A break from writing

There are two main problems I continue to run into throughout my life: I dislike nine out of ten people and I’m hopelessly naïve.

I don’t aim for celebritydom with my blog. If I did, I would take a better effort. In fact, the main purpose is to share my ideas with people who may be similar to me, so I can meet people I am interested in. A secondary aim is to help other people avoid falling victim to my own mistakes.

As an example, I spent most of my teenage years suffering severe debilitating depression, a lot of my life has been effectively wasted because of that. It’s now clear to me that this wasn’t necessary, because psychedelics are quite effective at treating that problem. I spent years taking fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, St John’s wort and other crap that didn’t work. I liked the idea that I can help other people avoid that problem, but in practice you don’t achieve that with an obscure blog on the internet.

Don’t take this as a personal insult, but I’ve had to conclude by now that the main audience I tend to attract with this blog consists of the kind of people I would rather avoid. In hindsight, it makes sense. When I criticize toxic subcultures, I’ll attract people from toxic subcultures. In addition, when you speak of personal problems you face yourself, you make yourself vulnerable.

When you want to discuss big problems instead of superficialities, you take on responsibilities too. In practice, that’s just not something I benefit from. People, even a lot of moderate sensible people, often get angry when some newspaper or social media “censors” controversial topics.

What those people don’t experience or understand is being on the other side of that equation, of the people who were expecting that they were creating a friendly community where likeminded people would meet each other.

If you publish a video on Youtube, or write an article for a magazine and get endless comments denying the Holocaust, preaching incel propaganda, issuing death threats against children or pushing other toxic ideas, you start wondering what you’re doing with your life. Part of the problem is that people in dark places have more time to spam the internet with their anger than happy people do.

That’s kind of the position where I find myself now. I’ve mostly failed to attract the kind of people I’d like to attract and I’ve succeeded at attracting all sorts of people I don’t want to attract. Another point I’ve failed to comprehend is that anonymity tends to bring out the worst in people.

The solution I see to these problems is that I’m going to take an indefinite break from writing. I’m not saying that I’m definitely done, because when you proclaim you’re definitely done with something, you’re back the next week. With a bit of luck I can figure out how to build the kind of community I’d be happy with, if not, then I hope to devote my spare time to other things.

12 Comments

  1. I sincerely hope you come back. You seem to have some really special perceptive abilities with respect to people and their tastes, and an elegant way of writing. I identify completely with your frustration at other people and their criticism; I experience it myself with respect to my own creative pursuits. People like us have to keep pushing until we get it right, because we are the engines for new ideas. But it takes a long time to develop our ability. We have to have faith that it’ll be worthwhile in the end, because otherwise there’s nothing for us in life. Believe me, I’ve tried to give up myself.

  2. >That’s kind of the position where I find myself now. I’ve mostly failed to attract the kind of people I’d like to attract and I’ve succeeded at attracting all sorts of people I don’t want to attract.

    What kind of people did you hope to attract? What is your vision? What are you going to do with your life?

    http://library.uniteddiversity.coop/Ecovillages_and_Low_Impact_Development/Creating_a_Life_Together-Practical_Tools_to_Grow_Ecovillages_and_Intentional_Communities.pdf

    • >What kind of people did you hope to attract? What is your vision? What are you going to do with your life?

      The problem is mostly that I lately find myself attracting the kind of people who have a really toxic and self-sabotaging outlook on life. I’ve often had a toxic outlook on life myself, it took large doses of psychedelics and some maturation to help me overcome those kind of problems. It’s a problem I still deal with, it’s probably something I will face for the rest of my life.

      As an example of what I mean, a problem I face is that I write an article arguing that men with autism face a problem, in the sense that they’re more likely to take things women say on face value, than men without autism. The next thing that happens is that people on some Incel forum start browsing through my articles and spewing their venom on some forum.

      Besides the fact that these are often genuinely dangerous people, I’m susceptible to extremely negative thinking. For this reason, I find these kind of online subcultures frightening. If you are exposed to a toxic mentality, it’s easy to gradually absorb such a mentality.

      I’m not against practical realism, but I’ve found that the kind of hopeless negativity found online in many subcultures is very self-defeating. To me, the extreme fringe of the global warming activists, incels, white supremacists, radical feminists, all of these are similar in that they make you fear the world and leave you feeling powerless and slighted.

      I guess the kind of people I’d like to attract with this blog are people who don’t share my flaws, in the sense that they don’t dwell in extreme negativity. Of course, those are exactly the kind of people who are going to read other authors than yours sincerely. I’m trying to figure out how I should go about resolving this paradox.

  3. Hmm, I suspect that your sympathetic audience is larger than you think. You’ve written a lot of good stuff here and I like how you’ve been able to blend our global predicaments, local politics and personal experience into some sophisticated criticism. (Your recent Dark Americana article did this well, plus it introduced me to a lot of good music.) I hope you’ll consider continuing on with this project, even if that’s in an altered form.

    But no, people who agree with you probably don’t feel the need to say so on article after article. I know I typically don’t on the blogs I read.

  4. Bravo. I think you making correct choice. Net culture deep decline and get uglier every month in still there most niche corner. You have great mind sorry lonesome, you enjoy the freedom! No guilt

  5. I sincerely hope you change your mind. Yours is one of the few sources I remind myself of checking every day or two. Some of your posts are remarkable and memorable. Internet is made by insanely gifted people and you are one of them.

  6. Keep writing. You almost never hear anything from the silent majority who agree with your thoughts and learn from them. Maybe remove your commenting system?

  7. agree with the general sentiment above, especially that you likely have a large audience of sympathetic people who stay quiet. i also check your blog frequently but rarely have much to say. this blog is part of my personal index of the ‘good part’ of the net — passion projects by people who are kind of strange but uncompromising.

  8. I’m sorry to see you leave; I’ve followed your blog since it began and quite enjoyed it, though I never commented. For whatever it’s worth, I found your writings insightful and know your advice has dramatically improved my mental state.

  9. A break from routine can often be a good exercise to reflect on why you’re doing what you’re doing. And, I think the above comments are mounting evidence you have attracted the kind of people you want. Myself included, many of us don’t regularly comment, but we’re there reading your thoughts and thinking for ourselves how to integrate your insights into our own modes of thought and potential actions.

    And while you take your well-deserved hiatus, enjoy some great, fresh music: https://drabmajesty.bandcamp.com

    See you again in a few weeks or months 😉

  10. Goodbye accountt1234. I think I may have read just about everything you’ve posted in the past three years, for better or worse.

    > In fact, the main purpose is to share my ideas with people who may be similar to me, so I can meet people I am interested in.

    I’d be interested in meeting you, I’ve left an email.

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