Temporarily posted where this blog used to be…
You may be wondering — as I have been asked countless times now — if I’ve simply ignored the obvious error message that has been lurking at this domain for the last while.
I have not.
You may also be wondering if I’ve removed my blog as a result of certain events that transpired over the weeks and months preceeding that deliberate removal.
Again, I have not.
There is no simple or single reason why, after nine years of writing, I’ve chosen to permanently remove the blog. Rather, it is explained more aptly as a mosaic of complex factors, most or all hinging around the notion of assumed risk. As in, by writing I assume nearly all the risk while by reading you assume very little. And as with all risk, when there is a balancing factor of benefit as a result of that risk, the risk is then worth taking. For a long time, the risk was very much worth taking. But this has changed… dramatically.
Over the past months — and starting as far back as a year or more ago — the risk has greatly increased while the payoff has continued on its long, slow, dwindling path. This is for numerous reasons, many swirling around the external, internal, emotional, irrational, physical, mental, social, and participatory nature of any such collection of writing. Yes, there was a tipping point. And yes, there was a metaphorical “straw that broke the camel’s back” as some might say. But the short explanation to a very complex problem is that in the final weeks of its public existence, bradgarten crossed over the edge of sanity that made the risks of openly writing greater than the personal benefits to myself.
And the fault for that is completely my own. There is no one to blame but me.
If this talk of risk to you sounds paranoid or conspiratory, you are reading it wrong — or worse, reading into it where there is no depth to be read. The risk as I’ve defined here is little more than the risk to my own peace of mind, my perception of the privacy in my life, and the complexity of turning personal disagreements into public spectacle. It is the archiving of my existential nature for reference by too many people. It is the risk of so much effort spent for so little product. It is the impermanence of a cascade of momentary ideas mashed into the longevity of public publication. It is that the web is no longer the lawless, wild-west-analog that it once was back when this blog was just another lone ranger on its barren plains. The web has matured and blossomed, its streets are bustling and crowded, and there is risk in leaving one’s doors unlocked at night.
If to you shutting down the blog comes across as selfish, then so be it. I have other writing to do, other ideas to explore, and other projects to maintain, each of which still offers me equitable odds at a long term payoff, both emotional and monetary, and the hopes of a purpose greater than simple personal blather and unrefined opinions written on a whim of the moment. Instead, new ideas tempt me, and those ideas include a relatively higher degree of longevity, quality control, rational and thought out opinions, and deliberate attempts at personal and professional integrity. This is also a mitigation of risk; writing words with more depth and quality requires larger parcels of time, energy and resources. So I will, of course, be devoting more of each to these new efforts.
And, obviously, I’ll always work on commission.
This explanation too, is temporary. Like many other personal elements on the web, I plan to methodically scour the web of anything that is not definably or arguably professional in nature. You may have already noticed that I am currently undertaking a retreat from social networks that do not specifically contribute to professional goals or projects. I am closing accounts littered with public information. And with the sole exception of photography, anything online that does not meet certain strict criteria will be gone as of the end of this month, this explanation included.
I would hate to exit on such a sour note, however. The skills I’ve learned in these past endeavors are skills that are invaluable to me professionally. The tools I’ve acquired are tools that many would pay money and devote educational efforts towards merely to get the basic grasp of work I often perform routinely to keep these sites running. I eat and pay my mortgage because I know these things. It has been a good run. And I hope the hours of entertainment and the swath of varying insights I have shared have been worth the time it took to read. But everything must someday have a final chapter, and this epilogue belongs here.
And thus… it ends.