Sunday, July 2, 2006

The Smartest Guy in the Room

It's Sunday, usually the slowest day of the week anyway. But this is the Sunday before July 4, which means that land speed record pizza delivery times are possible, paying extra for two-day shipping on anything ordered today is probably a mistake and taking a little time to heed some advice you are about to give someone else is a good idea.

It isn't so much advice as a request -- nay, plea. And I am not the first to make it. But maybe seconding a motion will create a groundswell that even a Sherman can't brush off.

Here it is: we need to get Samer blogging again, and I am returning from a lazy blogging break to make my case. Samer abruptly stopped sharing his thoughts about his life and the extraordinarily wide variety of subjects about which he is knowledgeable in May of 2005 -- there is one post after that, but it is clearly half-hearted. Officially, the story is that blogging is hard, and time-consuming, which can be true. Unfortunately a lot of people who really shouldn't be allowed near a keyboard and an Internet connection do somehow manage to find the time, filling the Internet with a shrill, self-involved cacophony that, by its sheer volume and, in my view, little else, has media companies quaking in their boots. But that is a subject for another time.

When pressed, Samer will say the despair he still feels from a company restructuring which found me and all of his co-workers without chairs when the music stopped, the event which was the subject of his penultimate blog entry, contributed mightily to his hiatus. He has also said that of all the things he might write about, he could think of nothing that was not already being done better. This is, of course, false modesty and not the Guinness talking.

One of the ironies of my crusade is that I would moan -- and I mean audibly -- at the subject of blogging five or six years ago. I vowed I wouldn't read them and -- heaven forbid -- would never bother trying to create and maintain one as perhaps the least worthy member of the human race to opine. This is still true, and my own extremely humble (i.e., pointless) web site is billed as a blog-free zone with thoughts only from truly wise people.

When Samer, as ever on the cutting edge, would tell me I should be taking this seriously because the world was changing again 17 minutes since the last paradigm shift I would do my Luddite routine (not really a routine, I guess) and he would roll his eyes and gracefully swivel his chair away from me and back to the screen. This is something else Samer does very well that I can actually take credit for, his perfection of that move coming as it did from frequent practice at my expense.

Samer used to work for me, but only in the most literal sense of the word. The truth is that he was the man behind the curtain. I came to be the Salieri to his Mozart -- smart enough, but just, to recognize the raw genius in him that others perhaps did not always see, but not nearly enough to compete with it. Of course, Samer is a much more civilized person than Wolfgang Amadeus and I have no intention of ending up in an asylum for his murder.

No, Samer must live, go forth and multipy. He must help tilt the balance of sanity in what is (sigh) widely referred to as "the blogosphere." He must participate, if only to lend credence to his argument that blogging should be seen as an important force of nature.

Don't get me wrong. Samer is neither shy nor disconnected. I ask him things via IM at strange hours and he a) is there b) knows the answer and c) explains it patiently. He has recently become an active Flicker-ista, revealing yet another of his many talents. But it isn't the same. The world needs the words.

So, this is start of my campaign to get Samer back in print (a phrase that will surely date me):

My Top 10 reasons that Samer should resume blogging:

10. Whenever Samer tells me about beer I am already drunk and remember nothing.
9. Iceland's tourist industry depends on it.
8. I still have unused Samerfest tickets.
7. It turns out that there actually aren't enough Apple blogs -- someone said so on digg.
6. I am this close to understanding climatography
5. If Dan Kim can do it ...
4. If Brian Green can do it ...
3. If I can do it ...
2. I'm sick and tired of having to ask him to explain everything to me.

And the number-one reason Samer should resume blogging:
1. Redheads dig guys who blog -- I'm just sayin'