Sunday, May 15, 2005

Blog

Here's the deal: I have a wife, four young children, and a very busy job. In my spare time, which isn't much, I like to read a good book, play the classical guitar, and run or lift weights. And if I have any spare time beyond that for writing, I really should focus on more permanent forms of writing (essays, law review articles, and a book). Which all goes to say that whatever blogging I do will be occasional, not regular.

Besides, I've been growing more and more ambivalent with the whole world of instant news and commentary. Admittedly, my natural inclination is to voraciously devour the material found on blogs, in newspapers, etc. But on a meta-level, I do agree with the sentiments expressed by C.S. Lewis (see here) or C. John Sommerville in his book How the News Makes Us Dumb: The Death of Wisdom in an Information Age. It's no answer to say that I should just focus on the few blogs or columnists who are genuinely insightful and thoughtful. Yes, they exist, but I find it impossible to read just them. (Remember the old motto of Lay's Potato Chips.) Instead, I end up browsing from one link to the next, and before I know it, I've wasted a couple of hours reading a bunch of random articles and blog posts, almost all of which have no lasting value. And all that cuts severely into the time that I have for everything else in my life.

So I'm trying, as a personal experiment, to stay away from all blogs and newspapers for the next 6 months. Maybe longer. I've already done so for over a week with no noticeable diminishment in my personal happiness; indeed, it feels as if my brain is clearer and more focused, and life feels less hurried and obsessed.

In any event, this means that to the extent I post on this blog at all, it will probably be non-news-related. Perhaps something about a book I read, or the like.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoy your retirement. This has been a fantastic read!

7:19 AM  
Blogger Stuart Buck said...

Thanks! But it's not strictly a "retirement" -- more a refocus away from daily up-to-the-minute news, which (frankly) has never been this blog's selling point anyway.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Joseph Buck said...

Great news, I think. I've always liked your more "general life" posts better than the ones that are simply about some "latest news." Although the news posts can occasionally be good--mostly when they are about an authentically thought-provoking event.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Bill Baar said...

We need you Buck.. try more multi-tasking instead.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Peg K said...

Stuart, I understand exactly what you mean.

Selfishly, I hope that you are able to "break your vows" and at least blog a bit more than you are anticipating.

Still, clearly mental health, family, work and a few other items do take precedence over blogging ... but I shall miss you not being around as frequently!

6:05 PM  
Blogger Crank said...

Hopefully, you'll come back to join the rest of us soon; if not, enjoy the time away. Remember that an awful lot of us have been dealing with levels of burnout after the one-two punch of the Iraq War and the 2004 election.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Václav Patrik Šulik said...

This sounds like a smart move -- it's almost like moving to a new stage of life. I think you are correct -- you will have a new sense of freshness.

On a somewhat related, albeit very personal note, I will probably have to do my own mirror version of this. It looks like while I'll be able to do reading of other blogs, I won't be able to blog. I'll miss it.

Alas, if one of us has to stop writing, this is the way which makes sense...

12:22 AM  

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