Jul 22 2013

Packing it in

Just over 3 years ago, I started a blog. I have always loved writing, and I had a lot of stuff on my mind that I thought needed to be puzzled out and written down. As is sometimes the way with these things, people started noticing and reading my blog, and talking about what I wrote. Thanks to the notice of a few prominent members of the freethinking community, I found myself invited to join the Freethought Blogs network, which was a huge honour for me. I have been happy and productive at FtB, and met some truly incredible people who have helped improve the way I think about a lot of issues.

The time has come, however, to close down the blog and move on to new endeavours.

I am immensely proud of The Crommunist Manifesto. For three years it has provided regular, thought-provoking, and consistently high quality posts about topics that are relevant and interesting. I do not begrudge the number of hours and the level of effort required to create The Manifesto in that form, but I can no longer maintain that level of output. You may have noticed that over the past couple of months the frequency of posting has decreased dramatically, with nothing new going up in several weeks. That is not a product that I am proud of, and it does my previous work a disservice, but I honestly don’t see that changing any time soon. Writing has become a job, not a joy, and that’s not a sustainable way of being for me.

My plan is to move the content from this site back to its former home on WordPress (crommunist.wordpress.com) and leave this space on the FtB roster to someone who is willing to put in the necessary effort to make it succeed. On the old (new) site, I may periodically post new essays, but I imagine the site will sit relatively quiet for the most part.

As far my plan of what to do with myself, I am really excited for a new musical project I’ve been working on, and I will be devoting much of my newly-freed time to that. I’m also going to be working on my job and my PhD, and trying to find new ways to enjoy life.

And as far as what is happening to ‘the Crommunist’, I’m not retreating from the world, just closing this particular outlet. I hope you will heed my perennial exhortation and follow me on Twitter. If not there, you can always contact me by e-mail if you have something you urgently need addressed. I may pick up new projects (or potentially revive old ones like Seriously!?), so hopefully you will be interested enough to check those out when they appear.

In this farewell, there are some people I need to acknowledge.

First, I want to thank my co-bloggers at FtB, particularly Ed Brayton and PZ Myers for plucking me out of relative obscurity. I could not ask for a more positive and supportive environment to have conducted this experiment. I have met some truly fantastic people in the freethinking movement, and the hands-down best of them have shared the first part of a URL with me for the past 20 months. With the possible exception of the howling herd of insolent nincompoops who crowd the hallways like belligerent hyenas around a fresh kill, cackling about ‘FTBullies’ and ‘misandry’ and ‘feminazis’, blogging at FtB has been a nearly flawless experience. I will miss the backchannel irreverence and the mutual support and camaraderie.

Second, I want to thank my co-bloggers Brian, Jamie, and Edwin. You helped shoulder part of the load when things were at a fever pitch, and you wrote some incredibly insightful and useful posts. I’m proud to call you friends, and will probably have more time to see you in meatspace now that I don’t have daily looming deadlines. Thank you for your contributions and your grace at being launched into a bigger spotlight than you were probably used to.

Finally, I want to thank you. For reading, for commenting, for sending me links, for sharing my posts on your Facebook or on Reddit, for challenging me when I was wrong, and for opening your minds enough to be challenged by some of the more provocative stuff I’ve thrown at you over the past couple of years. Knowing that I had to answer to a crowd of smart and inquisitive people has kept me honest and forced me to work hard to make each post something I can be proud of. I am eternally grateful to anyone and everyone who has felt that this place was worth coming back to, and that these ideas were worth considering and spreading.

In my mind’s eye I had pictured this post ending with something pithy and profound, but I’m not that guy. I’m this guy.

An otter waving goodbye

So long, and thanks for all the fish

- Ian


Skip to comment form

  1. 1

    Yup…. you otter be missed.

  2. 2

    So long. You will be missed. BTW “thought provoking” is almost an understatement.

  3. 3
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    Well, that’s sad news to hear, but I wish you well with your new project, and indeed with everything.

    Take care of yourself. :)

  4. 4

    Thanks for the education. I’ll miss you.

  5. 5

    I am sorry to see you go, but when you no longer feel that you can do something the way you would like to, then it’s time to change. Good luck, I have enjoyed your work here.

  6. 6

    You’ve been one of the most consistently high-quality writers on here. You’ve even gotten me to change my mind about a few things. That ought to be the highest praise that a free-thinker can receive — at least it is offered as such.

  7. 7
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Thank you for the time you gave us. I’ve found wisdom, knowledge, and joy in your posts. Because of you, I have a more profound understanding of the world.

    Useless as my wishes for your future are, I wish you happiness, satisfaction, and success (however you measure it) in The New Adventures of Crommunist.

  8. 8
    Hank Fox

    Well, hell. You better keep doing conferences! I want to see you again — and again and again — at some of the events.

  9. 9
    A Hermit

    Thank you for all your contributions here; as a fellow Canuck I always appreciated your perspective, and learned a few things.

  10. 10

    Oh no!

    I was drawn into the site by PZ and Brayton, but your blog was key in my decision to keep visiting!

    Now I’m going to have to type in an extra URL every day!

    Best of luck in whatever you do next!

  11. 11

    Yours has been one of the most educational blogs for me on FtB. I’m very sorry to see you go.

    I hope your future projects are very successful!

  12. 12

    I’ve always appreciated your writing and will continue to follow you on twitter. Best of luck!

  13. 13
    Timid Atheist

    It’s been a long time since I teared up over adorable animal farewells. You’ve enlightened me, Ian. I will be forever grateful for your writing. Thank you. I wish you all the best as you go forward with your life.

  14. 14

    That’s a real shame, but while I don’t tweet, I’ll definitely keep an eye on whatever venues you may still be putting material up in. I’ve learned a lot reading this blog. Good luck with future endeavours.

  15. 15

    Well that’s four more to delete from the front page. *sigh*

  16. 16

    Good luck with your new projects, you will be missed here.

    I hope all yours, Jamie’s, Brian’s, Edwin’s etc old posts are left up as many are great reference works. Especially things like this ;-)

  17. 17

    I enjoyed reading you, Ian, but we all go through phases in our lives and when it’s time to move to the next one, it’s time. Good luck.

  18. 18

    Aw, that’s a shame. I’ve been wondering where you were, but I totally understand the need to move on to newer things. Good luck to you with your music and school. This life is short, so there’s no time to fill it with things you don’t love.

  19. 19
    Nicole Introvert

    I was so happy to have found you here. Your writing has been immensely helpful in challenging the way I think about race, and I will be forever grateful. Thank you.

  20. 20

    Thanks, man. Your writing has always been a highlight of FtB for me. I’ll see you on the Twittars!

  21. 21

    I’ll miss your writing here. Hell, I already do.

    You should link to your co-contributors’ blogs (if they want)!

  22. 22

    Real shame, you are leaving. You always had some interesting insights on issues that I would have normally never considered. You were definitely one of the highlights of FTB and it will be a poorer place without you.

    And I also forgot how funny you are as well. Those edited slymepitter comments that oolon linked to were fantastic! Always great to see self important gobshites taken down a notch and is a great way to deal with trolls!

  23. 23
    Daniel Fincke

    Well this is a bummer. You’ll seriously be missed. Congratulations on getting your life back. Here’s hoping you aim high with your future, more occasional writing, and ambitiously submit them to even more visible platforms.

  24. 24

    Best of luck with the new venture. You’ll be missed.

  25. 25

    Sad to see you go, and thanks for the insights here. I’ll be following on twitter to keep up with you.

  26. 26

    Aw, sad to hear it, but it happens. Hope you do get the occasional post up at your old digs.

  27. 27

    I sure am going to miss your writing. Thanks for everything, and I still hope to meet you in person some fine day!

  28. 28

    In a few years I’ll be sure to come begging Dr. Cromwell to take up writing again.

    In the meantime, I already follow Edwin and Jamie’s blogs, but does Brian write anywhere else?

  29. 29

    I will especially miss your incisive troll takedowns.

  30. 30

    Will miss your clear and insightful writing. Cheers to whatever you do. You added to the brilliance of FtBs.

  31. 31

    Thanks for all your posts here. As a relatively-privileged white guy, I learned a lot, and I thank you for that.

  32. 32

    Thanks for all the great posts. You’ll be missed.

  33. 33
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    You’ll be missed. Thanks for the posts!

  34. 34

    Too bad this. You may not have always gotten me to change my mind — I probably agreed with you too often :-) — but damn if you didn’t make me think things through a bit more than I might have, and lord knows, we all need that. This was pretty seriously enjoyable reading, and I even remember your comments from Ed Brayton’s old scienceblogs space. :-)

  35. 35

    Well, you’ll be missed! I hope whatever you do next is great for you. All the best.

  36. 36

    Best wishes Ian, it’s been great reading your thoughts and the discussions they generated.

  37. 37

    It was a joy and a pleasure to be a part of the team. All the best to you, Ian!

  38. 38

    I’m sad…love your writing. I don’t post much, but thank you for all you’ve done. You will be missed. A lot. I hope many great things for you in all that you decide to do.

  39. 39

    Thanks for the conversation and the blog, man. Consider doing quarterly updates, perhaps? Though I did not always agree 100% with you, I did appreciate and learn from our discussions. It’s clear you’re going to be successful wherever you go.

    Follow your dreams. It’s a perfectly cromulescent way to embiggen your life.

  40. 40
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    Nothing new to add, so I’ll just repeat what everyone is saying/thinking. Thanks for your time and effort and knowledge, good luck on future efforts, you will indeed be missed.

  41. 41

    You have taught me more about race than any other single source.Thank-you, and best of luck with your future endeavours.

  42. 42
    Jesse Thornton

    You’ve helped me become a more thoughtful and aware Canadian, and I’ll do my best to pay it forward. All the best in your new escapades!

  43. 43
    John-Henry Beck

    I’ll miss your posts. But it’s been good having you around and I do wish you well.

  44. 44

    I’ll miss you.

  45. 45
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    May you walk on warm sands.

  46. 46
    Tom Foss

    Good luck in your future endeavors, Ian (and co-bloggers); I’m sure we’re all looking forward to seeing/hearing more from you in the future, whatever the content or venue. And thanks for all the great posts!

  47. 47

    Sorry to see you quit. This was consistently one of the best blogs around. I hope you reconsider one day and return.

  48. 48
    Marcus Ranum

    You did good, you’ll continue somehow, somewhere. No worries.

  49. 49
    Brian Lynchehaun

    I share the sentiments above, and look forward to reading your future posts.

    ryangerber: as soon as I get the domain sorted out, I’ll be writing on http://www.brilyn.net, the obscurity from whence Ian plucked me. (pro-tip: renew your hosting packages, else they delete the posts you once had. This = sadface)

  50. 50
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    What, not moving to Patheos? Buahahaha!

    May your adventure be as awesome as it looks from here. You’re one amazing person.

  51. 51
    Jacob Schmidt

    Well, that sucks. Yours was my favourite blog here. Good luck on your future endeavors. I’ll definitely keep an eye on your old blog for the few posts you find the time to write.

    (the otter is cute; I’ve never seen a white one before)

  52. 52

    I’ve very much enjoyed your writing and that of your co-bloggers, so I’m sad to see you go, but all the best wherever the future takes you!

  53. 53

    Well, damn.

    I wish you the best in your next set of endeavors!

  54. 54

    Gonna miss reading your work, Crommunist, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    I hope we’ll still see you around the comments sometimes?

  55. 55

    Bummer! Best of luck in your future endeavors.

  56. 56
    Anthony K

    You will be missed here, Crommunist!

    I’m glad to know you’ll still be out there, chewing bubblegum and kicking ass, wherever you go.

  57. 57
    John Horstman

    Goodbye, good luck (and good skill!), I will miss your blogging.

  58. 58

    Wow, sorry to see you go. I am excited for your new endeavors and I know we will keep in touch

  59. 59
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Sad to see you go. You have a talent for finding the ways in which I have not sufficiently examined my own opinions and motivations and explaining them in ways that lead me to see it clearly for myself.

  60. 60

    Well fuck. I’ve enjoyed being challenged by your writing for a while (I’m an excellent lurker) and you were (past tense *sniff*) my favorite contributor on the network. You have made me a better person and thinker. Thanks, Crom.

  61. 61
    Allan Frost

    I’m another lurker that will miss your blog. Good luck to you and your wonderful friends.

  62. 62

    (slow motion sideways flying leap)



  63. 63

    You are one of the best intellectuals on this site. I will sorely miss getting my Crommie fix here!

  64. 64

    I’ve so enjoyed reading your blog and have recommended it to many friends. Thank you so much for the time you devoted to it. You’ll be missed!

  65. 65

    Thanks for all the time you put in over the years! I’ve learned a lot from your writing and enjoyed reading the discussions you’ve hosted here. Best of luck with the PhD, I turned in my dissertation yesterday and it feels amazing!

  66. 66

    I never commented much here, but I always read what you had to say and I’ll miss that you’re no longer saying it.

  67. 67

    I have loved reading your blog and learned so much. Thank you so very much. Good luck with all of your new things.

  68. 68
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Sad to hear this Crommunist. I haven’t often commented here but I have read and appreciated a lot of what you’ve written.

    Any chance you’ll reconsider and keep this blog going please?

    If not, well, thankyou and best wishes for the future.

  69. 69

    I’m selfishly very sorry to see you leave, as I’ve enjoyed your work immensely. BUT–minimizing the load so that you can focus on what’s important for you at any given time is always the right choice, so good on you for not spreading yourself too thin and getting stressed out because you feel like you aren’t doing justice to any of the worthwhile things you’re involved with.

    Thanks so much for sharing so many wonderful thoughts with us here. You will be missed.

  70. 70

    You’ve taught this lurker a lot and made me think. You’ll be missed. Good luck in your current endeavor.

  71. 71

    I will definitely miss you here. Will be glad to keep seeing you on twitter. You’ve taught me a lot; thank you.

  72. 72

    :( But I like this blog.


    Good luck with your music., career, education and happy social life!

  73. 73

    Every time I get into one of the non-PZ blogs on here they leave :(

  74. 74
    Karen Locke

    Thank you for all your insightful posts! I appreciate anyone who makes me think hard. Blessings of the Universe be upon your journey, wherever it leads, and I’ll follow you to your new digs.

  75. 75

    Are you sure you won’t reconsider? Even if you just posted once a year, your blog would be worthwhile.

    But, no pressure. You gotta do what you gotta do.

  76. 76

    Sounds like you have wonderful things going on. Thanks for what you’ve written so far, and all the best with the cool stuff you’ll be able to invest more in from here on out.

  77. 77
    Matt G

    Best wishes. I’ve enjoyed your thought-provoking writing.

  78. 78
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Good luck with your new projects.
    I hope we’ll see you popping in in comment sections across FTB, at least occasionally.

  79. 79

    I’ve really enjoyed your writing here, and feel like I’ve learned an awful lot from you. Sorry to hear this, but best of luck with your music and PhD!

    Best wishes :)

  80. 80

    Ya relurk for a while and look what happens…. sniffle,sniffle…*waves bye-bye*

  81. 81

    Thanks for all the good reads, sir. You and Natalie Reed were the first ones to really get me to grok intersectionality, for which I am profoundly gratefully. Good luck on the future endeavors, whereever they take you.

  82. 82

    I honestly think you shouldn’t be too proud of this blog.

    All in all it’s been pretty sucky, and you’ve tended to increase world dissatisfaction and partisanship.

    I think one day you’ll look back at it and be properly saddened by what you accomplished.

    Best wishes though.

  83. 83
  84. 84
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I’m sorry to see you go! I enjoy your writing and your thought. Good luck with the PhD!

  85. 85


    Thanks for the good reads. All the best in all your future endeavours!

  86. 86

    I honestly think you shouldn’t be too proud of this blog.

    All in all it’s been pretty sucky, and you’ve tended to increase world dissatisfaction and partisanship.

    I think one day you’ll look back at it and be properly saddened by what you accomplished.

    Best wishes though.

    I was going to reply seriously to your ‘point’, but it occurred to me that maybe you are one of those one-off, never seen again commenters that aren’t worth replying to. So, I had a quick look around for other comments under that moniker.

    Then, I read some of your previous comments.

    Then, I laughed and realised you aren’t here for reasonable debate and stopped caring about your comment.

  87. 87

    Damn. I only ever come to freethought for Richard Carrier. Then, today being a boring day, I have an 8 hour, multi-tabbed, meandering freethought blog experience. And what do I find? Your blog. And what is this blog? Goddamn brilliant is what this blog is.

    So, I go to your recent posts to see what you’re up to. What do I immediately learn? That you’re goddamned leaving! That’s what I learn!

    Further evidence that no gods exist if you ask me. Ah well. I’ve still got the archives to crawl through.

  88. 88

    Thanks to you and your compatriots for all your writing. I really appreciated your perspective. Take care – and yes, I’m following you on Twitter. :-)

  89. 89

    Thanks for your thoughts and the time you took to share them :-)

  90. 90
    Johnny Vector

    Well carp. I do hope you can keep all the old posts in an easily accessible place, because I keep having to refer people to them when they ask questions like “Why would someone support a system that holds them down?” Or “Why would a woman be scared of me? I’m not a rapist!”

    Thanks for all the brain food, and looking forward to hearing future music.

  91. 91

    Reading your blog has been interesting and I like to think I’ve learnt something from it. Thank you and good luck!

  92. 92

    You were one of my favorite bloggers, in the top 3 for addressing race issues at a level I could understand. I’m very sad that I’m losing your blog. But it sounds like your life is taking you to good places. Best wishes!

  93. 93

    Wishing you all the best. Many thanks for your posts – and may they always remain accessible!

  94. 94

    Just when I was about to reach “enlightenment”– the Power gets cut off. :-(

    Appreciated your ability to “make it plain” and the contribution your blogs have made to the understanding of “black matter-real-ism” (black materialism). PEACE!

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