Fireside chat

By Ev Bogue - November 21st 2014

The fire is dying out. The chicken bones have burned away.

I'm not near drunk enough for this, but I've opened up another 14oz can of Victoria, so we'll see if I can get there.

There being the buzzy high you're never supposed to rely on as a writer to get to your greatest work. That's why this fireside chat is my worst work.

Let's talk about...

Email. Yes, email. It's been on my mind for the past 6-months, or has it been 22 years? Email. It's the best god damn thing on the planet and the worst god damn thing on the planet.

People are very funny about their email boxes. They almost always check them. Most all day long. But the zeitgeist of email boxes changes. Remember ten thousand years ago when everyone wanted to process their inboxes to zero? No longer. These days we must collect as many emails into our inboxes as possible, so as not to ever feel unpopular or alone. Even though sitting in front of an inbox is probably the most alone thing you could ever do!

So I have my own email server that I'm running. I've gotten half-good at it. I'm still not quite sure how I got the damn thing to work, but work it does. Sort of. I still can't email Hotmail, but the only person who emails me from Hotmail these days is this one lunatic who sends me long esoteric emails that don't make any sense. If I could reply to him, I'd say "why don't you set up your own email server?" and he'd reply with some esoteric shit, because he don't have any tech skills -- that's why he's still using a centralized email providor that was cool twenty years ago.

This isn't to say anything about lunatics who email. I mean who isn't a lunatic sometimes? The trouble is that it's never been established whether or not being a lunatic on your email is a good or bad thing. One thing I do know for certain is trying to use compassionate communication over pop3 doesn't get results at all.

So nearing the end of 2011 we have this dying hobo fire. This 1/4th drank Victoria can. We have this Internet thing that almost no one knows how to use. We have a billion or so quite talented screen 'thumbers', but what else? y que mas?

There must be more to life than this.

Okay, let me change the subject.

I want to talk about your blog archive. That archive that no one cares about. Yes, that one.

I keep deleting my posts, which pisses everyone off. But no one can remember what posts of mine they wanted to read over and over again. And when I did that small experiment with analytics, no one seemed to be visiting the old pieces unless I made a big deal about them -- which I didn't want to do, becaue they were O.L.D. And yet there's this idea that everyone should keep everything on the Internet, and you should be responsible for tending to this overgrown garden of a blog that no one cares about but you. Tough shit buddy, you shat that blog post out, now you have to keep it up.

That kind of mindset I don't understand at all. Why must we keep around our blog posts forever? Why are we forbidden from performing this mortal sin of linkrot?

Wouldn't the Internet be so much more fun and exciting of we could start over with the whole god damn thing from scratch?

I have a list as long as the amount of cans of beer in my fridge who would benefit from nuking their blogs. Then they'd be free! They wouldn't be the person everyone keeps thinking they are, instead they'd be the person they want to create for themselves with a blog to mirror their identity! But these people keep sticking to their blog archive, in a similar way to the way other people hoard worn out furniture in their attics, or keep their garbage around for two weeks before finally taking it out.

But if your archive is garbage, shouldn't you flush it now? Why wait until three weeks from now?

The trouble with a site that only grows but never dies is it becomes too hard to menuver. As the tides change on the Internet, how will you navigate this ever-growing pile of crap your dragging through the digital oceans with you? Will you be have to switch platforms when new and emerging technologies come out? No. Will you be able to re-think your organizational scheme or perhaps your entire approach? No.

Oh, not to mention if you try to re-invent yourself you will be dragging so much cognative dissonence through digital space/time that you will never escape the person you used to be.

Bits can live forever. But do they deserve to live forever? I say no.

I say kill all useless bits. Smash all old hard drives. Destroy all backup CD-ROMs. Nuke your Gmail account without even going through to see if there's anything "important" in there, because is there? No. There's nothing important in there. It's all digital crap you've created, processed, and never deleted.

Storage is cheap, navigating all of that crap you've saved to disk is expensive.

Why I respond to every incoming email →

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