Today I decided to experiment with writing and sharing my thoughts as they came to me, using this post as a sort of notepad of constant updates. Here's what resulted.
A lot of people say that you know you're successful when you attract haters. This is kind of like a new-fangled version of "my art will be renowned after I die". It might be, or you might just suck.
The truth is that taking a stand will attract opposition. The harder truth is that opposition doesn't tell you whether or not your stand is worthwhile. You have to find that out on your own, and neither pleasing everybody, nor reveling in your opposition, will do anything to help you answer that question for yourself.
Life is a struggle for almost everybody. But maybe the focus of that realization is wrong.
Life isn't a struggle just because life is hard. Some people have struggles finding food to eat, other people have struggles getting an uptick on the profitability of their stock portfolio. We all have struggles, but these struggles are not the same.
The bigger truth is that we all struggle because that is what we are made to do. We are made to reach beyond our current situation, and strive for something we do not have. No one ever stops struggling, because humans are strugglers.
Happiness is not in the end of the struggle, but in the overcoming of one struggle, and moving on to another. Our sense of peace and contentment comes from the slope of the progression of struggles we deal with. Too steep of a slope, we will be eternally frustrated. Too slight a slope, we will be bored and complacent.
Happiness is finding your slope.
I've started using Markdown for all my writing. I do this for a couple of reasons.
The main one is data portability - future proofing what I write. Maybe I decide to change blog software, maybe I decide to export all my content. I'd rather know that it's all plain text, something I can carry anywhere. This way I don't have to worry about software updates, etc. No matter what form it shows up in, the content will be readable.
But there's a slightly more philosophical reason as well. I don't like the fact that things like emphasis and bullets and so forth are things that reside outside our language. In books, we rely on the typesetters to put them into the words for us. In blogging, we rely on some kind of software editor, or on using HTML. But if the emphasis is part of the meaning of the text, shouldn't it exist inside the text? Shouldn't it be part of the character-set, the alphabet of our writing?
Markup allows us to use italics and bold-face as punctuation, rather than superficial styling. As such, that meaning will not be lost in an errant copy-paste operation, or a bad software update.
Suicide, Censorship, or Simulation.