According to Mark Twain “If you have nothing to say, say nothing”. There are several reasons behind the quiet blog, however.
‘Losing my voice’ has been gradual. In the past when I spotted bias or omission, I had to have my say. On the huge adjustments to station data for example, my initial lack up knowledge gave way to incredulity at the magnitude of some of the adjustments; the behaviour of many climate scientists, who should seem to be above such pettiness, outraged me. Since I have always felt that ‘anger is a wasted emotion’ it seemed better to be moved to do something than just feel the anger. Blogging was an outlet.
Then funny thing happened. Essentially my level of understanding increased to the point where I could see both sides. Often I could understand why people held opinions contrary to my own in the face of many pieces of evidence which each of us weighs differently. I found I had started to move to the middle ground. Here it is much harder to find the passion to argue due to a lack of strongly held opinion. It is much easier to ‘let it go’ when up against a disagreement. Simply put, I no longer feel such a passionate need to share analyses and opinions.
From John Nielsen-Gammon’s recent six-part debate with Robert Brown (here)
Given that those most likely to speak out in public are either getting paid to do it or feel more extremely about the matter at hand than others, it follows that the people whose opinion you should trust the most are those whose opinion you never hear.
I can relate to that. I wish I could say I was being paid to do it, but I’ve just used up the hot air.
The other aspect that has come with increased understanding is increased complexity of debate. I find myself wanting to add caveats and detailed explanations to posts or comments that would require checks of half-remembered facts and details, sucking up time I do not have. I am no longer content with the same old arguments; while I’m not saying my opinion is one that people should trust, it is a case that I am now less likely to speak out. Measured opinion is less fun; blogging needs a bit of passion, even polemic.
And another thing – it has been a tough year. After months of overload (during which I should say blogging was an escape, not a burden) I just hit a brick wall. You know you are in trouble when the only responses you can think of is ‘oh’ or ‘hmm’. I needed a rest. I woke up one Saturday and literally thought ‘enough until I feel like it again’. So, I have been merely lurking on blogs and restricting activity to moderating on WUWT, when I’ve been around that is. Some sun, sea and sand and family time have helped too, while we avoided the rain at home (in fact our home was almost flooded in our absence).
If this sounds like a ‘good-bye’ or signing off, it isn’t – just an explanation. I feel about ready to start up and tackle the unanswered comments; I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and comment. Since I have promised my family a better blog-life balance so I’m not sure what sort of schedule I’ll settle into yet. Who knows what the next few months will bring!