I first kept a Web journal (we didn’t yet call them ‘blogs’) in 1999. I kept it regularly for a couple of years, and then started to trail off: my new job included a real non-disclosure agreement, and the soap opera of the workplace was now off-limits.
I took out the domain name ‘harderworld.com’ in 2005, but didn’t start writing until 2008. The premise of the blog–and the domain name–was that after decades of life getting easier, things were becoming more difficult. Even then, I never wrote regularly, as I have been just too busy. Nevertheless, I continued to write when I had a calm moment, and something genuinely interesting crossed my mind. In fact, today’s paper brought a story that I would have liked to write about.
But I won’t, and I don’t expect to write any more posts in at least the near future. I could simply slink away and let the site close, but I feel the need to put an explanation on the record, even if nobody will read it and even if I’m shooting myself in the foot by writing it.
Last year we learned, as a fact, what we long suspected: the National Security Agency has been collecting, among other things, everything transacted over the Internet in the name of protecting us against terrorists.
For now, I don’t expect our leadership to run around reading everyone’s blog posts and locking people up. The leadership hasn’t gotten to that point, and the technology isn’t quite there yet.
But the trends are inexorable: computers are getting faster and cheaper, and in the name of protecting the nation’s health, now that we effectively have nationalized health insurance, it seems inevitable that the government will examine what people post on the Internet, and take action, all for their own good, of course.
So in brief, I don’t see that continuing to write here will do me any good. I’m concerned that, at some time in the future, someone–or something–might review these posts and decide that I’m mentally unstable, or a racist, or God knows what.
Take care, and be well.