An absence of tick

Tuesday August 2, 2005

It might be because I slept late. It might be because I woke to a grey, hot, horridly humid day. It might be a reaction to the intense activity of the past few days, including the photo project. Or it might be down to a combination of all of the above.

Whatever, I’ve had one of those days that are best forgot. Couldn’t raise the enthusiasm to do anything, just flopped around, stirring myself only to get food ready for Dolly and me, and water the plants. Other than that, I’ve no notes or recollections from the day apart from a bad tempered outburst when I told off a completely innocent young telesales person from India who interrupted my afternoon nap to ask if I wanted to take part in a special offer on refitted kitchens. I wish I could apologise to the poor love. I didn’t say a word out of place as I interrupted her spiel to tell her that my number is registered with the Telephone Preference Service and that her company was operating improperly, but I delivered my rebuke in an over-forceful manner and I regret that. Hey ho, there you go.

Enlivening the day, I did encounter one of those irritating ‘well I’ll be darned’ news factlets that stopped me in my tracks and made me think. It seems, according to an article on BBC News Online that we have now reached the state where ‘The blogosphere is continuing to grow, with a weblog created every second’. Leaving aside a mild dislike of the new ‘word’ blogosphere, the concept of 14 million plus weblogs is both inspiring for the freedom of expression it represents and horrifying for the sheer volume of words. So many words.

When I started my online journal there were no more than a couple of thousand of us. An eager reader with time on his hands could know something of most of them, and keep track of the best writing with ease. Not possible now.

As always, I aproach statistics such as this with some caution.

It’s certainly true that there are far too many journals/diaries/blogs out there for any individual to track. They contain a lot of darn fine writing, not to mention astonishing photography and visual art work. As bandwidth increases we’ll be able to add music to that.

It seems that we are all of us writers now. That makes the job of the professional writer all the more demanding. You’ve got to be good, to have something unique and uniquely appealing to say if you’re to stand out in such a vast crowd and produce work that’s worth the reading public’s money. Increasingly, I put a book down, never to be picked up again, thinking something along the lines of: “I read this in a blog the other day.”

The resource of human experience contained within all these weblogs is awesome. Not that ‘contained’ is a good word to encompass a growth rate like this. Now, if some bright spark could only invent and develop a means of searching it and making sense of it we’d be close to knowing something of what makes us all tick.

But there you go. It may happen one day but it hasn’t happened yet. Probably just as well. I don’t even know what makes me tick. Especially on a day like this when I don’t really tick at all. If I did there’d be a helluva lot more tick around here.



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