I started this blog twelve years ago. I always meant to update it regularly, but… life intervenes. After recently coming back to it, I decided it was due for a good cleaning. There were lots of old articles about things I no longer care about but that people on the Internet keep visiting and linking to. I kept them. But there were also a lot of opinion pieces that I no longer agree with. Their disposition was a harder decision. The possibility of deleting them felt dishonest, like I was denying ever holding those beliefs. Conversely, this blog isn’t a diary (I have a separate one of those) or a public record (I just write stuff every now and then).
I won’t ever apologize for opinions I’ve had but discarded. If we’re a product of our environments, then our ideas must surely be the result of the people around us and the things we were taught. We don’t often get much say in these until later in life. However, many of my opinions have changed greatly through time, usually after meeting new friends or reading new viewpoints and considering my own beliefs in the light of new information.
Additionally, while reading through those old posts, I realized that a lot of them were phrased a lot more strongly, perhaps harshly, than I’d ever actually felt about the subjects involved. In person, I can cheerfully discuss great differences with just about anyone. I’m excited and energized by tracing back to the roots of our dissents and looking for common ground in even wildly different worldviews. And yet, reduced to written word, a lot of the things I would have said with a smile over a shared meal came across as, well, angry and mean.
Given that I now disagree with many of the ideas I’d described, and that other posts inaccurately conveyed a stridency I never felt during their writing, I’ve deleted large swaths of old content. If I won’t apologize for my opinions, I will for how I might have expressed them in ways that hurt, angered, or belittled.
And with that, let’s begin this experiment anew.