Ground Rules

I’ve written and rewritten this post several times.  Breaking my phobia is not the only reason I write here, but the only way I can break that phobia is to write. It’ll be months before I can write here every day.  I can tell. I know myself and my own mind. But I am writing every day somewhere.  And several times a week, I’m writing in places on the internets that are ostensibly public. Tosupport this intention, I need some rules, and I post them here for our mutual reference.

At least once a week, I commit to writing something here.

Because if I don’t, I won’t.

I give no guarantees on length, quality, or level of completion.

Because I am working to erode the harmful effects of my perfectionism, I will be posting works in progress.

I will be clear about what state a post is in.

Specifically, I get stuck often in the staging stage.  Which is an extra stupid-feeling place to get stuck. So, to begin with, I’ll often post first in plain text with minimal formatting.  Then I’ll add in images when they are illustrative and not core to the post, and relevant links. Then I have a few stages of editorial improvement I’ve develop; I’d like to practice the discipline of wholly separating all that from primary composition.  (I admit: I may have copy edited this sentence twice before I finished this post. Dammit.)

You may get uncomfortable. That is not my problem.

Much of what I am moved to write about sits in interstitial space between personal and professional significance. I’m also an anthropologist by training and overwhelming familial context. Poking at taboos delights me, and is a professional indulgence.

Please feel free to sit with your discomfort. Ask yourself, “Where does that discomfort come from? What, specifically, made me uncomfortable?” Then, consider that I am not specifically writing for you as an audience. I’m not trying to offend you. I’m writing for a collective audience, defined below, not you.  I don’t know your culture and taboos, your politics, or your sense of decorum. All I’m doing here is writing what I need to write to the people who need to read it, and also whoever the hell you are, dear member of the Internet public.

I will avoid being disrespectful.  If I fail in this, please do let me know.

Comment on the post that you think crosses a line, and I’ll reflect on that line.

All comments will be moderated by me with extreme prejudice.

This is my place. It is a slice of public that I can shape as I will. If I think your points are relevant, I’ll approve them. If I think your points are interesting to think through, I’ll respond. But I am not interested in internet rage arguments on these pages. This is, for the time being, Elsewhere.

I write for friends, frolleagues, and comrades.

This is the audience that I can and want to write for, and would be willing to write for publicly.

I grew up a nomad. I know what it takes to keep friends in your life when life doesn’t make it easy, and have mixed feelings about what it has come to mean in the last decade. I love knowing and growing with smart, passionate, talented people. I miss them and hope they miss me. I want to let them know I’m still around.

I’ve had the good fortune to work with many of that kind of person, in the best of collegial, friendly ways.  Jason Tester is one of these, who coined in our locale the portmanteau “frolleague” to describe this delightful sort of relationship.  Thinking out loud to these folks is the largest positive motivator I have to write. I hope my writings make ripples that return in some form or another, kula-ring style.

Comrades are folks with whom I am trying to effect transformative futures.  We may or may not work together, we may not even know one another, but we work for the same spectrum of futures.  

I may not focus on what you would like and expect me to. That is also not my problem.

There are a wide range of serious, nerdy, weird, silly, usefully ridiculous, and highfalutin issues on my mind. In my head, they are all connected. Sometimes I will speak plainly in text. Sometimes, like a few weeks back, there will be a lot of poetic subtext. If you are a comrade, it might seem to you that I’m writing about nothing at all. If you are a friend, you might want more cat-centric posts. Thanks in advance for your patience, and of course, you don’t have to read stuff you don’t find interesting.

I reserve the right to amend these rules as we go, but never to let myself off the hook for the right hard work.

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