Back Where I Belong
I've had a wonderful time this week. I'm deeply grateful to Ta-Nehisi for giving me the chance, to the editorial crew at The Atlantic for making this work, and to the commentariat for redeeming my posts with your informed and engaging discussions. No thanks at all to Brendan Koerner, for his deeply irritating habit of closely following my best efforts with posts fairly flaunting his superior erudition and creativity. Or to Hua Hsu, for modeling how Culture channel blogging actually ought to be done. I'd rue my luck, being paired with these guys, but I've had too much fun reading their stuff.
There's a sci-fi book called Ender's Game, written back in 1985. It popped up in yesterday's discussion of what to do when bad people write good books, and it's been the inspiration for all kinds of strange things. One of its loveliest conceits is that, in the future, there will be digital message-boards on which people gather to exchange ideas:
With false names, on the right nets, they could be anybody. Old men, middle-aged women, anybody, as long as they were careful about the way they wrote. All that anyone would see were the words, their ideas. Every citizen started equal, on the nets.
And - for me, this was always the best part - if the ideas were interesting enough, and the writing engaging, someone might notice and offer the writer a column. For the last week, I had the chance to live out that fantasy. And how cool is that, really?