Ten Years

I started Rolling Doughnut ten years ago today. I haven’t posted with any regularity for a long while, but I’m still here. I continue paying the hosting fees because I’m proud of the work I’ve done. I transitioned from mostly fluff and attempts at humor to a commitment to significant issues. Rolling Doughnut has been an outlet to learn and grow in my writing and thinking.

It’s apparent to me how this site tracks with my life over the last decade. I won’t go through it since I post little directly personal information. But it’s fun to remember for me. Mostly, I’m amused that my first post was a generic “Is this thing on” post, and that Danielle left the first comment. At the time, we only knew each other online. Now we’re married. So, yay Internet!

Since no anniversary post would be complete without a retrospective, I’ll offer an incomplete list, a few posts that still make me proud. I wrote about the often misunderstood idea of selfishness within Ayn Rand’s work. I made a flowchart showing how lazy people mock lbertarians. I did Matthew Yglesias’ homework, since he preferred propaganda to journalism. And, of course, I wrote a bunch of posts on circumcision too numerous to keep an audience document in a short post. And, finally, there was the day I never imagined I’d see.

I’m glad I started Rolling Doughnut. I’m sure there’s more good stuff in the future.

Training To Do As We’re Told

I haven’t blogged nearly enough recently, or in the last year. Blah, blah, blah. The only reason I’m raising that point is because today’s the 6th anniversary of Rolling Doughnut. I’ll only remark in jest that I should wipe one of those years off, given the breaks I’ve taken recently. But that’s not fair to myself since I’ve still managed nearly 200 entries in the last year. I just need to be more consistent.

That’s a meta way to advance to today’s story, which is strangely related to my post marking last year’s anniversary. Last August 16th, you’ll remember, I had an adventure with TSA and an experimental, voluntary search that I refused because I could. They didn’t like that, not that it surprised me. But it made the point that we’re becoming a more complacent society, that we’ve agreed to stop valuing liberty when it comes to being searched. The appearance of safety is enough for most.

Today, I purchased Madden 10 at Best Buy. This should be a simple process. Instead, it involved asking for it at the register, the cashier charging me for it, me paying, the cashier giving the game to the security person at the door, and me showing my receipt to the security person. This is two¹ steps too many.

I stated my displeasure to the security person. I’ve done this before, so I knew I’d get the same explanation. Best Buy (or any store) can explain that it’s to guarantee the customer gets what he paid for, which is nonsense. Even if that’s true, my perception is that the store doesn’t trust its customers. At best it suggests they don’t trust their cashiers. If that’s the case, they should spend the time they’re wasting with me on training or different oversight.

When I told the security person all of this, he tried to deflect by saying that many stores are doing this. True, and I don’t have to shop at them or Best Buy. To this he responded: “It’s just like you have to stand in line for security at the airport.”

Buying Madden for the Xbox 360 is not like boarding an airplane. Entertaining the notion that it is demonstrates the extent to which we’ve accepted every intrusion, no matter how stupid, inefficient, and unproductive. When a business says “Line up,” we can so “no” by requesting a refund. I didn’t today, but I have in the past. I’m sure I will in the future. But that’s a low cost process. I can always go to Game Stop or Target to buy Madden. If we won’t challenge those without guns, we should expect no better treatment from those with guns.

So, yeah, I’m still here.

¹ Three, really, but I’ll skip the idiocy of the first step.

Still Here

Things have been dormant for a bit, but I’m still here. I’m contemplating. While that’s bad for output, at least in the short-term, it’s good for my mental health. Mostly I’m thinking of how to do what I do here more effectively. I’ll be back soon.

I’ve been thinking.

Hi, I run an active blog here. You may not know it because the top of the main page changes so rarely these days. There are now only 5 posts, including this one, on the 21-day-history main page. But I’m still here, still pondering the world and figuring out what to say about it. Normally that’s easy: read news, sit in front of computer, type, publish. Easy.

Yeah, I wish. Really, it takes motivation and creativity. I’ve had little of the former lately and the latter takes effort. I’m to blame.

More interesting – hopefully – is the reason behind the lull. I didn’t know what it was. I just knew that diverted attention left this page stale. The Phillies are still in the playoffs and winning. That takes some. I’ve also rediscovered my Xbox 360, only to get the Red Ring of Death. And so on.

That was my explanation until Friday night. Driving home, I listened to music rather than talk radio or podcasts. Time to not think actively freed me to figure out my the explanation. Apathy. I’ve been at this long enough to realize how consistent the themes are. Too few care much about liberty, choosing instead to structure the world according to their own lives.

Ranting here about the bailout bill, for example, would accomplish so little. The narrative is set. Morons like Harold Meyerson rule the day. It won’t last forever, but while it does, the anti-intellectuals won’t be stopped. I did not favor the bailout, nor do I favor the corporate welfare so many misinterpret as free market capitalism. The story will remain free of facts as long as there is an outcome-determined agenda. The socialist is no different than the corporatist.

I won’t change the world. So what? I don’t write to change the world. I write because I like it. It helps me process the world. It helps me learn. It helps me teach. And I’d rather focus on individuals. If I convince one person to refrain from circumcising a child, it’s worth it. If I provide an insight that helps someone convince someone else, it’s worth it. I won’t change the world. So what.

In other words, I’m back. The pace probably won’t pick up immediately. The Phillies are still in the playoffs, remember. But I’ve decided to stop being angry that people continue to harm others, be it with the state or the scalpel. I’ll write instead. And I’ll get angry again. I’ll just direct it rather than allow it to fester.

Pathetic? Meh.