D’Arcy’s Camus moment
D'Arcy Norman recently 'nuked' his blog, ie he took it all down and replaced it with the image of a nuclear explosion (he missed a fine opportunity for RickRolling there). As he says
"At first, I was just doing it to make a point, but I quickly reached a
point where I was almost convinced I was going to leave it nuked. I was
going to toss the albatross overboard…But my blog is strictly just a bunch of words. Just a bunch of talk."
This came on the back of some of the edupunk stuff and backlash which has rather gotten bogged down in dissecting the term. Interestingly, punk itself was accused of being nihilistic, and once you've said 'destroy' there's not much else to do (which is why I ended my edupunk vid with 'Create'). It put me in mind of Camus' Myth of Sisyphus, which opens with this line
"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide."
He argues that a search for meaning and deity is absurd, and once we realise this, suicide is a logical conclusion:
"The subject of this essay is precisely this relationship between the absurd and suicide, the exact degree to which suicide is a solution to the absurd"
(as a scientist and an educator I disagree with Camus – seeking knowledge and understanding of how things work is itself a solution to the absurd, but that's not the point of this post).
D'Arcy, like many writers, came to the same dilemma. Writing, blogging, suddenly seemed absurd, devoid of meaning. And the solution? Blogicide.
But he came back (unlike real suicide, blogicide is reversable). And that shows us that ultimately, even in the face of the absurd, the need to keep communicating is what keeps us going. I'm glad he reversed his decision, because I need someone to steal ideas from.
Good to see old Albert appear in your post. This reminds me of the idea that from nothing comes something: sometimes it’s necessary to start again, and feel the freedom that a new beginning brings. I’ve recently ‘nuked’ my blog (but unlike D’Arcy I haven’t started it again – yet).
Ultimately Camus would have agreed with you, I think, at least in principle: the world is absurd, but we carry on not despite of, but because of, its absurdity. Sisyphus didn’t just push the rock up the mountain: we must imagine he was happy to do so.