual job or responsibilities getting in the way of fun is that I talk into a camera about whatever I want on a daily or weekly basis, and also I’m kinda famous.

Now, I’m well aware that that’s an overly rosy picture at best of even the life of a successful video-blogger, since at the very least there’s hours a day of editing work, but the dream has been lodged in my mind as a kind of brain-parasite. I’ve made abortive attempts to start a video blog, switched to trying to start the normal kind of blog instead after having difficulty there, and this is attempt no. 3 at starting a normal blog. I can come up with other reasons why I should start a blog, but if I’m honest with myself then the core reason actually driving it is that making a token effort towards that dream is much easier than giving up on it entirely.

So, then, the obvious question is, why don’t I give up entirely? To which I’d answer that even after I’ve adjusted for all the ways making a living off having a blog can suck, I think it’s still something I’d really want, at least compared to actual jobs and other such things I could do with my life, and it doesn’t seem that out-there or beyond my ability. If anything, what I need to justify is my ongoing failure to put in the effort you’d expect from someone who’s following their dreams, but I’m a ball of executive dysfunction in year 5 of a 3-year degree course and I’m writing this while procrastinating on studying, so I’ll give myself a pass on that point.

With the above said, I’m still going to list out the reasons why starting a blog is a worthwhile endeavour even if I don’t expect to reach that kind of success, because when I try to actually give the decision a cost-benefit analysis that “follow your dreams” angle doesn’t count for an awful lot. So, in no particular order:

– I waste a lot of time in arguments on the internet, something about how I am makes me put a totally disproportionate amount of effort into my responses in such an exchange and I’ll rephrase a sentence half-a-dozen times. That effort is, in that context, just howling into the void, and redirecting that effort into a (comparatively) permanent and constructive thing like a blog is worthy unto itself.

– Relatedly, I have opinions that I like to tell people about or explain to people, and having a blog that serves as a repository for the opinions that I have so that I can just link to it when circumstances allow should in theory save time and effort. If nothing else, having an “official” explanation of my position on something that I can link to people might give me new opportunities to better explain myself to people and thus connect better with my fellow human beings.

– Even if I’m never “famous” to even the level of a minor internet celebrity who’s able to make a living of Patreon, having a blog with a readership at all does seem like it’d provide some sense of subjective status and other such benefits of being “famous” to a small degree.

– There is that saying that “every writer has a million bad words in them”, and maintaining a bad and unsuccessful blog should at least be good for my writing ability, and I think skills like that have some intrinsic value even if I wouldn’t actually use better writing ability for anything more than just maintaining a blog that was actually decent.

– I’m a singularitarian and transhumanist, and there’s an idea that goes around those circles that future civilizations might make AIs based on reconstructions of the personalities of people from their past and basically resurrect those people. Having a repository of your thoughts and writings might make such reconstruction easier and thus make it possible you’ll be resurrected in a sci-fi future. I don’t put much credence in that, but I’m uncertain enough about personal identity that I can’t rule it out, and an outside-bet chance of immortality is pretty nice.

– Apart from the arguing on the internet I mentioned above, almost all of what I do in my current online presence is read and watch things, generally consuming content. Just being a lurker makes me not feel like a part of the internet communities I like to consider myself a part of, and creating content seems in some sense intrinsically more noble or whatever.