Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So long, and thanks for all the fish

The absence of new content here for the past few days has not been the result of any tragedy or work implosion.

I have been thinking seriously about multiple commitments and where in my life I can make the most difference.

Two years ago I started this blog on something of a lark, primarily to see what would happen, and to inject some of my own ideas into that whirlwind we all call the blogosphere. Several thousand posts later, I came to the realization that ... I'm done.

Not that it hasn't been fun, intellectually challenging, or even may have changed the minds of a few people on a few select issues... it has.

But as a whole, I've recently discovered, it's a never-ending personal commitment to an enterprise that neither pays the bills nor makes a significant enough change [as compared to other venues in which I work] to be worth continuing.

I only have a certain amount of time and energy available, and here's where it will be going in the near future:

1. To my family, first and foremost--a few extra minutes each day as my twins go through the teenage years.

2. To Delaware State Unversity, which needs some heavy shoveling to get out of the mess that the Sessoms' administration left us in, and which--as an organization--has finally recognized that fact. I have been spending multiple hours each week in labor negotations for a new faculty contract, working on personnel issues, and supporting my own dean. These are real projects, with real impacts on people, and I need to carve out some more time for them.

3. To my own serious writing--which has directly suffered thanks to this blog. I am hanging fire on three book contracts, and I have finally gotten started doing the serious work to meet some deadlines. It feels good, and there is actually a chance that some of my work might have serious impact on how America looks at its Civil War, or how the world has contextualized the Russo-German War from 1941-1945, and what that means for foreign policy and genocide studies. There are only so many books you can write in a career, and I've only written nine so far. Before senility hits I aim to double that number, but I cannot do it if I am pounding the keyboard here.

4. To my commitment to the News Journal's Community Advisory Board, which gives me a less frequent but much larger audience for commentary [no, A1, it won't be specifically libertarian-oriented commentary].

Not that it matters, but this has been a difficult decision, and I only really crystalized it last night while talking to Dana Garrett, who has recently reached the same conclusion.

I won't rule out doing this again some day in a different format, and I certainly doubt I will give up the habit of checking and commenting on local blogs. Maybe if I have something to say I will ask somebody for some space for a guest post every now and again.

But I've just reached the point where it's time to say, Thank you, to friends and critics alike, and to move on to other parts of the world.

I owe a special thanks to Tyler (for whom this is coming blindside out of the blue) and the two Brians who wrote so much good stuff here as well.

As Benjamin Disraeli once noted, much of being a successful party guest revolves around having the wisdom to know when it's time to leave.

It's time.


Shirley Vandever said...

You will certainly be missed, Steve, but GOOD FOR YOU ! Blogging is sort of a waste of time, and certainly doesn't generate anything in the way of income. It also seems that the same old arguments are regurgitated over and over. One can almost predict what someone is going to say.

You have lots of stuff on your plate ! I look forward to getting a signed copy of your next book (I'll buy it, of course :))))))

Delaware Watch said...

Congradts, Steve, for both making this decision and for your good and interesting efforts on this blog. I will miss your blog. It was always a real intellectual treat even when I disagreed w/ some posts. But I am happy for you and look forward to reading some of the books you plan to write.

I'm glad that you intend to make comments on local blogs. I'll see you around there. Take care. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Steve,

I will miss your blogging. A lot.

And I wish you and your family all the best.


Hube said...

Ouch. Two of the blogosphere's (not to mention state's) greatest thinkers -- you and Dana -- now gone. It sucks, but ...

... your reasons are right on target. All the best, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is a daily read for me.

I can only think of one other person (Bill Morris) in the last 20years who has introduced so many people to libertarianism.

Good luck, you will be missed.

John Galt

Kn@ppster said...


Thanks for sharing a LOT of really good (in several senses) work here. Hopefully, the withdrawal symptoms will overcome your good sense and bring you crawling back for more. If not, then good luck with your other projects.

Tom Knapp

Perry said...

Steve, you are a prolific and unique author of ideas and insights which will be missed greatly. I'm sure we will be hearing a lot from you, just not here. Thanks and best wishes!

RSmitty said...


Good luck! For me, the hardest action was not no longer blogging, but staying away enough that it made any difference. I am pretty much an addicted commenter. I've made a conscientious effort to suppress that "jones" this month and see some progress. I think I've made significant strides towards that goal. It's not that I want to be totally gone, but so much in my life is more important. Additionally, the things I want to get done can't be done on a blog, no matter how much I think people are paying attention - they really aren't, on blogs. Staying away as much as possible and being more observer than participant is also how I've come up with my cool quote of the year-to-date:
"In political commentary, truth is relative to ideology, while facts are inconvenient obstacles."

Good luck, Steve. You definitely have the tools, but I guess need the (re-)focus. I don't doubt you will get that all back.

TommyWonk said...

Thanks for writing one of the most thought provoking blogs in Delaware--and for providing a sense of perspective upon your departure. Good luck to you and all your endeavors in life as we know it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for blogging, I became a libertarian because of you and I had a better understanding of libertarianism because of you.

Eric Dondero said...

Can't say I'll miss this blog.

Your departure is just one more sign of the death of Leftwing Libertarianism and America-hating Isolationist foreign policy in the age of Obama.

Witness the serious decline of the so-called "Freedom Democrats" in recent years, and the total failure of all of Tom Knapp's Leftwing Libertarian enterprises.

Rightwing Libertarians now rule!

ka1igu1a said...

...Rightwing Libertarians now rule!...

lol...some libertarian.

Who are you "ruling" over? you aren't ruling over me, dipshit...

Chris said...

Once again, Dondero's own words belie his pretensions to being libertarian. I find it amazing that anyone who professes to believe in libertarian ideals not only cares so deeply about the "left" or "right" grouping he arbitrarily puts others into, but revels in the prospect of lording it over those he perceives to be subject to his whims. Disgusting.

Steve, I only recently came across your blog, but gained much more from your thoughts than I have from others I have been reading far longer. Best of luck to you, and if there is such a thing as karma, your reasons for this decision will bring blessings to you.

pandora said...

Can't believe you're leaving - hope you'll keep commenting! Even though we don't always agree, I've always enjoyed your viewpoint.

(Sorry it took me so long to respond... been hanging out in Cambridge this week.)

Anonymous said...

You're still only a member of Earth's third most intelligent species.


LiberalGeek said...

Steve -

You shall be missed. Hopefully some of that found time can be spent having a beer with us in the future.

And on the bright side, not only are you getting all of that time back, but imagine the collected time that those of us that read your posts will recoup! :)

See you around the blogosphere, my friend.

Suzanne said...

You'll be missed in the Delaware blogosphere - that's for sure!