The Speed of Thought
This has been a weird year in blogging for me. I haven’t written nearly as much as I used to, mostly because of moving and dealing with intense pressure at school—finishing a master’s thesis and starting a Ph.D. program. The thoughts that I’ve had, if I attempted to reconstruct them, are fragmentary at best and incoherent at worst. I’m somewhat comfortable with the fragments, and disconcerted by my own incoherence.
I used to be able to spew things out nearer to the speed I was thinking at. But I’ve grown a bit alienated by the distance generated between what “normal” people are concerned with and what I actually care about. Often, it seems best to just keep my mouth shut because it takes so long to defend what I really want to say. So after periods of hiatus I can only seem to cough up small bits from my research that might be interesting to some people, and surrender any attempt at coherence. It takes nearly everything I can muster to create something comprehensible out of it all. I used to feel pretty confident with my ability to tell people what I was thinking about, but somehow I’ve lost my way.
That’s about all the year-end reflection I can muster for the moment. Life is good in most ways. My emotional life is better than it has been in years, but my intellectual life is so turbulent and battered by deep doubts about nearly every position that I take that often I feel it would be better if I just shut up about it. I have done that from time to time, to try to regain some sanity. But it’s worked against me, really. These fleeting thoughts disappear all too soon if I don’t write something about them, no matter how disconnected or incoherent. So that’s what I’ve been doing here, mostly. I miss trying to come up with clever stories and such, but there has been little time for that. I traded them in on a little more reflective time—time to try and make sense of the “pictures” in my head.
Over the course of the year, my traffic here has dropped by half. I am kind of glad. I often feel like I’ve “violated” the spirit of blogging by being more selfish and insular this year—I sometimes feel bad for the long-suffering readers who drift in and might wonder what happened to the “early funny Jeff.” Perhaps that side is closed for the duration of graduate school. I hope not, but I can’t worry about it that much. Right now I’m thinking too fast.