In the early years of this blog, I made it a practice to post something thematic on Thanksgiving Day. I thought it might be apropos to revive that practice today with a twofold purpose.
First, to let you know that, having thought through the matter for some time, I’ve decided to bring The Frailest Thing to an end.
Second, to thank you for reading along these past ten years.
Some of you will know that I first launched this blog in late 2009 in conjunction with the first semester of my PhD program. I thought it might be useful to think out loud about what I was learning, so I first began by posting reflections on my reading. The blog took on a more general focus for awhile but soon began to focus more narrowly on matters related to technology and society with only occasional deviations from the theme. It proved to be a nice niche.
In my estimation The Frailest Thing peaked in summer of 2015 just before I took a hiatus in order to focus on my dissertation. The dissertation was never completed, but later that year I did welcome my first child and my second 19 months later. I revived the blog in 2016, but things were different then, my time and energy in shorter supply, and I don’t know that it has ever done much more than limp along since then.
In truth, the blog served me well over the years. It yielded good opportunities and allowed me to enter into valuable and engaging conversations and debates. Most importantly, my intellectual life has been deeply enriched by a number of individuals who I’ve come to know because of my writing here. For that, I will always be grateful.
So thanks again for reading and sharing and commenting, especially those of you who’ve been around for the long haul. There is no shortage of content, as we all know, so it was always kind of startling to discover that folks were reading the words I put down here.
My plan will be to collect what I think is worth preserving from my writing here and turn that into an e-book. I will post one last time with an update once that project is complete. Stay tuned for that. Otherwise, consider this my sign off.
The end of this blog, of course, does not mean the end of my writing. For whatever combination of reasons, I’ve found a measure of satisfaction in writing my newsletter, The Convivial Society, and that is where I will be expending most of my discretionary writing time. Needless to say, please do follow along.
So, then, The Frailest Thing is dead. Long live The Convivial Society.
19 thoughts on “The Frailest Thing Is Dead”
I found you late in your tenure, but have enjoyed the reads. Best of luck.
I started following The Frailest Thing as a Computer Science undergrad, and have followed it sporadically over the last decade as I got a graduate degree in the same field. Your thoughts and writing introduced me to the cultural impact of technology on society, and I’ve always been sure of finding something thought-provoking to read here. All the best, I’ll see you at The Convivial Society!
Maithri, so glad to hear that. Thanks for the note. My best to you in your work.
can you make your font darker? It is impossible for me to read with my poor eyes Thanks for consideration JOe
I’ll see what I can do, you’re not the first to mention that.
Michael, sorry to hear this, but completely understand. I gave up my blogging a while back — it takes so much time away from the challenging amount of research necessary for other projects. Still, I will miss The Frailest Thing, which has consistently been one of the best, most thoughtful sources of commentary on our technological dilemmas. I know that in my future writing I will be quoting some of your columns, many of which I have saved.
Thanks, Doug. I’ve appreciated your comments on here over the years, they made the site better. Cheers!
Thank you for doing this.
Thank you for so consistently passing along links to my work here over the years!
Really sad to see it end, have seen some of the most thoughtful conversations about how technology can affect and even infect humanity here — depending on how we outsource our thinking and subsequently our values to it? You always seemed to see to those deepest questions and consider them, at those levels. I’ll look forward to more of that and perhaps more of the possible answer to those questions in, “The Convivial Society”. Especially, as how one is enlightened on these very topics when one has and raises children. :-)
June, so good to hear from you. Thank you for reading and thank you for your contributions to the conversations here, I very much appreciated the perspectives you added to these discussions. Cheers!
Mike, it’s been too long, but I wanted to say thanks for continuing to be a conversation-partner, at least in print, on a subject we share mutual concerns about. Hopefully we will be seeing more from you in the future in other venues.
Thank you, Jackson!
Hey, Michael, I hope you are doing great.
I have been an occasional visitor to your blog over these 10 years. Every time I read your posts, I learned something new. And there is a quite a bit to learn from your professionalism, love for writing and thoughtfulness for your readers. Cheers to that. Best of luck in whatever you are doing.
Also, I’ll see you at The Convivial Society! :)
Thanks so much!
Thanks for all your blogging efforts over the years! I’ve very much enjoyed reading it and following your train of thought. While i fully respect your decision, i do wonder why not keep the blog around simply as outlet where you collect “The Convivial Society” newsletter editions? Email is a very ephemeral media with poor affordance (search engines wont find it etc. – which is how i found your writing in the first place) and social media is horrible in other regards. Blogging is a very important middle ground but these days a somewhat lost art – it always saddens me when yet another blog disappears from my RSS reader. Either way, i wish you all the best with all your endeavours and thank you for sharing your thoughts!
Thank you for your comments on this. Good points, and I have been considering how to balance these different concerns. And thanks for reading!