Not too many years ago, I ran a blog called “P and not-P,” which I believe was read primarily by my friend Steve (thanks again, Steve!). The title of the blog was supposed to be a joke about formal logic, about how from a contraction (i.e., that both the statement “P” and its negation, “not-P” were simultaneously true), anything could follow. At the time, I was still flirting with philosophical logic and philosophy more generally, and the title seemed a fitting heading under which I could share brief anecdotes, commentary on Internet articles, and whatever else, since “anything [could] follow,” and I was still thinking about things more in the mode of my philosophy training than anything else. Of course, then I quit my job, hit the road, and started a new blog to share about that (and also to assure my mother that I was not dead in a ditch on the side of the road somewhere in Whoknows, South Dakota), and so I let pandnotp fall off the map.
Whereas the first attempt at regular public writing was perhaps a bit too unfocused, the second attempt was maybe too hyper-focused, and though I still haven’t finished telling the tale of the last few weeks of the trip (which, in all honesty, I probably never will), once I had finished burning through my savings and was resigned to finding a “real job” again, there seemed little point in continuing to write on that blog, since I was no longer “taking a trip.”
The thing is, when I considered rebuilding pandnotp, I ran into two major difficulties:
I no longer felt particularly attached to the guiding concept or theme of the collection.
I was way too lazy to redesign the site and port it from Wintersmith to Jekyll.
Now, while I very well could have overcome problem (2) – Why did I need to move to Jekyll anyway? Wasn’t the site design sufficient to begin with? Wasn’t it, in some ways, prettier than what I have now? – the first problem proved rather more insoluble.
Sidebar: Since I’ve gotten to talking about philosophy anyway, I should point out that the medieval logicians were fucking nuts, and, since they were only equipped with the tools of Aristotelian Logic, they performed these amazing feats of contortion and magical thinking to dissolve what were termed insolubilia, essentially variations on the liar’s paradox. Some of their solutions were pretty ingenious, and if you’ve ever got a few free minutes, I highly recommend checking them out (obligatory general Wikipedia introduction).
So, I thought, what ever was I interested in now? Well, books still, obviously, though I’m extremely inconsistent about how long it takes me to get through a book, and, at least in theory, I like blogs to be updated regularly. Though I enjoy riding my bike a lot, and have gone on some pretty sweet adventures since moving to the apparently-never-ending-winter that is North Wisconsin, I have nowhere near enough to say about biking in general to fill a blog all on its own, and again, there’s the scoping problem. So I thought I would combine the two, and add in a healthy dash of bullshitting (which was inevitable, in any case), since that is a convenient catch-all term for whatever else it is I might want to ramble on about, and so we now have “Bikes, Books, and Bullshit,” listed not in order of importance, but in order of how nice I thought these icons I was planning to use at one point might have looked side by side.
I have some vague notions of writing about bike trips and adventures, about books I’ve particularly enjoyed or hated (including, finally, detailing the list of books I read during my trip, which I’ve been meaning to post for at least one or two friends of mine for a long while), and, since I still read far too many articles online during my time wonderfully under-employed, I plan to post links to articles I find interesting or noteworthy, probably in some batch, minimal-commentary format. I will do my best to minimize the purple prose (this post is an awful example, I know, but I did file it under “Bullshit” for a reason…), and keep things interesting, if not entertaining.
As mentioned, I’m a big fan of regular updates in theory, though historically, I’ve been terrible at it. That said, like many things I’ve been meaning to get to in the last few months (a novel manuscript, closing a too-empty bank account I still have open back in Missouri, replacing my watch battery), I’ve thought a lot about it, have had many ideas for posts, and if I can get my shit together (get it all together, put it in a backpack, etc.), I may even write ahead to ensure on-time delivery. I may even stop using so many embedded clauses (though this is unlikely, with apologies to Mr. Mayer). So who knows? Chances are that posts will come when I have them, but I will do what I can to ensure they come more often than not.
On a more personal note, I know that I have trouble working without deadlines, especially when it comes to writing, and I’ve found myself slipping out of the habit and the practice. Blogging, which I realize is a lot like tilting at windmills, shouting into the void, and can be a rather vain and self-important activity, has proven a decent way to keep myself in shape, in practice, and more disciplined.
Thus, I present you with “Bikes, Books, and Bullshit.” I’ll try not to make it suck.