Year One

by Jin, 07-29-09 // 10 comments

Has it been a year since I started this blog?

For the one year anniversary of 8164.org I’d like to reflect on a few things. I’m not a fan of blogging about blogs, so this post will be about what I’ve learned instead.

Reading and Writing

When I read blogs, newspapers, magazines or books, I want to be entertained or informed. Sometimes if I get lucky, I get to read something that’s both entertaining and informative.

So when I write, I try to offer my readers the same. This has not been easy. First, let me tell you about my two uncles.

My father’s older brother is an established editor. He writes beautifully. He’d use vocabulary and literature devices that are way above an average person’s comprehension. I used to marvel at the fact he was able to use ancient Chinese references in his writings, words I didn’t understand. My father’s younger brother isn’t as well versed. Instead, he just uses plain words. So plain, even I could understand them as a kid. A few years ago both uncles wrote on my family’s online forum on the 20th anniversary of my grandfather’s passing. As usual, my older uncle wrote a long essay, recalling many past events in the most vivid and detailed way. Again, using words I didn’t understand. It was my younger uncle’s short post that brought me to tears. He wrote about this one instance when he was in grade school, my grand father, who was normally very stern with his sons, praised him for the first time. He ended his post with “Dad, I love you and I miss you.” His writings are always like that: honest, unpretentious, and human.

My younger uncle has a lot of influence not just on how I write, but also how I perceive creative works in general. Good writing, design, art, films, and photography have one thing in common: to provoke an emotional response. This is often achieved by tapping into the human psyche in simple and plain ways, instead of means that are extravagant.

So writing on this site has been a good exercise for me. I hope it will get better over time.

Taoism

When I first started 8164.org, it was meant to be a site for Tao Te Ching translations. As you can see, I’m way behind on the translations. I think I have gained a good understanding of the essence of the philosophical Taoism. Ironically, this is part of the reason why I stopped writing about it. I feel Taoism is lived, not talked about. The point is to get the essence of it. Any further analyzing makes one to focus on the dogma instead of the teaching. This is probably why you don’t see a lot of Taoists knocking on your door to convert you. I do however, want to finished all the translations eventually. I feel certain chapters are very beneficial to one’s mental well being especially in this day and age.

You

Lastly, I’d like to thank all my readers who have commented, emailed, or simply lurked. You have been very encouraging.

10 comments

also feel free to contact me on twitter or via email
Joshua Smibert 07-29-09

8164.org continues to be one of the least pretentious things I enjoy :) Please keep up the posts.

Janko 07-29-09

Congratulations on your first anniversary, it’s been a pleasure reading your articles. Now when I read about your uncles I can understand why I enjoy your writing style. Just keep them coming :)

Kim H 07-29-09

Congratulations on your blogiversary (new word!) :) I’ve found each of your posts either informative, entertaining, or simply both.

I suppose though, the simpler writing simply made it much easier to connect than the harder to understand writing.. and it is a very good lesson for all bloggers (especially myself).

Soh 07-29-09

Congrats Jin :-) I really enjoy the good blend of subjects you have on your blog. You have a ton of interesting things to say and point out. Great job and looking forward to another great year for your blog~

Steven Clark 07-29-09

Happy blog birthday Jin… the Taoists do by not doing, as I recall (one time in my life I read widely on eastern mysticism – Taoism, Tantra, Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism – many many years ago.

I may not have mentioned it but a big part of my change in life direction actually came from a casual gift of the Kalama Sutra, and it took another five or more years but the small thought grew larger and larger and after gaining its own momentum it became something of its own. And here I am today alive and well with a family and such… who would have guessed.

So I vote for not converting people, too. :)

The Taoist achieving everything by doing absolutely nothing has always had an intuitive essence of being of great worth. I guess I’d better run off to school now… will miss the bus. Happy blog birthday and hope you stick around for another year.

Jin 07-29-09

@Joshua, thanks for your continuing support and kind words.

@Janko ‘n @Soh, thanks! I love you guys’ blogs too. I’ve learned a few tricks from your well written tutorials.

@Kim, thanks. When I first started writing, one thing I found that was difficult to do was to translate my thoughts into words. Then I realized I was trying too hard. Let my thoughts just flow natural, like having a conversation, was much easier.

@Steven, I’ve read parts of the Kalama Sutra. I found in some ways it’s similar to the philosophical Tao. Many ancient Asian philosophies are focused on self healing. Thank you for insightful comments in the past year! Best luck with your MBA.

RAJ 08-03-09

Happy Birthday for your blog Jin. Keep up the posts.

Winnie Lim 08-03-09

Just wanted to say congratulations on the one year anniversary. :)

And I agree, though still depending on the target audience, that communication is better achieved through ways that allow more people to understand/empathise rather than impressed with grand words.

chris 08-16-09

congrats on the anniversary! delighted to have recently discovered you.

Jin 08-16-09

Raj, Winnie, Chris, Thanks!