Where to Now?

1 May 2008

A Pause to Consider

shadows, by bastet [ FREE TIBET ], with Creative Commons licenceI once heard a delightful, if slightly garbled, presentation that began with the curious line “welcome to here”. The greeting seemed sufficient, and the speaker probably didn’t need to mention where he was. Or so I thought. But on reflection it’s not always obvious where ‘here’ is. Sometimes it pays to stop and look around, note changes in the landscape, and only then decide where to go next. In that sense, blogging is a journey into uncertainty for both the reader and the writer. So this post is my first stop along the way – a pause to reflect and consider before moving on once more.

Much of the early impetus for this blog came from the realisation that I had a great deal to say about things that didn’t seem to fit, modes of thought that appeared peculiar if I skimmed off the presumptions. Along the way I’ve drawn criticism for my position on online book reviews, knowledge management, the conceptualisation of outer space and journalistic writing. Most of it has been well founded and I’ve changed stance, whether almost fully or just partly. That seems to me the great value of blogging – being able to debate and reiterate, being involved in a conversation. It’s not precise, but it has allowed me to compare ideas with people from around the world, to learn and unlearn.

More recently I’ve moved away from a focus on ideas to a focus on events, or more precisely one event. The disappearance and death of Vicenta Flores in Hong Kong has shaken my family, not only because she was part of our local community, a familiar stranger, but also because the way her case was being investigated seemed too subdued, not urgent enough. It shook my family because Vicenta was Filipino, and thus easily ignored.

I’m the only non-Filipino in my household of five. So much for my kids’ future.

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