Add it up.
So last month I didn't post at all. Fourth time in over 8 years. I didn't entirely forget, I intended to post and had even put it in my calendar, and planned to do it early for a change, just by a couple of days. Had stuff I wanted to write about, which I can of course no long remember. But then I didn't write. I was busy, but that doesn't seem entirely an explanation. I also then planned to write a few days into July. Not the 1st, but shortly after. That in itself was unusual. Of the other times I've forgotten to write, I didn't realise the date, and on two of them when I did realise a few hours later I posted, on the first of the next month. But this time I didn't do that. The other times were April 2008, then solidly I posted at least once a month until January 2013, and then again I forgot in October 2014. I don't know exactly why I didn't post last month. Or why I didn't manage to post soon. I planned to write a post some time in early July, and then post later in the month or today for my July post. Instead here I am. I've never quite understood the point of this blog, and I'd like it to be different now. I suppose most people are not maintaining these blogs that were so fashionable 6 or 8 or 10 years ago. Yet I have. It seems even more self-indulgent to be writing about not writing - what is the point of that? But what is the point of communication? Surely to share with others something that seems worth sharing. To tell people something they wouldn't otherwise know. Or document something that you have a unique perspective on. Well, every person's perspective is unique, of course. But I mean something that perhaps not many others have experienced, or can report on, maybe something that happens that seems important. Or to show something beautiful or powerful or worthwhile to others. Which is the same as saying, something worth communicating. Maybe to help others, to show them their experience is unique but connected to others, that another person can empathise, experience something similar, maybe put into words something they have experienced but can't much express, to help someone by saying, I've felt that too. But it seems like communication is about doing something. What does it achieve? What is it for? How are things made different, or better, or worse, but changed, by writing something? I don't know entirely. There are billions of photos, billions of words posted online, millions of emails sent, who is reading them all, looking at them all? Unusually for me I took a moment there to Google 'how many websites are created...' which suggested '...every day' only to find an article posted by the Daily Mail of all places, two years ago, topping the results about this very topic. I don't want to give that publication even a single additional click, but updated information in graphic form here and here from June 2014 indicated, not every day but every minute, 200 million new emails, 72 hours of new video content uploaded on YouTube, 220,000 photos on Instagram, almost 2.5 million new pieces of content on F*c*book, and plenty more. Also 4 million searches on Google. Per minute. Some of them for 'how many searches on Google', which I just did, in a recursive epiphany, to which Google answered, 40,000 per second, or 3.5 billion per day. So that has gone up in the past year, no doubt the other figures have too. And who could possibly be reading or looking at all this? Presumably no-one. Presumably the average number of views or hits or whatever they are called now must be tending towards zero. A few people reading lots of things, a lot of people reading a few things, most of it just lost in the noise. And what does it achieve? Useful for the people you know, or who are interested in you, or if you have something worthwhile to say, said in an interesting way (unlike this post, for example). There are 2.7 billion internet users apparently. Notice nothing in that about webpages or blogs. Which perhaps have already passed the point of having one per person on the planet. Fairly recently there were only about 4 billion webpages. Though I wonder how that is counted, as all the billions of searches and uploads generate new webpages. But we still don't know how many people there actually are on the planet. Not even that roughly. Yes, digital content uploads are a lot easier to count than people. But shouldn't we be devoting more of our energy to establishing how many of us there actually are? And perhaps, you know, to making all of our lives a bit better? Or longer? Or less brutal, painful, unfair, terrible? Maybe even trying to make more people's lives more enjoyable, healthy, dignified, worthwhile? That seems like something worth devoting more time and immense computing power to. Surely we can do it, and do it fairly easily. A very large number of people are spending a very large amount of time creating, uploading and viewing enormous amounts of 'content' (what an empty word) to the internet. I think people like doing things. They like and try to achieve things, do something. There is the urge to action. Lots of things people do on the internet are great. But it seems like lots of it is the desperate urge to do something, say something, feel something. To live, in other words, in connection with others, through being in the world. That's what humans do. We could devote that urge to something amazing. Maybe we can do it. Maybe I could even do it a little more, with my next blog post.