Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder
Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2014 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.
I've known Brendan for more than a decade. Today I went back and read a bunch of his old blog posts. I clicked back and back and back, through jobs, girlfriends, cities, games, stories. He and I both blog less frequently than we used to, and I am indulging in nostalgia.
Mixed in with the big milestone and goal announcements, with anecdotes and narrative experiments and songs, with autobiography and eulogy and documentaries of courage and pain, are things I didn't know were going to be big deals: when Google Summer of Code started, or when Brendan joined Twitter.
Some things haven't changed; I too am tired of the backspace key's behavior in browsers. And Brendan successfully gloated about liking Calamity Jon before me, as I only discovered Calamity Jon via "Just One More Thing" this year. I kept seeing accurate predictions as I read back; for instance, we did get both a Netflix for books and an iTunes for TV show episodes.
He wrote about transparency in art, about "consideration and logical rigor, about resisting the cheap shots and the urge to smirk", about graph-of-nodes nonlinear narrative structure, about epistemic closure, about changing your vocabulary, about his origins as an artist, a role-player, and a citizen of the commons.
Nine years ago Brendan quoted Jake Berendes:
flawlessness is not the goal. a compulsive habit of creation matched with an editorial mindset is a far more viable goal.
Brendan, thank you for your habit of creation, and for your taste, and your kind voice and your unwavering support. Frequently, just as I hit Publish on a new post, I think of you and hope you will like it; I hope you like this too, though I think you may blush.