Jan. 11th, 2017

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So... I had a LiveJournal now for about 1/3 of my life. That's a long time to have had continuously a journal of any kind. And in this new online shared space, in the time these new media have been developing. I don't think about it so much now. But it's neat to have this record.

And I'm thinking now of migrating my LiveJournal to DreamWidth. Many people have already done this. Here is a discussion that motivated this for me:


Since landed a tenure-track job (which became tenured) I've been more circumspect in what I post in public on my LiveJournal. However, that paradoxically made me much more personal in what I posted to "friends-only" entries. (At the same time, Facebook's growth gave me another more public face to my real-life friends.) DreamWidth seems to do away with LJ's terminology of "friends" in favor of an "access list". I won't dwell that much on the semantics there. There was a period, when I moved about every year to a new temporary job, when my LiveJournal friends had become an important part of my life, as I kept getting uprooted from physical communities and friends.

While I'll keep up with the "friends-only" entries here, because I've found it useful to vent aside from the more positive spin I tend to put on things on Facebook, I thought I'd also remark on the past 16 years and how odd it is to age, and how odd it is to have a record of all that time in the form of an online journal.

When I started my LiveJournal in May of the year 2000, I was 32 years old and working at NASA. My first entry had a record of what my working day was like. Recently I ended my 48th year, and it feels very strange in that by some measures these 16 years, 1/3 of my life, passed with what seems like little change. I have a few gray hairs in my beard. But those research topics I was working on in May of 2000 are not so different from what I work on now.

Especially if you put it in context. I've had only THREE 16-year periods in my life. In my first, I went from a baby to a 16-year old getting ready to apply to colleges, getting ready to write a math paper to enter into the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. At age 16, I already had a beard. I'd already learned calculus. I'd already learned some physics. I programmed computers. I played the piano. I already had my first intense romantic interest and intense disappointment. I was pretty much who I am now by the end of the first 1/3 of my life so far, and what's happened since then is basically that I've gone in deeper.


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