February 17th, 2005

Ghost Ships

I wonder what the average life span of an lj is. A few months I suspect. Many expire after a handfull of entries, some are never used at all. Already the lj universe is full of husks, space junk, ghost ships. To happen upon one is an eerie, Marie Celeste-type experience. Here's an info page, full of vim and pep and silly jokes and then you move to the journal proper and find that the last entry was written a year and a half ago.

The creak of the rigging, the cry of the gulls.

Sometimes the last entry contains a farewell, but that's rare, more often there's no hint of impending demise. The story just ends, the monologue cut off in mid flow.

Mostly one supposes, the writer just lost interest in their new toy, grew up, got a life, but on a simple law of averages some of these hulks must have been abandoned because disaster struck. So there's always the question, did something terrible happen here?

There are one or two ghost ships on my friends list. I should let them go, but superstition or sentiment prevents me. What if the owner returned to find herself friendless? How sad that would be.

There's going to come a time, I suppose, when the lj dead will outnumber the living. That'll be weird. An ocean full of drifting hulks and only here and there a ship under sail. At present lj is new enough for the dead to blend with the living- ignore the date in the header and you may not spot anything strange in the text- but give it a few more years and the ghost ships will be antiques, full of dated slang and gossip about forgotten celebs. Paris Hilton- who she? I find the future of lj- and indeed of the Net as a whole- almost impossible to imagine.