Having grown tired of my own shtick, of the endless me-centricity of this here project at www.jehsmith.com, I got it into my head that perhaps I should instead be channeling my energy into a more collaborative effort. To that end I decided to create a group blog.
The first thing I did was to register a new domain name: www.thehinternet.com (some time ago I had registered www.clinamen.net, but I forgot to pay my annual fee, and the address was taken back by ICANN or whomever; and in any case neo-Lucretianism had just grown too fashionable for me to want to associate myself with that old idea of 'the swerve').
I learned after registering the name that the term 'hinternet' is already in use, evidently mostly among conspiracy-mongering off-the-grid types who worry about 'the government' 'shutting down' the Internet, to describe some anarchic assemblage of ham radios they've put together to simulate the workings of the Internet. I thought when I first learned this that we would do better to change our name. I decided to stick with it, though. Let 'hinternet' be polysemous. Let us see what the primary meaning of the term will be a decade from now.
The Hinternet is going to be developed into a group blog, one that will be like a great many other such blogs before it, with this one noteworthy difference, that it will not be stultifyingly boring. It will draw on the interests of the artists, academics, critics, and scientists who contribute to it, but there will be absolutely zero shop talk: no moaning about performance reviews, the tedium of grading, parental leave, &c. Just ideas, discussed with elegance and conviction. I am envisioning something like Cabinet Magazine, transported into the format of, say, The Daily Beast.
I am not yet sure this will even be possible. Certainly, there is not much else on the Internet that aspires to this end. That's why it's called 'The Hinternet': we're going behind and around the established conventions in this venue, acknowledging that we've moved into a post-paper world, but seeking nonetheless to preserve something of the non-evanescence, the feeling of relative permanence, that one used to get from ideas discussed in print. We will also differ from existing blogs in that we will try to be self-contained, also somewhat like an old-fashioned magazine. A post that provides a link to a post somewhere else with a sentence or two of commentary will not cut it here.
It will take a while yet before we begin with our regular stream of posts. For now, we would like to ask you to help us out by spreading the word about The Hinternet. 'Like' us on Facebook, for example, and encourage your friends to do the same. The more readers we have, the greater the incentive will be to write good stuff, which will get us more readers, and so on, in an unending virtuous circle.
We already have most of our bases covered, with excellent writers ready to hold forth regularly on architecture, cognitive science, the history of science, linguistics, literature, &c. We would be interested in hearing from an aspiring music critic interested in gaining some exposure. Someone who lives it and loves it, and who knows how to write.
But what, you are no doubt asking, will come of jehsmith.com? Don't worry, I'm only branching out, and you can continue to expect regular doses of variously pessimistic, haughty, underground-man-like meditations; out-of-place Gallicisms, obsessive-compulsive preoccupation with language, and hints of religious fervor shrouded by over-loud protestations of non-belief here in my regular space. But I've grown a bit tired of these various personae, et j'ai le goût de faire autre chose. I think it will do me good to blend into a collective effort (of which I am the supreme controller, of course).