Why Do I Do This?
A difficult question that. It depends,
of course, on what part of 'this' you mean. Why do I run the WWW
and mail servers, why do I run the DNS servers, why do I have a page,
do I post writings and, er, other stuff?
I run the WWW servers because I can
and because it gives me absolute administrative control over both content
and functionality. It allows me to permit Cher to do whatever she
wants, and likewise for myself. It is also providing valuable experience
to me as regards administering these things, and the above mentioned control
I run the DNS servers for several
reasons, all having to do with my control freak nature (which is interesting
for a zen buddhist with some understanding of chaos). But it seems
perfectly reasonable considering the control others would assert on me
if I didn't control myself. InterNIC cost me my original domain name
because I didn't jump through the right hoops at the right time, ARIN then
came along and robbed me of my network number for similar administrivial
reasons, and while I will borrow an address block from an ISP and have
them secondary my DNS just in case, I will never again allow all of my
network functionality to rely on others.
It is more difficult to explain why
I have a page. Because I can, because it gives me experience in all
pull this off, and because it's the venue for the content. The page
started back in 1994 at Pima Community College. Then it was simply
because I could. I was using ftp, telnet, the web, wais, archie,
gopher and whatever else I could get to research, and I codified the places
I found myself revisiting into a home page. I didn't see a graphical
browser until 1995 (this may explain some of my disdain for the desktop
publishing view of html). That was Mosaic, of course. And despite
the pretty pictures, I still preferred lynx for speed and reliability.
So my own page was not heavy on images, and still isn't. But browsers
have changed and so has the network, so I'll be catching up sometime here.
Then the short answer is that I started the page because I could and it
was a convenience, and the long answer involves an infinity of little reasons
of no general interest.
It is even harder to explain the content.
I create because I create. I put it up here because it's better than
throwing it in the trash. I continue to assimilate information, I
can write and I've had some interesting experiences. I don't know
of any other songwriter doing what I am doing. Although I am happy
to cede that there are many, many fine songwriters, they're just not doing
what I'm doing as far as I can tell, nor poet, nor essayist.
It is a good thing for these creations that
I am afflicted of such a powerful egoism (thank you Joyce), since if I
had hoped for some sort of validation from this venue I would be disappointed.
I think that must not be a large part of why I put these up here, although
I certainly fantasize about it. While some of my dearest friends
do actually visit and watch the painfully slow progress, owning the server
allows me to see just how little wide interest my work has generated.
Of course, part of this situation might be due to sharing the server with
Cher's free fetish site, but actually, from what I can tell I'm getting
more hits from her fans than from the poetry and music rings combined.
Unfortunately for me, the sorts of people who like a free fetish site seem
generally not to be the sort who delve deeply into poetry or music.
Ah well, I continue to create because I have to. And I continue to
post because I hope someone somewhere will be interested and because it's
an incredibly effective way to back my work up very quickly on many machines.
If you're not thinking about the coming knowledge
vacuum you should be, and if you are trusting any single thing to preserve
what you hold dear, don't. My internal struggle largely revolves
around whether I am creating for you, or whether I am creating for myself.
I don't know. Here it is. If you read it and get something
out of it, I created it for you.
However, I'm just trying to get these
questions answered for myself. I'm still not sure exactly why I do
this, but it's getting a little clearer. I suppose
I should also mention my inability or unwillingness to work with any publisher
I know of. And the phenomenon of people baring a bit of their souls
on the web is not at all unique. So maybe you already understand
why I do this.
Or go home?