Monday, March 3, 2014

Reply to comments on the future of this blog

Dear friends,

First, I want to repeat what I said earlier today - I am amazed, awed and deeply moved by your very kind expressions of support for me and my blog.  To say that I am grateful does not even begin to cover it.  I thank you all for your kindness and support - I felt like I was surrounded by a crowd of friends and that is a wonderful feeling.  All I can say again is thank you!

Before addressing your comments, I want to share with you something which continues to amaze me.  Guys - the number of visitors has almost doubled in just three days (somebody please pinch me!!).  See for yourself:

For the life of me I have no idea what is happening, and my only explanation is that some of you have done miracles circulating my articles.  Just two days ago I though 10'000+ was unreal.  And here I am looking at 18'000+...

Needless to say, I am beyond delighted even though I am also amazed and cannot get used to this.

Now, I have to address a point which most of you have made: contributions.

Please forgive me, but I have to confess that I sometimes can be extremely naive and idealistic in a childish way and that I am much more comfortable discussing planning nuclear forces or the advantages of double-hulled submarine designs, than discussing money issues.  Still, I will kick myself in my mental butt and force myself to spill out some of my concerns.

First, and again, this might sound naive, but does money not pollute everything it touches?  The idea of this blog was to just "donate ideas" (hence my disclaimer at the bottom of the page that everything I would write here would be public domain).  This is also the main reason why I chose to blog anonymously: I did not want this blog to be about me.  Only about ideas.  It was important for me to give, to offer, to donate without expecting any benefit for myself, not even recognition or exposure to the public.  Call me naive, but I wanted to create something pure, radically different from all the money-driven blogs out there.  In a world filled with greed, lies and hypocrisy, purity is something which I highly value and don't ever want to lose.   Do I not risk losing this purity by accepting donations?

Second, I know that my anonymity is hair-thin.  The fact is that some of you know my first name and some even know my full identity.  I am not hiding from anybody, I just wanted to remove myself as a person from the blog.  True, there was another reason to my anonymity.  In the past, I worked for some very nasty people who basically blacklisted me for having done the right thing and forced me to emigrate to another country.  At the beginning, I did not want to re-appear on their radars because God only knows what they could do.  So I wanted them to forget about me.  Seventeen years have passed now, and I think that they don't care any more.  A lot of them have lost their jobs anyway or are retired.  To me, it would therefore probably not be a big deal if I published my full name, address, phone and photo.  But if that is at all possible, I would prefer to remain "thinly anonymous".  Is there a way of setting up a donation/contribution scheme on this blog and still remain more or less anonymous?

Third, I will be very honest here and admit that yes, my family and I  badly needs any money which could help us make ends meet (right now, we are not).  So I will admit that I am very very tempted to try to set up something to accept contributions.  But what would be the best way?  PayPal?  Flattr? What would be the easiest way to set up something like that?

Last, but not least - are there any of you who would object to me setting up some kind of donation/contribution scheme?  In my mind, this blog really belongs first and foremost to all of you, and I want to make sure that if I go ahead with this idea, that there is a consensus of my readers that this is okay.

Sorry to take up so much space with my own personal issues at a time when the world is going through yet another big crisis.  But for me this is a really big deal which could really help, but it is also a topic I am extremely shy and unconformable bringing up and I want to make sure that I don't do something wrong.

Please let me know what you think about all this, what you recommend and if you agree that I should go ahead with this idea, what would be the most convenient way for everybody?

Many, many, very sincere and heartfelt thanks and kind regards,

The Saker