At Another Crossroads

Sunni's picture

Not unexpectedly, reverberations from my new circumstances are making themselves known. However, some of the impulses I’ve had are a bit surprising to me ... and I’m not sure how much weight to give them. As one of the major areas of uncertainty centers on this place, I thought it wise to share some of my thoughts with the three visitors who’ve hung on here.

For quite some time now, I’ve had the dismaying feeling that this place isn’t living up to its billing ... and much of that responsibility is mine, as I’ve been absent for long stretches of time. I long ago wearied of ranting about or dissecting the outrage du jour; and then, when I started thinking that my ramblings were too personal to be of interest—much less help—to anyone, I was unable to come up with a satisfactory answer to the inevitable question: What will I write about, then? Karate and knitting and primal eating and atheist–Buddhism aren’t exactly typical fare for a pro-freedom site ... and how exactly do they relate to liberty, anyway? I see some connecting threads, but haven’t yet felt capable of communicating them well.

And I never wanted this place to be all about me, anyway. But even the chattiest Conspirators post here less often than I do, which is discouraging, while also understandable.

The software running this place badly needs an upgrade. It can be done—or I can switch to another platform—but I wonder if there’s much point to doing so. Unfortunately, one of the problems with the software means I cannot get Conspirators’ eddresses to discuss these issues with them ... if they even use those eddresses still. Yes, it’s been that long since I’ve been in touch with many of them.

I never intended to let this place get so dusty, but it has happened ... so the question is, how to move forward? I’d appreciate input from anyone who’s willing to speak up.

I understand

completely.

I keep meaning to write about a few things, then get caught up in actually doing them. Plus it seems that I am not really doing anything freedom/liberty related. We are just living our lives. That involves a lot of things that bring us joy, but would not be of great interest to anyone else. It also involves a lot of mundane day-to-day things. While a few could be classified as dodging the state, they are fairly specific to our circumstances and not the kind of thing that one should post publicly. I could write about Costa Rica, but just about everything I would cover is already all over the Costa Rica related blogs, Yahoo groups, and other forums. My contribution would be very minor, and once again, of very limited interest.

I would be sad if this site went away, and I realize that I should contribute if I want it to stay.

I will participate in this discussion at least.

Right now I am off to kill some rabbits, move apple snails from one pool to another and paint one of our rental units.

Understand completely!

I'm going through a similar process trying to decide if it is time to let The Price of Liberty slide into the way back machine. I intend to mirror the entire site and the archives will be available for those who ask, but I suspect it won't be actively on line after this September. Just one of those things. Our stats are down and never were tremendous, so there just seem to be many other things I should be doing.

Do what you need to do for you and your family, Sunni.

I, for one, will always love you and stay in touch the best I can.

Changes

What software is running this place anyway?

This is one of my very short list of blogs that are on my RSS reader, so I'm "here" at least daily even if I don't actually visit the website. (BTW, if you do upgrade/replace your software, RSS availability of the comments would be a nifty addition if it's easy for you to implement.)

I'm not one of the Conspirators, but that doesn't stop me from having an opinion about online communities in general. :-) This is your place first of all, so any decision is fundamentally yours. Other active participants may have a say, but it's your choice how much of a say they get. Former participants who have dropped so far out of touch that you don't even know their e-mail addresses? Nah, not unless they come back on their own.

As for your content, I just enjoy reading your stuff even if I don't often have any comment to make. What Jorge just wrote above -- "We are just living our lives" -- well, that's where we find freedom, isn't it? You knitted something instead of buying it? You lost weight and got stronger? There's some freedom you got out of your own effort, and it didn't require battling Leviathan for scraps. I like being reminded of things like this, because it's so easy to focus on the giant losing battles, and overlook the mundane but real daily successes.

Versions

Sunni reports that it's running an ancient version of Drupal. Methinks it might be time for an upgrade or migration (say, to WordPress).

Drupal

Cool, I've been trying to learn me some Drupal. I installed Drupal 7 with a basic blog a few months ago, but I'm still an utter beginner. Sunni, let me know if I can be of any help accidentally destroying upgrading your site.

Part of the blame

for this article is mine. I host the site and helped Sunni choose and customize drupal some years ago. Last week, Sunni brought some problems to my attention and in digging around the log files I discovered that the site is very popular with hackers from all over the world and may very well be vulnerable to known exploits in this very old version of drupal.

So, my response was to make 1 of 3 choices, 1. do nothing and let the site fade away, 2. try to back rev the php libraries to eliminate what look to be php errors (there was a major upgrade of php on the server a while back), 3. go ahead and do the upgrade.

The fundamental problem is that drupal ceased support of this version a long time ago which means no security updates. Sunni and I made an attempt to upgrade once but the project died from lack of attention. Could be time to resurrect that effort and get back on the update stream but there's a not insignificant time commitment necessary for both Sunni and me. I told her that my plate is full but maybe that's not entirely true. We can all make time for things that are important and certainly maintaining what has been created here over the years is important to preserve and maybe continue.

Or it's time to archive the site and move on...

-jet-

Willing to Help

Yeah, the problem with using a PHP-based CMS is that you need to stay up to date on patches and versions. Speaking of which, I need to update some of my WordPress installs. :)

I've recently had a bunch of time free up, so I'm willing to help keep this site alive.

Thank you all very much.

I’m awed by your generosity and kindness, each of you.

I have decided—in no small part because of the subject of my most recent post—to keep this place going. Despite my long absences here, I frequently think of the people who came ‘round here to share their perspectives, and I miss them. Some of them I have lost contact with completely ... Cat Farmer, Pagan, Jac, Williams Dad, galacticmonk, Shaun, Presto, Brian Nickerson, NeoWayland, freeman ... and I would hate for that to happen with more of us.

Exactly how I’ll proceed is yet to be determined. And it won’t be decided today: the weather is gorgeous here at last (if still a little cool) and I have much to accomplish away from the computer. I’ll follow up in some form as soon as I have an idea of the path.

My Excuse

The reason I've posted here so rarely is that my style is too in-your-face/over-the-top/confrontational for the venue. Even a silly humor-oriented post about cellulose raised hackles. So I generally to stick to my personal blog where my opinions don't reflect on anyone else.

For what it's worth, I'm considering shutting down said blog. It was originally meant, more or less, as adjunct advertising for my writing, which makes it kinda pointless since I quit writing (in the past couple of weeks, the income from creating and webmastering one tiny, basic site has already been a significant percentage of what multiple books made me in ten years... which, granted, wasn't tough to do. OTOH, given the site's audience, I did find it prudent to upgrade my defensive carry.). And frankly the blog has turned into a outrage positive feedback loop; the last thing I need is to keep making myself angry to no point. And it is pointless. I already put my web site into near-hibernation.

I was thinking about shutting down the LRT discussion list when it went more than two months without a post, but someone did recently post, so I'll keep it going a little longer (I managed to pay my hosting fees one more time).

Re: Old contacts- Come to think of it, I haven't heard from Jac in quite a while myself. I do still hear from Cat occasionally; she got a real, multi-faceted life that keeps her busy. I should try that sometime.

Who else shall we summon?

After we both commented on Cat and Jac, I have heard from them—amazing results! (Well, to be honest I emailed Cat, but as busy as she is and as old as that eddress is, I wasn’t at all confident I’d hear back, much less as quickly as I did.)

The reason I've posted here so rarely is that my style is too in-your-face/over-the-top/confrontational for the venue.

That is certainly one possibility, but it’s far from the only one. I think that the issue is more likely that most readers here aren’t familiar enough with you to expect that flavor. It’s true that there isn’t much that’s confrontational here, but I don’t necessarily see that as a good thing. I like a provocative post as well as anyone, as long as it serves some purpose beyond simply provoking.

Regarding the LRT discussion list, Lobo has an assistant who has taken on maintenance/rebuilding of the site; perhaps they would be willing to shoulder the discussion list as well. It’s worth a try, at the least.

Thought my ears felt a bit warm...

After a conversation today with another friend about how out of touch I've been lately (she'd mentioned she was thinking about calling me; the number she had is one I haven't used in over a year), I decided I'd see what Sunni's up to these days.

Very funny, Universe.

My only excuse is that old life thing. Some of the high (and low) lights of the past two years: I've been in a long-distance relationship that became an engagement and a now 18-month old marriage, moved across the country, started a new job in a new line of work (freelance, at that), and my first visit back to Arizona was to attend my mom's funeral.

And, last, but in no way least, my hands have been *particularly* full lately.

I've managed to stay at least somewhat in touch with a handful of people; I'm not sure how I managed to exclude you guys in that group, but it certainly wasn't intentional, and I am sorry about it.

AWWWWW

Had a couple of handfuls like that over the years. :) Perfectly understandable. She's gorgeous.

Congratulations and condolences

So good to hear from you, Jac! I’m sorry to hear of your mother’s death, but very happy for you regarding your marriage and adorable daughter. Enjoy these days with her as much as you can—I’m sure you already see how quickly babies grow and change.

If your work is something that you can do remotely, please fill me in on the details via email if you’d like me to recommend you as appropriate. As a fellow freelancer, I know how challenging it can be to expand one’s client base.