May 19, 2004
While I remain here, there is no impetus for anyone else to take up the responsibility for choices and decisions in and of themselves: ranging from as small a thing as removing advertisements to as large as acknowledging that no decision is ever cast in stone and retaining the willingness to revisit that decision. It seems increasingly unlikely that choices will ever be undertaken without understanding what I would want first. (And I am little help that way either -- for it seems I cannot keep my mouth shut.)
Things are not ideal as they are ... but ironically this is the one thing I specifically cannot change from within, not while I remain who I am. In fact, I am the one person who cannot change this place significantly from within without wrapping it ever more tightly into my own image -- and that would utterly eliminate any possibility of true change, of evolving to grow beyond the recurrent echo of a single individual.
So Kyle Altis has outlived usefulness, here. Some few obligations (including incorporation of proper webmail and a couple of Library contributions) remain and those will be wrapped up, and of course Kyle remains available through e-mail indefinitely.
But as of now, an administrative Kyle Altis no longer exists. And once I finish the Library contributions, a posting Kyle Altis will no longer exist here either.
- All things change? (25/06/02)
So I returned to Crossroads yesterday, after about two years of non-Library posting absence.
Why I left? At least a dozen reasons, ask me three times and you are likely to get three different answers ... all of them true. What I quoted suggests it as well as any; although at this particular moment in time, I would say that I had initiated Crossroads as a social experiment, and that I was feeling very uncomfortable with the extent to which its ways continued to wrap around me, and to which those who held power continued to look to me for the manner of its implementation. There were times, increasingly frequent, when it felt to me as though I were its only driving force. I thought, then, that something truly living and independent should be able to survive and perhaps even thrive in my absence: and especially should not always keep looking to me for The Answers. I still think that.
Why I returned? For one thing, the thoughts don't stop coming to my head just because I lack a forum to write them down. (This journal is one side effect thereof; the webpage another.) For another, when a place has been abandoned, the walls seldom care how the furniture should be arranged. (It seems there remains only one semi-regular poster, and I know my presence or absence will not stop her from acting as she sees fit.) For a third, the only reason at this point to remain absent might be as a continual "I told you so" ... and, although I don't always succeed, I do try to avoid that.
What has changed? My attitude toward power in this context, for one: although I can hope temporarily. All but one of those I had given the power to act have scattered to the four winds of the Internet, distracted and sometimes ambushed by "real" life. These "life" things will happen, of course, as well as those "work" and "family" things around time zone changes: and so power to change had been vested in more people than most had thought necessary, for such a small board.
Of all whom I had abandoned to power, a few did ask questions of the community and seek the general membership's input as to changes: but only one was willing to take subsequent action. At least one other seemed reluctant to take any action whatsoever until even my shadow had vanished. (And in all fairness one other had been asked only to help with the technical end of things, and the board is still functioning smoothly.)
I thought, originally, that to stay as invisible as possible, to invest the power for change in the general membership would be -- oh, I do not like "empowering", but my English lacks anything better. Instead, what seemed to slowly grow was an expectation that, since all things were not to be in my image, they should of course be completely in everyone else's. Some wanted fewer fora. Some wanted complete freedom, not only of subject but of manner of expression. Some argued vigorously against those freedoms -- succeeded in swaying the majority and establishing that part of board policy -- and then lost all interest. Some wanted colour coherence. Some wanted clear yes-or-no rules. Some resented the Amazon text link I had initially intended for a board fund, to help its members with passions and emergencies.
I knew from the start that nothing would please everyone. What I did not know was that any deviation from what was personally desired would be considered reason enough to abandon a board.
So I return as a temporary board "dictator", and accept the temporary imbalance required. I have already made some administrative changes -- and if my observations as to the membership's current state of interest are at all accurate, those changes might go completely unnoticed. I will clean up board policy and tighten it, although I already know I won't ever be able to tighten it to the point where someone won't inadvertently or deliberately misinterpret it ... nor should it be tight to the point where there is no possibility for change. I will take whatever actions I see fit to take within the amended posted policies, and know that at least one other will do likewise.
And I will post again in discussion threads, and hope that some may happen by who won't be completely ignored in their first, tentative postings; and that some, among newcomers and established members alike, may once again be intrigued enough to stop, and listen, and talk.
And maybe, perhaps, the place might one day start feeling its way toward a true independence, of being as of thought?
Smile of the day:
One day some scientists got together and decided that, what with cloning and other miraculous things, Man had come so far that He no longer needed God. One scientist was chosen to give God the news. God listened very patiently and kindly to the scientist, and after she was done talking, God suggested, "Very well, then how about if you show me how you can make Man, just like I did back in the days of Adam."
To which the scientist replied, "Sure thing!" and stooped for a handful of dirt.
God only looked at her and sighed: "No, no, no. You go get your own dirt."