I don't make as many silly things as I used to. That's probably because I don't share them, and as a rule, everyone likes doing things they can share with others. But making silly things is an important element of culture in general, and I'm starting to think I ought to return to it.
Of course, not every silly thing can be shared. You'll be disappointed to learn a very silly thing I've been sharing in person cannot be shared on this blog. It's just too easy to misunderstand – laughing at someone for being offensive sounds a lot like being offensive yourself, unless you explain the joke, and that ruins the whole thing. Our conversations, beginning in public, are necessarily sanitized, but that's why building things is so important.
This blog was started, in part, as a way to get better at writing. I'm not a words-person, I don't think. It's never been my strength. By the time I start a sentence, my brain is on to the next thing, and it was a long time before I realized I need to say all the thoughts in the middle before jumping up to where my thoughts ended up. I'm not sure I communicate as clearly as I should, but I know it's important.
Making things is symmetric, and equalizing, because we all make things, I think. Some people are words-people – they write things, and talk, nothing wrong with that. But if we only have words, I'm not sure we end up with a high-quality public sphere.
That used to be the only thing the internet could really transmit. But the tools are much better these days, and I think people's understanding is too. We can handle a lot more – and I'm seeing a world asking less and less of people in the public square. Seems like just about time for something a little better, with a little more effort put in.
Having a daily schedule, like I've been keeping up for about seven months here, makes that a little difficult. Maybe I can write progress reports along with the normal fare? It's not like the normal fare takes up so much time that I can't also build things – I just think the process of building things is important to see as well.
Of course, I'd be more worried if making things was an elite enterprise. I think there are some limits, sadly – for children who can't afford a dozen dollars a year for a domain name and S3 hosting, because they don't have a credit card. But for everyone else, it seems at least feasible, if not always easy. I know un- and under-banked people have trouble with paying for things online, and those are sincere troubles, but prepaid debit cards solve most of those issues, I think, and together we can find solutions for the rest.