I’ve been tinkering on the back end of Love of All Wisdom a little bit. I thought it might be worth alerting readers to two of those changes. First, there’s now a “related posts” option at the end of each post, automatically suggesting other posts that might be of interest. (I had a similar plugin installed years ago which wound up slowing down and crashing the site, but this one is part of the official WordPress Jetpack suite, so I’m hoping it works better.) Second, you should now be able to write comments by signing in with a Facebook, Twitter or WordPress.com acocount, which should hopefully make commenting easier. Enjoy!
Longtime readers may recall a review of this blog that expressed dismay at my white-on-black visual theme. My commenters generally agreed and I had intended to change it. (It looked great to me because I grew up with DOS, but I’d rather not limit the blog’s appeal to people who share my technological quirks.) In the intervening time I tried a number of times to find an alternate theme, but never quite found one I was happy with.
Today, my friend Craig Martin also mentioned he found the theme hard to read, and I offered the usual excuses of why I hadn’t changed it yet. I then realized with some embarrassment that it’s been five years since I originally said I’d change the theme.
So I decided it was time to do it. My apologies to those who have had trouble reading the old theme over the years through my delays, but I think an apology is less important than fixing the damn problem. The new theme of the blog is called Château. There are some things about it I’m still not happy with – but le mieux est l’ennemi du bien. Better to have it out there and leave the possibility of another change at a later date. The various features of the old theme should work, except for the old blogroll, which was getting way out of date anyway. Besides the white on black, the most obvious change should be something I’d always wanted as part of a new theme: the banner with a picture of very different philosophers, from very different times and places, all of whom I admire. (I’ll leave it to commenters to say who they are!)
It is with great pleasure that I announce the creation of the Indian Philosophy Blog, a new group blog exploring all aspects of Indian thought. We hope to be for Indian thought what the excellent Warp, Weft and Way has been for Chinese. I have done some of the technical work to help put this together but the content is that of the contributors. Please check it out! I will continue to do my blogging in cross-cultural philosophy here, but intend to cross-post any posts that are directly related to Indian thought.
I’d been doing a bit of tinkering with Love of All Wisdom on the back end, which made the blog tags and categories stop working for about a week. (The tags and categories are the way the blog is organized – labels like “Xunzi” and “Jainism” that attach to every post that addresses a given topic, listed down in the right sidebar. I’ve written in greater detail about that organization before.) I think the problem is fixed and you should be able to find posts by tag and category again. I encourage you to give it a try as a way of exploring the site. If you find anything that doesn’t work, please let me know.
As part of my job I’ve been learning to use MediaKron, an interesting tool developed by Boston College (not the same as Boston University, where I work) which creates maps and timelines for educational use. I’ll be helping a pilot group of Boston University faculty use MediaKron; to help myself learn it, I designed a website mapping out different major philosophers in time and space, including most of the thinkers I post about most often here. I’m hoping the site is helpful to visualize some of the long and complex history of philosophy – feel free to use it yourself or even show it to your students.
(Feel free to editorialize about how you can’t believe philosopher X was not included, if you like. I think I covered the very biggest figures, and I included the ones I write about most, but I know there are plenty of major ones who aren’t on there.)
As of this Thursday, Love of All Wisdom will be three years old. I’m happy with the way the blog has been working out – the ideas I’ve been able to get out to the world, and the discussion they’ve provoked both in the comment forums here and in other places (in person, on social networking sites, and even earning me an invitation to publish in a journal). I thought this would be a good occasion to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: explain the scheme of tags and categories I use to classify blog posts. There’s so much written here now that I doubt many people are going to read it all; I only intend it to expand in the future. And the tags and categories – listed to the right of this post in the pages’s sidebar – are a good way to explore the topics that are of most interest to you. Continue reading
Recent discussion about the rules for commenting on this blog has reminded me that I really should state those rules formally. So I’ve now posted the rules on the site for all to see. I hope that they will allow Love of All Wisdom to continue being an open, welcoming community of people interested in cross-cultural philosophy.
Quick administrative point: I finally got around to fixing the annoying question marks that had replaced diacritical marks in the blog’s older posts (where “Śāntideva” became “??ntideva” and so on). It should all work properly now, but it’s possible that I missed a couple. If you are ever looking back at an old blog post and you find a reference to “vipassan?” or “?a?kara” or the like, could you please drop me a comment or an email and let me know?
As of today, Love of All Wisdom has been officially up for two years. In that time, I’m happy to say, the site has grown significantly. In May 2011, Love of All Wisdom pages were viewed a total of 4288 times, well over 100 a day on average – compared to the first four months where the total never cracked 2000. That growth comes even though I’m now making one long post a week rather than the three short posts that I began with. Several recent posts have received over 60 comments. That number would be respectable even for a controversial political blog; for a philosophy blog, it’s pretty unusual.
I’d like to thank all the blog’s readers for its success to date. And I’d like to extend a special thank-you to the commenters, who have made this site a lively forum for discussion of key philosophical issues. It is deeply gratifying to see how many people come back to hear and discuss my reflections on topics that can often be abstract, esoteric or difficult.
Last year at this time, I added a list of “favourite posts” from the first year. With two years’ worth of posts, I’ve changed and expanded that list. In the sidebar you’ll see three categories. The first is “popular posts” that others have appreciated or enjoyed a lot. The second is “basic concepts,” posts that elaborate ideas I return to regularly in my philosophy; they’re a good starting point to understand the ideas here in more detail. Finally, there’s “personal favourites,” which is just that: the posts I’m particularly fond of myself.
Thank you all again, whether you reply or not. Without you, Love of All Wisdom would be no more than a set of personal journals stashed away in a corner. Here’s to many more years!