Why blogging has been intermittent

Things have been slow around here, you may have noticed. A few people have asked why. Part of the reason has been that I have been really distracted. First there was the travel. I had left for India early December 2015. Visiting places and meeting people is distracting although fun. I started back from India on Jan 23rd. First stop was Brussels. I arrived at Zaventem airport in Brussels at 8 AM on Jan 23rd. That was two months ago. Seeing the pictures of the bombed-out departure hall brings back memories. I have walked that hall close to a dozen times over the last few years. Yesterday’s terrorist attack at Brussels airport felt somewhat personal to me. After Brussels, I stopped for a week on the East coast to visit friends in New Jersey and Boston, and got home to San Jose on 2nd February.

I should have started writing on the blog but I had another distraction. My blog had been hosted on servers in India. Last December while I was in India, I received a notice from some legal outfit representing one person threatening to sue me for an article on my blog. The threat was made on behalf of an organization which has really deep pockets. The article was innocuous enough but freedom of speech in India rests on very weak foundations, and while I would have prevailed in court, the nuisance of going to court to defend myself was too much to even contemplate. Deep pockets can cause massive injury even if they lose the case. I took down the article, promising myself to put it back up again after I had moved the hosting of this blog to the US. That finally got done just a couple of days ago. (Hat tip: JP for all his help.)

Those two reasons (travel and migrating the blog) are basically excuses. The truth is that the real reason that I have neglected writing is this. Part of it is that I have been lazy, and part that I have been struggling with a writer’s block. Why the writer’s block? Because I have been reading. So? What I have been reading makes me hesitate to write. The hesitation arises from the recognition that brilliant others have figured out the solutions and there’s fancy little I can add to advance that line of inquiry. Reading is rewarding but can also reveal how intellectually puny one is relative to the giants.

Still, one cannot just throw up one’s hands and give up. Let’s see where this goes from here. Be well, do good work and please keep in touch.

Author: Atanu Dey


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