INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Interview Aftermath

A few dribs and drabs of comment are beginning to show up. I might as well enjoy this temporary fame while it lasts. In a couple of days, it will back to obscurity as usual.

AKMA weighs in on my remarks on self-creation and on Elaine's comments in Frank's Comments section in which she says:

" 'But true self, in my view, is created as a conscious act of existential will.' So says Shugart and so say I. Not everyone agrees with Tom about this, but I think that those who have lived long enough to experience enough of the process of self-discovery and subsequent re-invention know that Tom's got it right."

AKMA's reaction:

"other very old and very experienced observers have likewise doubted the necessity of thinking oneself the creator of one’s own identity. I’ve gone on too long about “identity” in other posts here; suffice it to say in response to Elaine and Tom that I’m thankful for their participation in forming my own identity, thankful that it’s not up to me to create or to decide who I am. While Tom cites his health as part of the rationale for asserting his adherence to the premise of self-creation, my own well-being depends as much on attaining a true sense of my interdependence with others as on relying solely on myself; indeed, an exaggerated sense of self-reliance predictably gets me into trouble. "

Thanks to AKMA for pointing out the part of the equation that I left out--"interdependence with others." AKMA's right, of course, to point out that "an exaggerated sense of self-reliance" will get one into trouble. I didn't mean to imply that the whole load could be carried exclusively on one's own shoulders. That's a proposition that's totally depressing to contemplate.

Just as AKMA is thankful to Elaine and me for our participation in forming his identity, I celebrate all those who, by their participation, play an important part in the formulation of my own identity. That goes doubly for AKMA and you other bloggers out there because you aren't tied to me by blood, commerce, or other self-interest. Your participation is pure unadulterated choice. Note that the quote from David Weinberger that I use as my blog's slogan, "writing ourselves into existence," employs the first person PLURAL pronoun, not the singular. That's a distinction of which I was very aware when I selected it as my slogan.

So thanks again, AKMA, for reading the interview, and for your customary astute perception.

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