Dr. Maryam Rezaei

Author Archives: mohammad

Blogging like it’s 2002

December 10, 2018

I used to blog in the early noughts, mostly about the angsty life an adolescent — all drama about things that in retrospect don’t seem to need as much drama surrounding them. But you see, I had a lot of feelings about things and blogging was a thing that people did then. Much like Instagram is a thing people do now. So, I blogged. But do people (and I mean people whose jobs aren’t ‘lifestyle blogger’) even blog anymore? The internet is a very different place now and blogging isn’t as big a part of it anymore (I just googled ‘is blogging dead’ and it looks like there are a lot of people out there trying to convince themselves that it’s not). These days, I only look at blogs when I need a recipe for a turmeric latte or homemade deodorants, whereas in the hay day of blogging, I looked at blogs for political analysis, to figure out what new music I needed to listen to and to follow along the life journey of a whole lot of people. Now, I do the first on twitter, the third on Instagram and I’m too old to follow new music. So, why blog now?

I design energy programs for people who are left out of mainstream energy programming for a living. It’s a weird field and speciality, because on the one hand you spend your time thinking about the technical details of your program, and on the other, you’re parsing through issues of equity, inclusion and politics of access. You’re often interacting with people who engage with only one of these issues (and frankly, in my experience, people who engage with the latter set of issues do it very poorly), but you rarely get to interact with people who want to think about the intersection of these questions in a serious way. Like, people talk about how to use in-home energy monitors to reduce energy consumption, but never how do you do that when you have also read Foucault and think about self-surveillance and governmentality (interested in this example? there might be a post on this exact question in the future of this blog).

I’m hoping that this blog can be a space for me to think through this intersection. My interests fundamentally revolve around politics of energy — both its generation and consumption. And this is a space where you need to know something about the technical details of energy generation and consumption but also something about politics. For me, Powerlines (this blog) is dedicated to bringing these two ways of thinking together and playing in that intersection. Like most blogs, it’s more for the benefit of its writer than any readers, but hey, if you read this blog and are a person of this intersection, please get in touch. Blogs are also about community.