The end is near for Akram’s Razor

Well, folks, I’ve never really had the time to blog in the first place and I  happen to be a slow writer who tends to savagely rip up, spit upon, and then rewrite his output over and over like some unholy cross between Sisyphus and Penelope. Which means that I often find blogging aesthetically frustrating, as I hate leaving a post in an unpolished a state but rarely have time to revise it adequately. That problem is exponentially worsened by my fondness for complex and/or sensitive topics that require all sorts of contextualization and good old fashioned CYA.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that blogging, at least in my case, is a bit like owning a condominium: Just as a condo brings with it the disadvantages of both an apartment and a house, so does blogging have the weaknesses of both ephemeral means of communication (like conversations or email) and permanent traditional publications. Unless you are a talented writer who consistently nails things on one "take" (or just have the time to fiddle constantly endlessly), it’s an exercise in frustration for somebody who cares passionately about the written word. At least that’s my experience. (I have no doubt it’s different for many other bloggers, though, and more power to them.)

The other unfortunate side to this endeavor is that blogs tend to suffer from the stylistic shortcomings of email while–like traditional publications–representing you, for better or for worse, for all eternity. I’m totally comfortable with the substance of my posts–most of which have been variations on the theme that Muslim problems are no inexplicable than other communities’ problems if you bother to consider them in their proper context–but whenever I look back at past posts I squirm at how hastily some were thrown together.

As the regular occurrence of typos and sentence fragments–the telltale sign of multiple last-minute revisions–in my blogs show, I’ve generally treated this as a medium for relaxed conversation with kindred spirits as opposed to in-depth analyses or polished essays that are intended for general consumption.

Finally, I find blogging inherently geared towards contemporary events and politics. These are topics that are important to me, but I need to be focusing my attention elsewhere, and on topics that are if anything far more difficult to discuss casually. Blogging just pulls me back into pundit mode, which is something I can’t afford to be doing these days.

So I’m planning on shutting down Akram’s Razor soon. 

At first, I considered taking a page from wise Faraz at SeekersDigest and limiting myself to linking to articles, but I’m not very good at keeping my peace on things I care about, so I think I need to go cold turkey, at least for the time being. I do so to some extent with a heavy heart–as I’ve enjoyed and benefited greatly from the many exchanges I’ve had with fellow bloggers over the last 2 years–but also eager to escape this distracting and ego-feeding taskmaster. 

Perhaps Akram’s Razor will return like Gandalf the White, rejuvenated and ready to give Sauron and his neocon minions hell, or perhaps I’ll try to channel my energy into proper published articles for a change (another danger of blogging–if you’re not careful you can cannibalize your other writings in your rush to get something out the door for your readers). That remains to be seen.

So I’m going to be zapping away much of the site, but I’ll probably transfer its  "greatest hits" to some free website (I currently pay a monthly fee for TypePad).  So if anyone has suggestions on what if any posts should be preserved for posterity (and future foes), please let me know.

In the meantime, I will probably post some of the many drafts that got started but weren’t completed for whatever reason. Then it’s curtains.

  • Khalid

    I think shutting down completely is rather drastic. At least keep the blog running for the very occasional post, or to announce your publications in other venues… ?
    Also, get a free blog at wordpress.com and have it automatically import your posts:
    http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/11/09/import-from-blogger-typepad-mt-lj/

  • http://www.rickshawdiaries.blogspot.com Baraka

    Salaam,
    Although we’ve considered it for different reasons I can understand the impetus to move away from blogging.
    But – please migrate your blog to a free site and take a break instead of shutting down completely. You may find that you want to pick it up again someday.
    Also, although it may not measure up to the polished prose standard that you hold yourself to, this is one of the most rational, intelligent and interesting blogs around and one of my must-reads even while I’m on break from blogistan.
    We need more voices and perspectives like that in the Muslim blogsopshere so I hope you’ll consider returning someday or at least pointing us to your other writings.
    Take good care!
    Warmly,
    Baraka

  • http://www.amuproduct.blogspot.com history_lover

    assalamu alaikum
    Please dont shut down this blog .But if you really want to then please export your posts to say WordPress .
    Atleast keep the Danish Cartoon posts up.

  • ‘EF’ x

    AAAArgh. Okay then. *gulp* – your choice.
    There really isn’t anything like your writing in blog world right now though so your blogging will be missed. But you know, just because your posts aren’t always perfect doesn’t mean that it has to be erased….well..nobody minds the typos, but your ‘cutting to the quick’ would be sorely missed.
    I don’t understand half of the terminology in your posts since I do not possess a wide vocab but I have learnt much from wrestling with trying to understand your posts about the politics.
    You must be the only one giving an intelligible commentary on the DK background-muslim view in English, but..anyway, the blog posts have been appreciated.

  • http://aladaab.wordpress.com Muhammad Sa’id

    As salaamu ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullah
    I can only echo the sentiments of those who posted before me. Same advice, import your post to wordpress and give us the benefit of enjoying them again and again!!!
    You have indeed provided a worthwhile service. Your analysis of current events have been thorough, poignant and at times even light hearted.
    I share in the sense of loss most everyone must feel at this news. At any rate, may Allahu ta ‘ala bless you for the work thus far and allow you to continue to aspire to perfection in you writing skills and you Deen Ameen.

  • http://istikhara.wordpress.com/ Yakoub Islam

    I despise almost everything I blog because, when I write ‘seriously’ – that is, for academic purposes, I am also a perfectionist. But such an approach doesn’t allow for the kind of exploration of style/content that blogging does. In the past, I saw my blog as somewhere to simple practice writing. I think churning out stuff is a good way to just see what works on the page, with the critical voice waiting at the end rather than constantly over my shoulder.
    More recently, I have begun to envisage a blog as a research diary, with speculation and half-finished thoughts open for comment from those who care about the issues I write about.

  • http://underwaterlight.blogspot.com alienbea

    Salaam -
    I recommend you, and you decide to quit! Insha’Allah the two events are not related. ;)
    In any case — your blog will be sorely missed. I dare to hope you’ll change your mind.

  • Abu Sinan

    Been there, done that. I understand completely. I didnt give a warning, however, I just erased it and put “Ma’Salama” one day.
    Like you it was about time, not wanting to do things in an incomplete manner and wishing to spend more time with my little boys.
    At the end I was getting some 200-300 hits a day, with the odd day of 1,000 plus when I was linked by places such as Juan Cole, but it just isnt worth it when one considers the things you could do instead.
    Now I just spend a few minutes here and there making comments.

  • null

    Oh noes!
    Hopefully you’ll at least take the good advice given above and move your articles to wordpress or some such.
    Good luck for the future, Svend.

  • http://propagandamachine.blogspot.com invadesoda

    Sorry to see you go. This blog’s a good read.

  • Hana

    You have a unique voice and you’ll be missed. I’ve always looked forward to your intelligent and thoughtful posts. Darn it.

  • Katib

    Assalamu alaykum Brother,
    You are one of the rational and balanced voices on the net and believe me there are not many. There are not many controversies in your blog as for ex. in Ali Eteraz’s. Do come back if at all you go on a hiatus.


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