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Monday, June 8, 2009

Why, Oh Why?

Why am I adding to the junk that is already overwhelming the internet? Good question. I never wanted to create a web page for myself before. I did not go along with the hordes that opened up MySpace and Facebook accounts and webpages. The only concession I made in this regard was putting my resume up on linkedin. I did not think there was anything interesting in what I said or did that deserved its own page on the internet.

Not that that last part has changed much. I still don't think I do anything interesting or useful enough to deserve its own page on the internet. However, I have decided it may be a good idea to write and maintain a journal for my own reference. I actually did write a diary for a brief period of time when I was in college. It was written by hand in an actual leather-bound diary.

And that presented several problems apart from the whole philosophical problems I will get to later. The diary had pages of the same size for all dates of the year. The problem was that I wanted to record more on some days and not so much on other days. The physical diary was very limiting and inflexible in that regard. I could not correct errors or misspellings, add explanations or elaborate on points I thought needed more explanation when I read my own writings days or weeks later. The diary was also not very private. It was a physical object that could be stolen, it was clearly associated with me, so there was no anonymity either.

Now for the philosophical problems. The biggest reason I gave up the diary was that it was getting filled with boring minutiae. There was nothing grand or eloquent about the diary, the format was too limiting to write large essays about what I was thinking about rather than what I was doing. Rereading the diary after a few months convinced me that it was more trouble than it was worth.

The internet and this blogging option hopefully changes all of that. I can write whatever I write and later, make corrections, editions, deletions, add footnotes, add explanations, historical details, etc. whenever and wherever I please. The blog is private, but anonymous. I can, if I choose to, shut it out from the outside world. And if I reread the posts weeks or months from now and find too many boring details in a few posts, I can get rid of them quickly and efficiently. At least, that is the idea at this point. Let us see how it works out.

Obviously bloggernaut is a wordplay on juggernaut. Why isn't the URL more intuitive (bloggernaut.blogspot.com would have been a lot better than the current URL)? It is one of the first compromises I had to make when I created the blog. The more intuitive URL was already taken. So, I decided to go back to the root of the word. Juggernaut derives from the temple chariot of Lord Jagannath of Puri wich was reputedly so heavy that once devotees got it moving, its momentum kept it moving regardless of whatever obstacles it encountered. Countless devotees have been crushed under the wheels of this heavy chariot, making Jagannath synonymous with an unstoppable force. The British bastardized Jagannath to juggernaut and I bastardized juggernaut to bloggernaut, so I decided to debastardize it one step to Blogannath, making the URL http://blogannath.blogspot.com.

I love learning about different languages, and frequently compare and contrast language constructs from various languages I know (actually I know only 3 languages that I am fluent in, but I know a fair smattering of words, and basic grammar of a few other languages). Obviously, learning the roots of various English words is part of that basic interest in languages and I am glad I was able to apply that right at the beginning of this project. Sounds auspicious, but then, it was the result of a compromise, so may be it is actually inauspicious...

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