Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Zabbo Blogs (again!)

I’m very excited to discover that my friend Zach Brown is blogging again. Zach was one of a group of friends who introduced me to blogs in, maybe late ’99? Early 2000? He’d been on haitus, and I’m glad he’s back. But I realized that my excitement felt a little odd, and so I’ve been thinking about it.

About a year ago, I actually read Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock, which is a classic in the sense that everyone pretends to have read it. One of the themes that resonates with me is the psychological impact of of repeatedly changing jobs and cities, in leaving people with a lack of grounding in the place they live. Toffler discusses professionals who are more in touch with, and at home with, a distributed network of professional colleagues who they see at conferences than they are with their neighbors.

He also discusses the difficulties involved in staying in touch with increasingly scattered groups of friends, when the things we do to stay friends are harder to accomplish as it becomes hard to coordinate a group of friends to be in the same place at the same time.

I suspect that deep down, the psychological benefits of physical proximity for relationship management help people trump the awful commutes, taxes, and other disadvantages of living in Silicon Valley.

I can’t help but mention that Chris Allen has been writing quite insightfully about these issues in posts like “Dunbar Triage: Too Many Connections
Arriving here, I’m forced to examine my excitement that Zach is blogging again. On the one hand, I am genuinely happy to have insight, however small, into his life. At the same time, I miss having dinner with him and others whose company I enjoyed in Montreal.

PS: I’ve discovered that an acquaintance has set up an Amazon Associates account to contribute to my Alma Mater. Does anyone know how I can construct book URLs so that they take advantage of that account?

One comment on "Zabbo Blogs (again!)"

  • Blogging does give sometimes a false sense of intimacy. When searching one day I found the blog of the wife of one of my employees. It was fascinating to read, but I realized after a few days that I really needed to let them both know that that I was reading it, and asked them if they would prefer that I didn’t read it. They did say it was ok, but it definately was sometimes weird to have this inside look on someone’s personal relationships that you’d normally not have with a professional one.
    But on the other hand, this false intimacy sometimes can be for good. For instance, I have a friend who is currently suffering from chronic disease. By reading her blog I know a lot about what is going on in her life about the disease. With her blog, she avoids having to tell her friends 20 different times what is going on, just tells it once. Thus when we meet in person we don’t have to waste the time talking about the disease, and can instead talk about other topics.

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