Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.
With this posting, I am putting an end to this blog. I do not want to do this, but I feel I am being forced to. In addition, I do not feel that I am at liberty to go into the nature of the pressure being placed on me to stop. Nonetheless, I am being clearly pressured, if not threatened. When you call your wife to talk to her about an event and her response is fear bordering on terror, it gets your attention. I don’t want to hear that ever again. That is enough to get you to say, “fuck this shit”.
At a minimum this is a hiatus, but it is likely the terminal point of this part of my journey. For those of you who enjoyed reading, thank you, your views and comments helped make this more worthwhile. Frankly having readers was not the reason I did this. The reasons are varied and largely personal. First and foremost, the blog was a way to practice writing as a habit. Writing is a core professional and personal activity. A focus on writing is key area of personal and professional development. It is difficult and often exposes one to intense and personal criticism. A blog meant that the work would be published and read by others. That has a way of focusing the mind, and you take things more seriously. When you write only for yourself, the level of care and attention is not nearly so acute. Occasionally a blog post would resonate and get a lot of viewers, which is a nice feeling. More often I would get a handful of viewers, but the post had already achieved its intended purpose.
The topics of the blog posts were varied as well. Many blog posts were simply highly technical discussions of the many topics I’m interested in. In other cases, I am giving a talk and it helps to write about the narrative arc of the presentation in advance just to get my thoughts in order. Other blog posts were commentary on our scientific programsat a National level. The level of intellectual discourse around our programs is dismal, I’m lending my thoughts to the vacuum of ideas. Other blog pasts were pointed at dealing with the management of science. To say that science is managed poorly today is an understatement of some magnitude. It is getting worse. Finally, a handful of posts were completely out of character, and simply existed to maintain the writing habit and speak to something I really believe in. This won’t be the end of my writing, but it will happen in a different forum probably anonymously. I may experiment with different forms of writing too, fiction, poetry, …
I can easily guess what type of blog post generated the pressure to stop. Let’s just say that it’s not likely the technical blog posts. In addition, the blog was a wonderful relief valve for frustrations that my workplace has low tolerance for. Apparently, they also have a low tolerance for freedom of speech too, or any intellectual discourse for that matter. It is amazing that a place that talks about defending the Nation has such low regard for its core principles!
I’ve noted the parallels between the modern work environment and our increasingly toxic and appalling societal culture. I believe that the treatment here is utterly consistently with today’s prevailing culture. To put it plainly, Donald Trump is the most obvious symptom of the disease and his rise was enabled by the sort of toxic behavior I see here. He did not happen in a vacuum; he has a legion of enablers even among those who didn’t vote for him. Whoever set the gears in motion to end this blog is absolutely 100% a Trump-enabler. They might be a supporter of the President, or more ironically an opponent.
I can say that there was a very clear and unambiguous message to “shut the fuck up”. I heard it and I’m making a reluctant, but rational choice. So, I am shutting the fuck up.
Goodbye. It has been a wonderful experience. Thank you for coming with me.