Justin and me in Copenhagen, May 2001. I'm in pain because I'm bending backwards for this group shot. I also need a haircut. So does Justin. Thomas ( is in the background.Justin wrote me a thoughtful email in response to my blithe comments about the Guardian thing. A snippet: "Know that your reputation is tied up in things you participate in. And other people will always judge you for dumb stuff. Consider studying the critiques of this event you're participating in, maybe even engage the critics, or even better, engage the people running the event to talk about how to make it better." He goes on to acknowledge that doing all that, of course, takes time, and therefore, one must consider more carefully what one agrees to participate in because it's perhaps more of a commitment than it at first seems. That's certainly true.

It's like writing this bog. Every non-trivial post I make (I'm not saying that's a lot of them) is a commitment because: a) I don't like to express opinions about things I don't feel I know enough about (like I just did with the Guardian post). So I often don't post passing thoughts because I feel I need to do more research on the topic, which I don't have time to do. b) Someone might take the time to write me a response, like Justin did, that deserves a reply and possibly a follow-up post and/or research. I'm notoriously bad about replying to my email and, to a certain extent, have gotten over the assumed obligation that just because someone knows how to send me a message I have a commitment to let them take up part of my life. On the other hand, I feel bad about that, because I know from my own experience that it sucks when you send a personal note to someone and they don't reply. And from the selfish perspective, this also effects my reputation and sends a message to the world.

Not to mention what I lose out of the deal, which is perhaps the most rewarding thing about writing a bog—the conversation. Like anything worthwhile, it takes an investment. Sometimes I don't feel I have the time to make that investment. Or, more accurately, other commitments/investments are more important to me at the moment. So I don't. I just kind of go along half-assed, because I feel that's all I have the ability to do for now (i.e., I'm at my wits end trying to keep my life and business and web sites minimally functioning and anything that asks for an additional time investment makes me run hard the other way).

I'm still figuring it out.