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July 13, 2009

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I suppse it is too early to be thinking of ObWis future but I am anyway.

This is a community that I will miss if it disintegrates. It is a community which I percieve as being oriented around hilzoy's personlity, her generosity of spirit and kindness that brought out the best in the commenters. If hilzoy really leaves, the commnity will chahnge.

Well change is inevitable. It will not be possible to have an Obwi in the future that is the same as the ObWi so many of us have valued. But ObWi has gone thrugh incarnations before and survived. Publius and Eric are great frontpagers.

it maybe possible to have a differentn ObWi that is satisfying in a different way to many of the same people .

My suggestioon is to recruit some new main posters (probagbly this is an idea already occupying the minds of the current main posters!)

Specificallly I'd like to see Gary become a main poster. Aldo I think it would be interesting to have someone who has epertise inn economics who could write posts in that braod area and perhaps someone who has an orientation toward environmental issues.

Also I think that one way to keep people connected, friendly, civil, and empathetic is to have more open threads. People who disagree passionaltely about politics can still see each other as people if they find common ground on the love of music or animals, for example.

In any case not only will I miss hilzoy, but, if they leave, I will miss a whole long lsit of commenters, too. Who else am i going to talk to at two in the moring when I can't sleep?

And I second Gary's plea: I hope you will keep dropping by every now and then, Steve.

I said it yesterday and it disappeared into the ether, so I will say it again- thank you, hilzoy, thank you very much. You are one of my favorite, and my most trusted, reads. I don't usually have a lot to add to ObWi (besides loving Eric's song choices) than nodding along in agreement to the clarity and thoughtfulness of your pieces.

Thank you, and with warmest regards,

PP

I'm another who has never commented, but I need to now. I found this site somehow, Crooked Timber or Edge of the West probably.

It immediately became my favorite blog to read. The quality of the posts, the quality of the comments, it was clear they were a step above anything else I had read. I was amazed by the whole Andy connection and went back and read everything he wrote.

In the end though, I came to read your posts, Hilzoy, and I just want to say thank you. I know I've got many others to stop by here, and they, like myself, don't comment much. But I know they all will miss your take on things, and wish you the absolute best.

Thanks, Gary. I'm even more impressed that you provided such a good timeline, linked to the initial posts, and then didn't at all call attention to the fact that I was dumb enough not to notice that this site has archives which would've answered my question. That's uncommon restraint.

"have yet to encounter a voice as sane, trustworthy and compelling as yours, and the wonderfully swell people who formed the ObWi community during my time here I still regard as treasured friends though I have never met any of them" Felix culpa

Gary and many others have expressed their thanks -and the reason for their thanks so eloquently. I join the throng.

I only discovered this treasure when I became fascinated by Obama's nomination run. Echoing the sentiment of Felixculpa, I particularly have enjoyed the community.

Like Marymeg, I am a Canadian who has yelled at Washington- in my case since about 1968.

It has always been a puzzle that a great country could elect such poor quality Presidents. At the same time it has always been a comfort that there have been so many Americans who were better than their government, and wonderful to talk to so many of them here.


Well, hilzoy, your announcement has finally compelled me to delurk after reading ObWi for quite some time. I thought it appropriate to mention that I always greatly enjoyed, and will miss, what you wrote, not least for its thoughtfulness and sincerity. Many thanks and best wishes.

I first came here some years ago, possibly from Jeanne d'Arc if the timing fits, and haven't been away for many days since. A great part of the appeal was Hilzoy's (and Katherine's) clear and thoughtful discussion of events in a world where a great deal was going wrong and many of those in power seemed at best unconcerned.

I am hugely grateful to Hilzoy and to the other commenters, past and present, even those with whom I reflexively disagree. There is still a deep need for facts, arguments and humanity rather than distractions, misdirections, slurs, smears, lies, dog whistles and outright hate speech. Hilzoy has already done far more to serve this need than I ever will, and I echo the preceding comments in wishing her well and hoping that she will see fit to come back, at least sometimes.

I don't know what plans the kitty has for the future, though in my opinion the suggestion to invite Gary was a good one. Whatever comes of that, Mr Farber's words can be read here at his own blog.

Hilzoy, you do not exist solely for the purpose of informing me of things I would never have known otherwise, but that has certainly been one of your functions in the past year.

Your posts are usually long, thoughtful, and informative, especially some of your detailed research into legislation and other topical matters. You have covered subjects I have not seen addressed ANYWHERE else in the depth that you bring.

I have really come to rely on your knowledge and insight, but I appreciate how much of your time it has taken to digest the information and put it in understandable terms. I hope you will reconsider your decision at least to the extent that when you do your detailed research, you let us know where to find it!

Best wishes for whatever you undertake in the future, even if it's just returning to "having a life".

gary, your timeline is very helpful, but i think you inadvertently left out reference to the contributions of andrew/gkar.

those, i think, made a real difference to the tone and profile of the blog. they are also not irrelevant to an appreciation of hilzoy's own contributions.

(and if i missed your reference to andrew, then i apologize for not reading well).

[I tried to post this earlier and it looked like it went through, but apparently not. I'm going to try shorter bits since that worked a couple of weeks ago on a glitchy day.]

wonkie among others mentions hilzoy's "generosity of spirit and kindness" and muses about who might become a "main poster" in the future. I'd like to mention Russell, even though (if I remember correctly) he has been mentioned before and has said that he wouldn't be interested.

Russell's kindness and generosity of spirit shine brightly too, even if expressed in a different style from hilzoy's.

He is forthright about apologizing if he has crossed a boundary, and he readily acknowledges it when someone (especially someone he disagrees with) has made a point he hasn't pondered before. He is passionate about what he believes, but I have never seen him be mean-spirited or condescending in debate. He addresses complex issues with a conciseness and clarity that I can only envy.

And since this thread is still going, I'll join the club of those who didn't say an explicit "thank you" to hilzoy in the first instance:

Thank you. I'll miss you, and you'll always be a guiding light when I'm having trouble remembering that generosity of spirit and kindness get us further than ... some other approaches to our collective discourse.

"gary, your timeline is very helpful, but i think you inadvertently left out reference to the contributions of andrew/gkar."

You're right. In this case, I think it was clearly a case of just not wanting to think about that. My mind plays tricks on me sometimes, regarding emotional things. Things like not liking to think about friends who have died.

Sorry. Thanks for pointing out the entirely relevant omission.

I'm a big fan of Russell's commentary, btw. As I am of that of quite a few people here. Otherwise I wouldn't be here, of course; it's not all about Hilzoy.

I immensely value the community that has evolved at ObWi; I believe very strongly that online/written communities, as much or more as other communities, don't "just happen." They can't be just created out of good intentions, either. They take a careful mix of setting examples, nurturing the good, evolving ways of discouraging the bad, encouraging everyone to take a hand and display some responsibility in enforcing the norms of the community, while allowing none of us to get carried away with ourselves in that role, and so on.

I want this community to continue after Hilzoy leaves, with as high a quality as possible, and it's my intention to do whatever I can, in whatever capacity I can, to futher that goal, so long as it remains a goal that's reasonably possible.

I hope as many other of the regular posters here as possible will join me in feeling this way, and also doing what they can to continue the traditions, customs, and practices, that have led to Obsidian Wings overall being such a friendly, intelligent, enjoyable place for educational, fun, and often wise, conversation.

For all that I love and adore Hilzoy, and as devastated as I am at the notion that she'll be gone for however long, perhaps permanently, I joined in this community with enthusiasm before she got here, and found it a worthwhile place to hang out, and I hope that we can continue to make it such a place, despite the unfillable hole that Hilzoy's absence leaves, a hole that couldn't be filled by five of the most brilliant possible other bloggers I can imagine.

Though something on that order is what'll be necessary to try, I think. That, and other regular commenters not taking this as an excuse to say "well, I'm leaving now, too," as has unfortunately, if not surprisingly, been the case in some instances.

I strongly hope they'll be back, too. Particularly including you, OCSteve! (Hell, make OCSteve a front-page blogger, if he can stand the tsuris, and keep his temper more than not.)

delurking just to say thank you hilzoy and all the best. i think you're one of the best in the business and will miss the intelligence and humanity you bring to your writing. once again, thanks.

You will be missed, Hilzoy.

Thank you so much for all your insightful and clear arguments. You are a voice of reason in the blogosphere.

I am afraid you may be a little too optimistic when you write that "Peak Crazyness" is over, but I wish you a very good time in Rwanda. I admire your dedication.

My read is that we are in an interstitial period now, where narratives have not set yet. I think once things settle down and people's ability to process out-of-context prods from reality is once again exhausted, we'll once more be standing outside the bubble trying to get people to look outward.

I want this community to continue after Hilzoy leaves, with as high a quality as possible, and it's my intention to do whatever I can, in whatever capacity I can, to futher that goal, so long as it remains a goal that's reasonably possible.

I hope as many other of the regular posters here as possible will join me in feeling this way, and also doing what they can to continue the traditions, customs, and practices, that have led to Obsidian Wings overall being such a friendly, intelligent, enjoyable place for educational, fun, and often wise, conversation.

I'm totally down with this.

...other regular commenters not taking this as an excuse to say "well, I'm leaving now, too," as has unfortunately, if not surprisingly, been the case in some instances.

This is what scares me. I consider my contributions to the discussion here to be minimal. I don't comment all that often, and I generally don't have much in the way of new information to offer when I do. When I see the lurkers who have come out to comment on this thread, my first thought is that I should probably just be one of them and stay away from the keyboard. My second thought is that these lurkers, if they have been reading this blog regularly, probably have something to contribute and I'd like them to do so. Perhaps they could make up for, at least in part, those commenters who may decide to leave.


And, yeah, come back, OCSteve!

I happily go off to spend four days with a thousand other medievalists and not read blogs, and this happens while I'm away...which Is why I haven't said anything before.

I was introduced to this blog by my father: though it'll be a few years yet before my daughter will be old enough to be interested in reading it.

I think Hilzoy's great contribution has been her combination of clear thought and compassion. Most people who are bright enough to be able to analyze politics and to write well end up looking down on people who disagree with them as inferior, less far-seeing than them. Hilzoy went out of her way to try and see other people's viewpoints, understand why they might think what they did think, even if she wouldn't think that way. Her reasonableness in the face of sustained provocation has been astounding. I don't know what else to say except 'So long, and thanks for all the inspirational fish'.

Hilzoy, you made this the blog I read most often. And your example has made a lot of difference to the way this site has grown. And I'd like to believe your comments about the craziness receding, but I don't think it's gone very far, or for very long. I hope you're right and I'm wrong, though.

You'll be missed. Will you still be commenting at all, or has that already been asked?

hilzoy,

I have been out exploring Alaska's summer for the last month, so I didn't see this until today. In a way, I am glad, as I likely would have spent all my time fretting. You are, quite simply, the person who single-handedly showed me that blogging could be such a powerful tool for communication and debate, something I had been very doubtful of. I grew and developed more because of your words than anyone else writing today and I suspect that will be true for the next decade even if you don't come back. Your influence has just been that powerful. I, like so many others, will miss you like hell.


Good luck in all your future endeavors.

Heh. I remember that bird from a documentary I saw on Showtime. A bushman was trying to hunt game and the damn bird kept alerting the animals and spooking them away.

The vignette ended with the frustrated hunter giving the Go-Away bird a significant look, then cutting to him roasting it over a campfire.

You've done some wonderful stuff, Hilz. If political discourse has stopped being crazy, it is in know small part because of your example. And like freedom, it requires eternal vigilance. I hope you return after a reasonable hiatus to man the ramparts again.

Most. Sane. Blogger. Ever.

Hilzoy, you should be given a big fat grant to keep blogging; the internet is a wiser and tamer place with your voice in it. I've come to think of you as the intellectual equivalent of a martial arts hero, able to effortlessly dispatch an adversary, yet always striving to remain above the fray. In our political discourse, it's the incredibly rare bird (har!) who is interested in the truth and merits of an argument rather than in just "winning" the argument. Thanks for all you've done, and for the tireless research you've put into your posts- I'm not sure that has been stressed enough. Enjoy your break (and come back, please)!

I just caught up on my RSS reader and this news makes me :(

I can only reiterate the hope that you will stay in the debate and not retire for good!

If reading this blog can be addictive, time-consuming and draining, I can only imagine how posting regular essays of comment and reaction -- trying to make sense of an insane world -- can affect one's disposition.

My attention has been focused elsewhere this summer. I immediately grew concerned today when I did not see hilzoy's byline until I discovered this farewell, the news of which saddens me since I had added hilzoy to that all-too-short list of things you can count on.

Almost 47, I can't remember the last person who made me feel smarter, and more human, like hilzoy did, and I am eternally grateful for that.

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