Saturday, May 15, 2010

A return to Rhosgobel

Regular readers will note that ... well, let's be honest: there are no regular readers of this blog anymore.  I haven't written anything here for more than two years, and haven't posted regularly for longer than that.

What happened?  Many things.  I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, and had to drastically cut back my computer use: computer game playing has vanished, online teaching is no more, online reading has been slashed, I'm a slave to typing timers, and writing for fun got largely eliminated.  The pseudonymous nature of the blog also started getting in the way: I found myself wanting to write about items that could lead to someone easily identifying me, and I also wanted to share what I wrote with my circle of local friends, many of whom worked at my campus.

So the blog fizzled.  I was sad to see it go, but I soon replaced it with Facebook, which I enjoyed for the ability to privately share what I thought with close friends without anyone else (students or coworkers) being able to find me.  But in the time I've been using Facebook the privacy settings have gotten steadily worse1 and the company has gotten more and more focused on invading privacy to make money; I've finally gotten tired of it.  I'm leaving Facebook, and replacing it with a mix of other information sharing websites.  I've missed being able to share things I enjoy with people other than my few dozen contacts on Facebook.

So, I'm back.  I'll still write under Radagast, but will be more open about the site with colleagues and I won't try as hard to hide my identity.   However, along with this change will come a separation of public and personal.  Don't expect vacation reports, family news, personal pictures, or the like: those will be shared elsewhere.

Oh, and my wrists are still not great, so I don't promise to post with any regularity.

1 I had the strongest privacy settings possible, yet Facebook still forced me to be visible to "friends of friends", forced my profile pictures to be publicly visible, defaulted all of my (previously private) interests to be public, and started sharing my information with third-party websites without my permission.  Many of these changes were "opt-out", meaning that I had to be aware enough to go in and undo their changes to stay at least somewhat private.  Facebook's focus on "monetizing" the information they've collected on their users' interests and browsing histories irritates me, especially since many users thought their information would be held privately (and few websites are bold enough to ask people to list their religion, sexual orientation, hobbies, educational history, everything they "like", and all of their acquaintances in one place ...).


ArtK said...

Welcome back. The beauty of RSS feeds -- I can be a faithful reader and still be lazy!

Bummer about the CTS -- sounds like you're managing it well, though.

RBH said...

What ArtK said. :) Welcome back.

And yeah, CTS is a bitch. When I was training to be an EMT decades ago one of the surgeries I observed was a carpal tunneling thing where the surgeon basically scraped out the passage where the radial nerve went through some stuff in the wrist. Very delicate work, and I don't even know if they do it any more. Another I observed was a femur nailing, and ever since then I have tried to take care of my wrists and my femurs. :)

Radagast said...

Wow, thanks for not deleting the feed! :) And thanks also for the CTS sympathy; so far I've been lucky enough to be able to manage it without needing surgery.

Angry Professor said...

I'm still here, too!

Miranda said...

I'm still here too. Even while you've been quiet, I stopped by to look at your recipes.

CTS is very much not fun.

Søren said...

Welcome back

The wonder of RSS feeds ;)

Radagast said...

I just wanted to say how much I appreciate y'all sticking around and taking the time to welcome me back. Thanks so much!

Brenda said...

CTS surgery is much improved lately, with a <1" incision using a minicam with recovery rapid and painless. In the meantime, splints especially at night are very helpful. I speak from personal, not just professional, knowledge.