Strongly Emergent

What comes from combining humans, computers, and narrative

Why Is This Blog ?

Because writing about things clarifies your thinking about them. Because while I am a system administrator and a developer, I am also a writer: it would be a huge damn struggle to get me to give up either writing or tinkering with computers - at this point, both of them are things that I have to do to really be myself and to feel at home in the world. I could try to put in my Gladwell-style 10,000 hours on something else. There are many, many, many awesome disciplines in the world. But these are the ones that speak to me.

Sometimes the “here I am and here’s why I’m writing my blog” post comes first. I don’t want to do that. I want content to come first at this blog. Good content is the gold standard of the Internet, forgiving all other sins, and without it a blog is nothing. So this post and this blog are training me to put content first. Part of what makes content good is that it appears on a regular, predictable schedule - for example, this blog’s Monday-Wednesday-Friday posts. Good content comes before hearing about me, because while some of you are surely here for me (hi Uncle Brian!), most of you are here because something’s in it for you - that content.

This blog is also here because without it, I don’t exist. I’m an apprentice as I write this in all of my competencies. I am listening, in this area, to Jeff Atwood and Seth Godin and Teresa and Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

I’m especially influenced by Godin’s “Why bother having a résumé?” post. Godin says that “if you’re remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn’t have a resume at all.” I’m going to be remarkable, amazing, and spectacular eventually - but I’m not yet, and won’t become so without lots of work. I won’t get there without preparing the way. Preparing the way means writing and being present on the Internet - part of the big conversation going on. I’m not really writing this blog for today or tomorrow, I’m writing it for the next year and the next five years. I’m writing it so that in 2011, when someone searches for “brighid mcdonnell python,” my blog is the first thing that comes up, showing them who I am and what I’ve been thinking about for years. I want to show people the things that I want them to judge me by. If I am not putting things like that out on the Internet, people will judge me (it’s what people do) by things that I do not control, and I like that less.

Welcome to my blog. I promise two things: to talk about things that don’t bore me, and to talk about them in a way that doesn’t bore you.