Blogs are a pain in the butt. They’re too easy to start, too hard to keep going. And they’re needy; they always pester you to visit them, moderate them, update them, and upgrade them. You can’t ignore them, either, because Estonian penis-enlargement spam blooms on them like mildew if you blow off all that labor for more than five minutes.
I recall catching just a glimpse of a glorious future in which everybody on earth had their very own blog, and we hooked all the blogs together, elbow-in-elbow, and became a free and open society of independent self-publishers. But then Facebook happened, and now everything sucks for blogs. The internet is littered with abandoned ones. Soon they’ll be like compact disks, or flash drives smaller than a gigabyte: piling up in giant wind-swept mounds in the street, clogging the gutters when it rains, making your basement flood.
I still have at least five of these damn blog things: MSL (this one); my author website (remember when those seemed impressive?); the site for my first novel — which was actually very fun while it was fresh, but there’s only so much one can say about bears — plus I have one-off sites for various projects, which live on as valuable documentation, but which still give off just a whiff of that pathetic dead-blog-smell.
At the beginning of 2015 I said goodbye to Facebook and went on a very strict social media elimination diet. It was great, I recommend it highly, but do beware: it was very hard, at first, to realize how many of my actual, valued, nearby-available human friends sort of forgot I existed once I stopped poking them all the time. Still, overall, life without Facebook has been a big improvement for me, an important part of the major mental retrofit (ongoing) which has made the last year and a half of my life so interesting, and which is improving my future more every day.
Almost nobody knows about that, because I stopped writing, generally, and stopped writing online in particular. If there ever was such a person as a regular reader of this blog, they must think I died.
I apologize. I never meant to disappear. I just learned that being over-connected, in that internet-future way we love to enthuse about, was actually quite bad for my ever-so-distractible, poorly grounded brain. And all that constant self-promotion I was up to, the whole feedback loop of loneliness and validation, the constant scramble for online attention and cultural significance of any kind, the never-ending, vacuous salesmanship of self … well, it became really trendy. Everybody does it now. And I’m a hipster, so I had to give it up.
But seriously: I’ve been good, very good, and also very busy, though quiet … and I do want to tell you all about it. Yes, you, my beloved hypothetical superset of friends, admirers, NSA agents and blog-virus algorithms. You, to whom I address my thoughts when I’m trying to collect them. Healthy or not, I have learned there’s a part of me that doesn’t exist apart from you.
I’ve also learned that I often neglect to take pride in my work, part of which pride-taking process is to show off. And while the Famous Author Mykle Hansen blog now feels to me like a treatise on insecure egomania written in the voice of a character I used to play, I have always felt this blog here, Mykle Systems Labs, was a safe space for exhibiting my inventions, my experiments, my never-complete research. So please do watch this space, as I now attempt to fire it back up, and use it to catch up with you.
BTW, if you’re reading this on Facebook, please understand that a) I have a lot of complaints with Facebook but I certainly don’t judge you for using it! Nevertheless b) I am not on Facebook at all. If I appear to be, it’s an illusion. In particular, I will not see your comments, or even appreciate your likes (sad! I know!), but c) you can always follow the link, and leave Facebook for a while to come visit me in my magical bloggyverse (it’s actually very dowdy, but whatever) and leave me a note there, or we can chat or you can poke me or something. It’ll be quaint, very nineties-feeling. BUT d) I suspect that Facebook really hates it when you leave their site for any reason, and they will try to stop you, by throwing lots of distractions and difficulties in your way — in fact, their whole interface has made it hard for you to even read a document this long (and it’s not very long) — because YOU ARE CATTLE TO THEM.
However, you could also phone me up, send a postcard, or just drop by for tea. I am not hard to find.