I went to a friend's literary reading some 9 years ago. I'd recently put up a personal website, so at a nosh break I described some of the fun responses I'd gotten in email from around the world. Of the 5 people listening to me, only one knew what the Web was. I was a little taken aback, but, since we were all attending a reading, I explained with some humor that the Web was the "ultimate in vanity publishing." They couldn't imagine how it would work.
Today, even I'm amazed at the way it's working. I'm publishing my first public weblog with more than a little trepidation. When I was an undergrad in a computer science survey course, my professor said that we didn't need to worry about the information age encroaching on our privacy because computers would create so much information it couldn't possibly be usable. That position was obviously naive – in much the same way that my long-standing belief in a premise of Poe's short story
had been naive (believing that something could be best hidden in plain view, that is – perhaps I'll get to the logic of mathematicians and poets in another post). Although I try to be as optimistic as Rebecca Blood in her history of weblogs
, I'm actually wondering how our random musings will be used and abused... and how much trouble I could be getting myself into as I c l i c k P U B L I S H.