It's been a long, long time. I went to Amsterdam. I reconnected with my host family, with whom I'd had no contact for 13 years. I revolutionized my productivity strategy. I delved into new areas of ruby. And more, I'm sure, which is hard to remember because I didn't freaking write it down.
Why have I been gone so long? The biggest reason is spiritual; much of the infighting among the Alliance left me feeling like I had been working with self-critical neo-maoists who were more interested in purifying the party than critically thinking about freeing the actually existing people. Disengaging from the ideology was essential to rediscovering those ideas for which I'm willing to fight.
A huge, giant part of it was technical problems related to WordPress which I've still not figured out. It took $38/month in virtual hardware to run my sites. Much of this was related to leftlibertarian.org (still down). In an attempt to pare down the resources I required to run what I thought were, in the end, rather simple operations, I moved to nginx to escape Apache's well known memory issues. This ended up being more complicated than I expected, the result being I'm still down.
Finally, work has been fabulous. Precisely because it's been so wonderful - and precisely because blogging has been, in the past, a reflection of idle time spent at the office reading and writing - I've spent less time writing out my ideas. Working full time with such a talented, dedicated, and big-hearted team has definitely fulfilled me in a manner I'd be seeking for some time. Being able to concentrate on Ruby in particular and web development in general has made me feel like I'm gaining some expertise. On track careers do wonders for motivation in other areas of life.
You might identify a theme of simplification among all these points, and you'd be right. Hence my move to a less busy, stupid simple, easily hackable blog setup in Jekyll. No more CGI proxying, apache modules, admin panels, plugins, and all that bull-ish. No more badges, widgets, twitter updates, quotes, wish list items, etc. The focus is now on writing, and plain old web servers actually serve plain old writing surprisingly well if you get out of their way.
And yes, leftlibertarian.org will be back (as another static site generated by some custom Ruby I wrote, to boot). Comments are coming soon, and old posts and comments will be imported in due time. There's a lot that still needs to occur. Nevertheless, I'm eager to get back, to get your feedback on all this jumbled stuff in my head, to be part of the discussion again.