July 27, 2022

What/Why Here?

Five years of academia have vampired my writing process. I slip into the passive voice without thinking. I struggle to complete sentence fragments that are missing a citation. I fret that organizational practice scholars will be upset that I called something a routine and routine researchers won’t like my practice literature citation.


I didn’t even notice the lifeblood of my writing draining out until it flat-lined this past December. I couldn’t write much of anything in any context and what I could write took hours to put down. Bye bye emails. Adios text messages. Hello to the wordless oblivion of living on the opposite coast of family and friends with scant electronic communication during a pandemic. After five months I finally managed to write the words necessary to take a leave of absence from school.

The guilt-free time away from studies has warmed my cold limbs. Now I am trying to figure out the garlic, crosses, stakes, etc., I will need for a resolute return to the exclusionary jargon, empty citations, and petty linguistic battles of grad school writing.

I intend for this blog to be one of my most powerful protective wards. It gives me an excuse and a place to write messily in my own voice and at my own pace. It also gives me an imaginary audience which encourages me to write with more clarity and humor. I tend to get lazy when journaling for myself e.g., no need to fix this garbled paragraph–I know what I wanted to say.”

I also admire the Blog as a remnant format of Web 1.0 standing bravely against the ravages of Web 2.0, and the horrors of Web 3.0. I have admiringly followed several blogs for years and it is exciting to join their ranks however humbly.

So that is the what and why. May this at least be the start of a proud, obscure, little thought archive. With luck, may it be the first post of a weird, compassionate, little online community. To that end, I added a comment section on the fanciful idea that I might one day have a reader. Here we go!

Here is that list of blog and blog-like places that excite me with every update and inspire my thinking here and everywhere else:1

  • Haley Nahman puts her finger on a pulse of American culture and shares the beat with humor and thoughtfulness.
  • Jason Kottke host a venerable, internet dreamcatcher of a blog.
  • Kieran Healy plays with sociological ideas. He also shares and explains handy little bits of R code that can be particularly useful for data wranglers.
  • Mike Rugnetta is my internet intellectual idol. He produces prolifically, I consume consummately, and I am never disappointed.
  • Andrew Gelman has fostered an incredible community of scientists deeply concerned with the transparency, veracity, and inclusivity of science. This is a great place to see skepticism put to constructive use.
  • Sorry Watch studies apologies from all over time and social space. Their writing has transformed how I think and feel about harm, moral responsibilities, and restorative justice.
  • Eric Dennis muses about blacksmithing and the way making ties us to the material world.

  1. The list is ordered by the second letter of the first word/name–death to primo-alphabetic supremacy!↩︎

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