January 7, 2010

The Voltage Gate has moved... back?

I suppose it's appropriate to start this back up after the new year in a new decade with pretty even numbers, but the urge to start writing at TVG is a resolution now months old. Just the right sequence of events were needed to take those first steps out of guilt to write in a certain medium again, straight out of a gut feeling that my connections to the world are a hell of a lot more shallow than they used to be, and coming back here to keep up is a good way to fix that.

The sequence goes something this, listed in order of accumulating guilt:

  • Spend the summer camping in and around the GA mountains.
  • Spend the fall hiking, writing short stories and finally watching Planet Earth.
  • Spend Christmas vacation in MD visiting the Baltimore Aquarium and my old haunts at FSU.

All of this reminded me of the fun I had blogging here, at my own website, when it was still true to what I was actually doing in my life, a reflection, a record of what was new to me as I studied biology and writing in college as a non-traditional student.

I think this time around I want to establish a few caveats mainly for my own sake, but potentially for a reader who may misinterpret my intentions. This site is pure vanity. It's a hobby. I'm not writing to be famous and I'm definitely not writing to change anyone's mind about anything. I have lost the taste for activism writing and art; it stinks of grand delusion and self-worship, except in very important and very rare cases. One of the biggest problems with the self-perception that bloggers create (and I have been closely monitoring the blogosphere for the past couple of years in my absence) is this idea that what they're doing is changing the world. I remain skeptical. I think that impulse to change the world is a poor motivation in any creative or learning process and will end up poisoning the work of most. As Tolkien has been quoted as saying, "I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence." All but the most skillful should shy away from such pretensions, and even then, the lasting power of such works is usually temporary. Removing the item from the that slim niche in the long corridor of human history, cuts off its vitals, its relevance.

So I think the frame of reference can change and should. These blogs are nothing more than online journals, ways to interact with others and share experiences and ideas. It's a hobby. It's fun. It's a great way to find people with similar interests. Sometimes they collide with major media outlets. Sometimes a better understanding of an issue can be gained through the words of someone's experience rather than a journalist's drone, but in general it's special interest.

My special interests lie mainly in the craft of writing (fiction and nonfiction; I write both, professionally and non-professionally), the philosophy of art, the science of nature, particularly ecology, the obsession of self in society and the identity crisis we all seem to be having to one degree or another. One aspect I'd like to explore here is the proliferation of special interests and self-definitions we derive from those interests-that-become-subculture. It's fascinating stuff.

I can't guarantee I'll be posting every day, but it'll hopefully be relatively frequent. I'd like to reconnect and see what's going on in the science blogging world again, though I can't really call myself a science blogger with any confidence at this point. I've been keeping up however, and would like to finish the biomes series I started as well as get into some ecological theory and philosophy.

Finally you might find bits of creative work on here every now and then. I have a million stories to tell and the vast majority of them are disjointed and short; I think it would be a perfect place to express some of those nagging images and ideas.

Here's to 2010.

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