My Dad said that he and his fellow army officers were not allowed to discuss religion, women or politics, because those topics were the most likely to spark real antagonism between colleagues. It’s advice I’ve always followed at work. From god, sex and politics, good lord deliver us.
This rattled to the top of my mind today because once again I was aware that there is stuff here I’d like to share with colleagues, in particular the Fantasy CEO posts and the Questions series, but that I don’t want to invite colleagues in to read the rest of my blog.
As the tag cloud at the start of this post shows, this site includes a lot of obsessing about politics, and is better not shared with colleagues on that count alone. (Incidentally, I’m amused to observe that my dislike of Patricia Hewitt is so great that I cannot bring myself to spell her name correctly. Who’d have thought.)
Some influential bloggers such as Scoble impugn the integrity of those who blog and post anonymously. I can understand his contempt for those who aren’t willing to own the words they insult him with, but anonymity is not just a matter of deceit or shame. I am not ashamed of anything I’ve written here. The word cloud on the right is built up naturally out of the words I’ve used here, not artificially by the tags or categories I choose to promote. It shows a mind that’s interested in people, questions, words and thinking. And not a swearie word among them which is rather surprising since,the cussometer tells me that 35% of the pages in this blog ‘include cussing’. You have been warned.
It’s a matter of what’s appropriate where, and of nuance and complexity, not of shame and duplicity. I obey my employer’s dress code and don’t drink or swear on my employer’s time. On the other hand, I don’t waste the time of the one I spend my weekends with by working through the puzzles and problems I encounter at work. Call it professionalism, call it compartmentalisation, call it good manners, it’s part and parcel of how grown-ups behave. But there’s no shame there.
The category cloud on the left shows how I categorise the posts here. It seems fair enough to me. I am certainly interested in Society, I take a lot of photographs, I have written a lot about MMC and MTAS. But lurking in there is also stuff which I don’t take to work. Some of the topics aren’t mine to take to work with me and others, like religion, sex and politics, may cause entirely unnecessary rifts with colleagues. Quite apart from anything else, I don’t want my respect for people I work with undermined by my dislike of their religion or politics. The sex I couldn’t really give a damn about.
I started this blog as an experiment to see where it would take me. Now I know. I could of course simply strip out the posts on the subjects that aren’t appropriate and welcome colleagues here but I dislike revisionists, I cannot be bothered to run several blogs on several subjects, and I’d miss the eclectic mix of visitors my free-range subject-matter brings.
So I’ll bide by my lack of forward planning, blog here on subjects that interest or affect me and not promote my blog at work.