So I’ve been sitting here thinking about moving, and I came to a strange realization. Over the next couple years of my life, my most permanent address will likely be www.brainsideout.com. So long as I can scramble up twenty bucks a month, make my server payments on time and dig my fingers into the occasional Internet terminal, this will remain a constant. The flesh is currently in Duluth and will soon be in Hood River, but beyond that it could be anywhere. Meanwhile, the brain will sit here online a glass jar, open to inspection.
It’s weird to think of a duality between digital and physical existence, as the digital still relies on the physical. Technology is not yet to the point where we can download our brains into the Internet and exist merely in cyberspace, nor do I think that such an existence would be very exciting. Wherever I live I want to be able to chase squirrels, and you can’t do that on the Internet.
Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be prudent to deny the reality or importance of digital existence. I believe that I have carved out a little space, here, rendered in 1’s and 0’s, just as someone may buy a plot o’ land and build a house on it. The actions involved are different but the effort is the same. Sure, I can’t cook dinner in my Photo Log, I can’t sleep in my server, and I can’t invite friends over for a wild and rockin’ kegger over in Slapdash. But I can plink this page out in the deep blue waters of cyberspace and let people drop by and visit. I can elucidate my thoughts through various visual channels. It’s not a full replacement for a home but it is a dietary supplement.
Really, I don’t know where I’m going to end up in the physical world. I’ll be in Oregon until September, but beyond that I don’t know. I want to see things, so maybe I’ll take a few months and just drive around the country. Maybe I’ll join a groovy group of folks at a nice outdoor company and settle in. Maybe I’ll move back to zany old Duluth. I’ve got ideas and I’ve got goals, but none of them are place-specific. I need to be around trees and water and hills, but there’s no specific part of the country (or specific country, for that matter) where I need to be around them.
This website allows me to run around unmoored and still keep in touch with the people I respect and admire. This is something the world has never had before and I think it is neat. Letter-writing was alway limited by addresses and carpel tunnel syndrome. Telephone communication is limited by how much the telephone sucks. Email is limited by poor grammar. Really, besides the Internet the only way to stay in contact with a lot of people is by living a life of crime and being in the news all the time.
Keeping a weblog lets people who may be a little wary of running away from home do it anyway, and still let the ‘rents check in on occasion. People might not know my current mailing address, my current phone number or even what country I’m currently in, but they know where to go if they want to figure this stuff out. It is a bit impersonal, as it would be much nicer if I would send nice postcards to all the people that matter to me, rather than expect them to drop by the ol’ site. Oh well. “C’est la vie,” which is French for “It’s the shit.”
The cool thing, though, is that if people want to find out where I am they can, no sweat. I could find myself in Podunksville, Alaska, and so long as I take the time to seek out a public library and toss fifty words at the screen, people can know what the Daner is doing. I like this. I really like this, and it will definitely help me branch out into the larger world while maintaining the connections I’ve got goin’ on inside.
You guys all rock.