General Rants: Why I Sometimes Censor Myself
If you’ve followed my website for a long time, you’ve probably noticed that certain things sometimes get lost in my occasional redesigns. In the case of my old site on UVM space, that was often accidental and due to me not making the proper backups or letting certain files get overwritten. But WordPress has a better backup system and yet still things sometimes disappear. So why is that, exactly?
Well, sometimes I censor myself.
If you’re looking for something that you know used to be here but isn’t anymore, there’s a good chance that one of the following has happened:
- I’m ashamed of myself. I’ve run this website for 13 years and said some stupid, immature stuff during that time. For example, I once had a fight where Adolf Hitler beat up Mahatma Gandhi. There is an explanation as to why I did that, but no amount of context is going to change the fact that it was obscenely stupid and not something I should have even considered. One of the benefits of getting older and wiser is that I can admit that I used to be dumb, and I reserve the right to fix my mistakes where I can.
- I disagree with myself. Sometimes I state a point of view that later just doesn’t sit right with me. For example, I once endorsed an episode of Glee, which I now think is one of the worst things ever to find its way onto television.
- I can do better. My writing ability and overall coherency has improved with age. If I look through the archives and find something that is not up to my current quality standards, I am likely to yank it down and replace it with something better.
- I was just plain wrong. One of the most common searches that brings people to this site is “sociology is bullshit.” That’s because I used to have a rant that expressed that view word for word. The rant was about some faulty research that people were accepting as truth, but the flaw was that I extended that bad study to the entire field of sociology, which can actually be useful. At some point I may revise the rant and re-post it, but it will have a different title and focus. Sociology is not bullshit, but people still put way too much stock in preliminary studies they see discussed on the news, mistakenly believing that the results of a scientific study constitute actual proof of a hypothesis.
- It’s gonna get published. If I’ve got somebody who is considering publishing a piece I’ve done here, I usually pull it down until I get a definite yes or no on the subject. This has happened with quite a few of my short stories.
You could argue that I should leave everything up as an accurate representation of my thoughts at the time I wrote them, but this site is not only a reflection of who I was but also who I am now. More than 100 completely new readers stumble across this place every day. I wouldn’t lead off a conversation with a complete stranger with a stupid story about something I did when I was in college, and I’d rather not introduce myself to strangers online with some stupid thing I said a decade ago.