Anyone who has been reading Existence is Wonderful for a while now may have noticed that lately I have been posting less in the way of lengthy, serious, citation-laden writing and more in the way of cat pictures and commentary not quite as "weighty", for lack of a better word.
So I just wanted to explain this a bit. Basically what happened was that I got really, really exhausted last year. I had some huge changes occur in my life (moving from an apartment into a house, getting laid off from my job, adopting cats, etc.) and all of those changes necessitated the expenditure of massive amounts of energy in primarily offline contexts.
Moreover a lot of the house-related and work-related stuff has been tremendously confusing. Thankfully I have a lot of help and support from various people I am fortunate to have in my life, but still, I have had to take things very slowly in some respects in order to actually get them right, and the time needed to do that has meant other things (like working to apply language to complex issues) have fallen by the wayside.
None of this means I am not interested in my "usual" topics (longevity medicine, neurology/autism, disability issues, robots, technology and culture, etc.), and I have tried to keep touching on these at least every so often. But all these things take time to articulate properly about, and they take being able to work in a certain sort of brain-mode I've not had the luxury of devoting very much bandwidth to this past year.
Whenever I've been able to post anything reasonably complex it has been a surprise to me...which brings me to the primary reason for this explanation. Essentially I've realize that if I decide never to write anything until I can write something sufficiently well-researched (and cited if need be), serious (or humorous, even, depending on the topic), and explicated to my own satisfaction I would never write anything. Or rather, I would post less and less to the point where my writing skills started to atrophy, which would make it that much harder to start again when I actually had enough information and background and brain to produce something worthwhile.
(This has actually happened to me before...when I got out of college I had practically forgotten how to write, and I was so rusty it was almost physically painful to generate a paragraph saying, for instance, what a particular book was about. I practiced my way through that, but I would rather not have to deal with that again!)
So...what this means for Existence is Wonderful is that while I do aim to produce Serious Business (meaning, posts that have been thoroughly fact-checked, referenced, and disclaimered) posts when I can, not EVERY post is going to be Serious Business.
Moreover, sometimes I may seem to be writing about a given thing (such as longevity medicine) less than I used to. This does not mean my interest has waned but that (in most cases) my standards have gone up, as one thing I am finding is that sometimes the more I research something in my endeavors to write about it, the less I figure I can legitimately say, given the obvious gaps in my knowledge. This doesn't mean I will never write about [thing] again, just that I've developed a greater appreciation for what ought to go into a high quality post about [thing].
In any case, what all of this ultimately comes down to is my wanting to keep my writing ability from getting rusty but realizing I cannot consistently blog about specific subjects in ways that do those subjects justice. And the best way I can think of to deal with this is just sort of not be overly concerned with how many big, complex, heavily-referenced posts I can generate, but rather follow my brain's lead regarding what it can produce words on at any given time. And sometimes, it seems, that's going to be cats, or sf films, or whatnot.
Finally, I realize that I can do whatever I want with my blog. I don't HAVE to explain why my writing veers off in the directions it does. However, I thought it might be useful to provide some small explanation for the sake of anyone who thought this was a "life extension blog" or an "autism blog" or anything so specific. It isn't, and it hasn't been for a long time.
What it is, and has been from the beginning, is an ongoing exploration of existence and being in the world and observing things from one person's perspective. That is very vague, I realize, but it makes sense to me and in that sense does encompass everything I might happen to write about. E.g., after writing about longevity specifically a lot it started to dawn on me that a life of any length is made worthwhile by its content, so why not focus sometimes on that content?
And of course, no matter what shows up here, I figure people who feel like reading will read and those who don't, won't, and I am totally fine with that.
EDIT: Comments closed on 3/12/10, as for some strange reason this post seems to be attracting gargantuan amounts of nonsense-spam.