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Thursday, January 01, 2004

Things I Can Write.

It makes sense to me. The first significant post to my weblog should be about writing. Writing is the reason I started the weblog, in any case. So why did I choose to write instead of something else, like taking a walk?

These are some thoughts that led me to start this weblog... First, I'm recently graduated from University of Maryland, but no one has seen fit to hire me yet. So I'm in that "happy place," as my friend Jeff called it, where I have nearly no schedule or responsibility. So I want to do something which will give a semblance of legitimacy to what I'm doing with my time.

Writing is an extension of speech. It is more a way to record thoughts in a permanent way, although you can certainly communicate with writing, as I intend to do. In your speaking, if you are communicating to another person, then you have an intended audience. People nearby, however, may overhear you. More often than not, in speaking, being overheard is not desirable. However, I think writing differs a bit in this regard. You write to have your thoughts in a more permanent form. Often, when you do this, your writing gets found by people who you did not intend to find it. In retrospect, it's great when this happens, especially if you get feedback from this unintended audience.

This unintended readership happens a lot with webpages, like this weblog. One could think of it sort of as a permanent radio broadcast of a sort. Even with something as private as a letter, it may be found unintentionally after the writer has died. We could guess that in a lot of cases the writer would be happy that someone had found his letter who he did not intend to see it.

So unintended communication is what I'm trying to accomplish here! I know people who I think will read this page. I can even think of people who I don't think will read this page but who I would like to read the page(i.e. Orson Scott Card). But there are those people who I cannot even fathom who may read this page. In any case, my writing is imprinted here in this digital form, on a server somewhere or other, being broadcast in a fantastic way over the Internet.

Next time you're writing a letter, think for a second about what it would be like for it to be read far in the future by some person you don't know. Then smile, and don't change a thing. This is the treasure of our progeny. They will know the thoughts of men long since dead, and dream of the great age of the 21st century.

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