Using this blog for occasional casual experience capitalization means that an article captures and shares a fragment of knowledge I have managed to grasp at a given moment. While this frozen frame remains forever still, it may become stale as knowledge moves on. Comments contributed by the readers may help in keeping the article fresh, but that only lasts as long as the discussion. After a while, part of article is obsolete – so it is with some unease that I see some old articles of dubious wisdom keep attracting traffic on my blog.
Maybe this unease is the guilt that comes with publishing in a blog – a form of writing whose subjective qualities can easily slide into asocial self-centered drivel. Maybe I should sometimes let those articles become wiki pages – an useful option given to contributors on some question & answers sites. But letting an article slide into the bland utilitarian style of a wiki would spoil some of my narcissic writing fun. That shows that between the wiki utility and the blog subjectivity no choice must be made : they both have their role to play in the community media mix.
So what about the expiration date ? I won’t use one : let obsolete knowledge, false trails, failed attempts and disproved theories live forever with us for they are as useful to our research as the current knowledge, bright successes and established theories that are merely the end result of a process more haphazard than most recipients of scientific and technical glory will readily admit. To the scientific and technical world, what did not work and why it did not work is even more important than what did – awareness of failures is an essential raw material of the research process.
So I am left with the guilt of letting innocent bystanders hurt themselves with my stale drivel which I won’t even point to for fear of increasing its indecently high page rank. But there is not much I can do for them besides serving the articles with their publication date and hope that the intelligent reader will seek contemporary confirmation of a fact draped in the suspicious fog of a less informed past with an author even less competent than he is nowadays…