I doubt that many of you lovely people are sitting there thinking, Hey, I wish Paul would write something about where he is going and what he is doing with this newsletter thing. Never one to resist the opportunity to piss strangers off, this is that.
I started this newsletter, as the joke goes, ten times for every once I actually turned it concrete. A commitment phobe of a particularly extreme form, the idea of doing anything on a regular basis — beyond personal grooming, and even that, in my view, can be let slide a few days given sufficient new snow — is more or less anathema to me, especially if it’s something people think I should be doing because that’s what other people do in the same context. I know, I know, but still.
Nevertheless, this is now a newsletter thing, complete with a surprising number of subscribers, and there are a bunch of people in the Schrödingerian state that is having subscribed to something briefly lovely, but that will almost certainly turn tedious, predictable, and solipstic — that is, you’ve subscribed, but like me, you’re just waiting for an opportunity to unsubscribe — causing you to regret your brief and unjustified foray into optimism that made you subscribe to Another Damn Newsletter in the first place.
I’m here for you. I get you. I feel the same way. But, you know, screw it, right?
So, having taken a year off Twitter, and then gone largely broadcast-only on Twitter, I got to thinking: Twitter is too short for some of the longer things with which I would like to burden people. Sure, tweeting out periodic “tl;drs” with snarky summaries of research papers is fun, and I like stretching the boundaries of Twitter’s 280-character limited with lists of links, but it still feels like dancing about architecture, as the saying goes. Having stalled long enough, meandered a little, and retailed some hoary jokes, where do I want to go with this? Good question. Here is what I’m currently thinking:
- Regular links of things, with comments about why it appealed to me, in areas that interest me, but may not interest you. Finance, math, and medicine interesting me most, but I can’t guarantee there won’t sometimes be snow forecasts or critiques of zero-drop trail shoes.
- A weekly single other thing. Currently those other things are videos — and by “currently”, I mean “twice”, which is how often I’ve actually done this so far. (Notice how quickly I end-run the whole having done something to reminisce how I have done something. Let that be a lesson to all of you in po-mo efficiency.)
- Less regular essays. I have a backlog of Long Thoughts About Things that I mostly wrote for me, and then didn’t do anything with. I also have a bunch of things like that I’m in various stages of writing. (Notice how carefully I avoid calling these Long Thoughts About Things “blog posts”. This is not an accident, given that the word “blog” gives me hives.)
- Other things. I have other things I want to do, some of which are entirely automated and I’ve always wanted to inflict on people on a regular basis. I’m planning to charge millions and millions of dollars for this feature, as you can imagine.
This is usually the point at which right-thinking people say something like, Let me know what you think, or Send me an email with other ideas, etc. But, honestly? I could do that, but I don’t really care. Not because I don’t think you’re all lovely people, deserving of every good thing that has happened to you in life, path dependency issues aside. I just can barely keep up with my own inadequacies, and I don’t need other people to add to the list. So, imagine me asking you for suggestions, imagine you sending them, and then let’s both not do that.
P.S. I promise not to do this sort of “meta” thing very often.