cyber conversations and musing

Ta-Nehisi Coates mentions in passing in an interview from this week’s On the Media that he feels that blogging is something that one can only do for so long, then one should probably quit (due to burnout?).

I find that pretty startling. I guess it’s because I am not a commercial blogger or something. Coates is being interviewed because of his adroit managing of the comments section of his Atlantic blog. My “blogging” (which actually historically preceded the term) has much more to do with my life-long habit of keeping a journal. The adjustment for me was doing a public journal and keeping it appropriate. I guess I’m still learning about that. Thank goodness it’s so easy to delete something that I find was inappropriate in retrospect.

In another section of the OTM show, Rebecca Rosen who also writes for The Atlantic described an idea of online conversation on the Internet that has not been realized.

Although this is another passing comment, I was delighted to hear someone else entertains the expectations that I have had since the inception of the Web, that is that it might provide a way for humans to converse and learn more from each other.

Rosen bemoans that this has not happened.

I found it interesting that when discussing comment sections online, neither Rosen nor Coates mentions the way back and forth conversing occurred in the BBS listservs. If you don’t recognize this, the Internet before the Web allowed one to basically trade email-like comments back and forth with a group of other interested individuals. There was much less flaming (but of course there was still that sort of thing). The comments were much easier to moderate.

I guess it’s ancient irrelevant history. So much thinking seems to ignore any contextual ideas beyond the popular notions and understandings of the moment.

I guess I’m feeling a bit glum this morning. Physically I am more rested. Negotiating my way through the tricky jungle of family relations is exhausting and my emotions are as deflated as my body was yesterday.

But toujours gai, archie, there’s some life in the old gal yet.

I’ve been up reading poetry and non-fiction.

I have been reading the poetry of this man, William Carlos Williams.

Then I played through a bunch of Mendelssohn piano music.

I have been thinking about the idea of purchasing a video cam.

What might push me over the edge is that I am working on a difficult prelude and fugue by Bach (the D major). I’m actually reviving this one from Grad school.

While I was in undergrad, I attempted to learn and perform it on my own. The performance was particular disastrous. I was playing an awful electronic organ (it was basically a theater organ) in a converted gymnasium church where I worked in Trenton. When the quick pedal statement of the intricate fugue subject came in, I chickened out in the performance and did something I had never done before: play the entire piece on the manuals. It was a horrible experience even though I managed to make the piece sound about right.

When I went to grad school one of my goals was to learn and perform the piece well, which I did.

My overall technique on both piano and organ has been pretty much transformed in the last ten years. So my learning approach is much more thorough and meticulous than it ever was in college.

I suspect that I might be wavering a bit in my playing of the fugue subject (especially in the pedals). So monitoring my practice via taping would be a good idea, I think.

In addition, I would probably post recordings of me playing on occasion.

But we’ll see.


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