All posts by ethancarlson

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This is the start of my new blog, Chaos and Cream.

I chose the name for 4 reasons, in roughly equal parts:

  1. Chaos is a defining factor in modern life.  The number of data points that we have to deal with has risen to a steady whirlwind.  In our faces.  All the time.  I hope to add  to the discussion by paring out some of the good, or at least interesting, ones, and providing commentary.
  2. Cream is delicious.  Also, some cooking metaphor about providing a base from which we can build complexity…I don’t really know.
  3. I really liked the alliteration.
  4. It’s getting late and I wanted to pick a name.  Maybe I’ll change it later.

I’m going to try and stay focused.  This blog will mostly be about the quasi-philosophical themes of living life as an educated white male on the east coast of the United States.  As fascinating and unique a topic as that is by itself, you can expect a fairly frequent peppering of psychology and economics as I understand it, my thoughts on the energy landscape, a quarter dose of politics, and a smattering of relatively meaningless but hopefully entertaining personal anecdotes.

First Post:  On Writing a Blog

The idea of “personal branding” is weird to me.  It tastes strange when I say it, almost like “instructions on breathing”.  We don’t really do much in life besides display our personal brand, in that everything you do is colored by it.  After all, you’re the only one that can take actions for you, and since it’s *personal* branding…you get it.

But we don’t live in a world where everyone that we might care about, from family to future employers, can see the imprint we leave in our immediate physical and social surroundings.  So we take to the internet as the great Earth-flattener.  However, projecting an authentic identity onto the internet is not the same is “being yourself” in a normal interaction.  How many people do you know whose Facebook profiles are an exact projection of the poster’s personality?

We curate our public image.  As we should.  But the more we curate, the further we are from reality; the less vulnerable we are, the less real the projection becomes.  So how can one say something real, let themselves be vulnerable in the anonymous, often vicious “community” that is the blogosphere?

Well, I’m going to try.  I’m not going to write anything for the sake of writing it.  I want it to be substantive, and a real picture into the way I view the world, painted as clearly as possible.  Why should anyone be interested in the way I see the world?  I don’t know, but that’s what it means to have a personal brand.

-Ethan