I haven't been writing much in recent years, certainly not publicly, and that's a shame. Writing is a great tool for sorting out thoughts and ideas. And blogging, or otherwise sharing one's writing, is a great way to get feedback, to check one's biases and logical inconsistencies, and engage with a broader group of people. Writing privately is great too, but there is something about putting something out for anyone to see that can be both motivating, and a bit unnerving.
This year, I've made a commitment to be intentional about challenging myself to write more, read more, and generally try push the cognitive limits I've been struggling with since my stem cell transplant. A lot of my focus will be on learning about how we as individuals, and members of communities, can do things differently to create a healthier, more inclusive, and more cooperative world.
As a father of school-aged kids who has been treated for acute leukemia twice, a part of me is always conscious of the legacy, the memories of me, I will leave my kids. I want them to remember me as someone who, when he could, did the right thing, the better thing, and not just the easy thing.
One of the things I've been trying to do, is to look for and use alternatives to the platforms, services, and tools provided by traditional, for-profit, tech companies. It seems increasingly clear that profit and the interests of users very rarely align, and this problem is only exacerbated as companies grow larger, and their innovation shifts primarily towards market domination. Given that, it's hard to see a path to a better world that is built on the work of these companies.
From the perspective of creating, sharing, and socializing online, the Fediverse
provides an interesting and promising model. Hubzilla
, the app on which this page is hosted, provides tools for social networking, publishing, and community-building, with strong privacy tools, and the ability to connect to other apps based on ActivityPub
. While there are also blogging-specific ActivityPub based apps, such as WriteFreely
, Hubzilla provides a single app for social networking, publishing articles and wikis, hosting forums and chats, all while providing fine-grained control over who has access to what. I'm very interested in exploring Hubzilla's potential.
If all goes as planned, I'll be sharing a variety of things here, including writing about my experiences with health and health care, technology, cycling and, hopefully, gardening. I am a curious fellow, though, and well-aware that I don't have all the answers, so a lot of what I post will be framed around asking questions, or looking for information and feedback.
A lot of what I'll be posting will be part of using writing as a tool to help me focus and organize my thoughts, to use the fact that I'm sharing what I'm writing to provide a direction, a purpose, to guide my writing. Putting the things I write in the public realm will, I hope, help me think of what I'm writing and thinking about as a project, something I'm building towards. And, indeed, it will continue to motivate me to learn about choices I can make, actions I can take, that are going to make the world a kinder, healthier place for my children, and future generations. And, if I'm going to build a base of that kind of knowledge, why not share it with the world!
I'm hoping others will find at least some of what I write and share interesting and useful. If I'm really lucky, I'll be able to connect with a bunch of people who can enlighten me, help me refine my thinking and ideas, and open my mind to new possibilities.
I'm looking forward to seeing how this works!