Sunday, January 26, 2003

On Expurgating the Archives

Over the last month or so, several of the bloggers that I read regularly and appreciate have deleted various stuff from their archives, or even killed off the past of their blogs altogether. And I got to the really slow thinking that seems to be all I can muster these days: why did I decide, and declare, back in the summer, that I would never delete stuff from my archive?

I mean, some of it is embarrassing. The first few weeks of the blog I knew absolutely no html, not even enough to bold or italic or make a link that actually worked. It took me a couple of months to get up enough courage to actually touch my template and try to form real sidebar links; and I wrote about the cowardice. I've said things that would be sensitive to dicastery ears, and other things that cited in half-sentences without context would make fodder for my dear Church's faction fighters, if I wasn't too obscure to care about.

But embarrassment never killed anyone; actually it liberates in the long term. It's secrets that bind and kill.

Just one example: Back on June the single digits sometime I proposed the return to public Reconciliation. Oh, well. If I went back and erased it, I might feel better, but it wouldn't change that on that night in June it looked like a good idea. And it wouldn't get rid of the same musings mused in other bloggers' comment systems and in blog-related emails about the same time. And real human memories would still remember, it's been cached at Google, and interested faction fighters could have already done their nasty snipping and clipping. Best that it be kept, then I can go back and see where I've been. Then, if some sound bite of it shows up somewhere being parsed, I still have access to the whole thing, in context, with timestamp. And saying "yes I said that" is a decent way to stay humble.

Embarrassment liberates, secrets kill. My archives are staying.

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