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!
If you read the comments on this blog more than occasionally, you will surely have noticed the pugnacious comments of Thill (aka T.R. Raghunath), by far the most prolific commenter this blog has ever had. I note with pleasure that Thill has now begun a blog of his own, entitled The Baloney Detective. The approach he takes there is almost diametrically opposite to my own, in many ways; but that sort of clash is exactly what helps to generate the best ideas, and I welcome the arrival of this new blog. I welcome Thill’s timing, as well; since I won’t be regularly updating again until February, I hope readers looking for interesting philosophical thought in the meantime will be well served by the Baloney Detective. If you enjoy Thill’s comments, make sure you check it out!
As of now, I will be taking a break from regular blogging for one and a half months. The holidays are a busy time; and afterwards, in January, my wife and I will be taking three weeks’ honeymoon. I won’t be posting much if at all during this time, although I might post something occasionally if inspired. (I intend to attend the Eastern APA meeting this year, since it’s in Boston; I might be particularly moved to write something by events there, we will see. If any of my regular readers/commenters will be coming, let me know and perhaps we can meet.) In the meantime, do feel free to leave additional comments. I’m delighted that the comments on the blog have become so active lately, and I thank all the commenters for their lively participation.
I will return to regular blogging in early February. When I do, my posting schedule will be reduced, from twice a week to once (on Sundays). The main reason: my blog posts have gotten steadily longer. When I began they averaged about 400 words; now they’re closer to 1000. I think this is a good thing overall; 1000 words gives me the space to develop an argument more fully. (I had originally tried to keep posts short out of fear that longer posts would scare an audience away, but this has happily turned out not to be the case.) But two 1000-word posts a week is tough to sustain, so I’m pulling back a bit. I’m hoping the reduction in post frequency might also give me time to develop the blog in other ways – such as redesigning the blog’s visual theme as I had earlier suggested. (No, I haven’t forgotten about that.)
Thank you all for reading, and I’ll see you in February!
As of today, Love of All Wisdom is one year old; the blog went officially online on 1 June 2009. To commemorate the occasion I’ve added a list of “favourite posts” to the sidebar. These are five posts from the past year that I consider particularly successful: they got a fascinating discussion going, attracted new readers to the blog, and helped me think through my own views more deeply. If you’re relatively new to the blog, have a look.
But more importantly than any new widget, I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to all my readers who have followed my philosophical interests this year. And an extra special thank you to everyone who has left a comment and enriched the wonderful, lively and growing discussions going on here. Without all of you readers, the blog is no more than another personal journal of mine, and I have more than enough of those offline. Thank you all very much, and here’s to many more years.
A few months ago, I requested to have this blog reviewed at a site devoted to reviewing blogs, in the interest of getting some honest feedback and improving it. (Note: if you don’t like profanity, you will not be fond of this site, beginning with the URL.) The review got posted today, and seems generally more positive than most of the reviews on the site, so I’m pretty happy with it. (I’m also getting a lot of hits from readers of that site – welcome!) If you’re a regular reader, you might find the review interesting; and if you have any taste for philosophical puns, you should definitely check out the comments on the review.
But I would also like to hear readers’ opinions on a couple of the reviewer’s comments. First, (s?)he notes that the blog is difficult for a lay reader to follow. This is a balance I knew would be hard to strike from the beginning. I wanted to make it complex enough that professional philosophers and religionists would find it valuable, but also simple enough that a nonspecialist audience could follow along. I’m wondering if I’ve pitched it a bit too far in the first direction. What do you think? Should I try to simplify future posts more than I have been?
Second – and this is more for those of you who read the blog at the site, rather than by email or in an RSS reader – the reviewer hates the white-on-black look of the blog. The reviewer thinks that, while this might be pretty to look at at first glance, it creates eyestrain after one tries to read the site for long period of time. I am hoping to make some changes to the blog’s workings in the not-so-distant future, and this could be among them. But what do you think? Does the white on black work, or not?
I imagine you’ve noticed that Sanskrit diacritical marks on this site (like the first two letters in “Śāntideva”) are currently being replaced with question marks. In case you’re wondering, this is not a problem with your browser or computer; everyone is seeing this, including me. This is one of the screwups I mentioned resulting from my transition to a new server. It is proving one of the more difficult to fix – especially as I am currently in the middle of marking my students’ essays and exams, which leaves me little time to explore the niceties of PHP and MySQL to find a solution to the problem. Rest assured that I am working on the problem and will fix it, but please bear with me in the meantime.
Well, the move to a new server is clearly not proceeding as smoothly as I’d hoped. A lot of things are broken on the site right now. I am working on fixing them as fast as I can, and I beg your patience in the meantime.
Over the next couple days I’m going to be trying to move loveofallwisdom.com to a new, and less shady, server. I’m hoping the site should be up uninterrupted during this time, but given how I’ve been treated by JustHost so far, there may be some hiccups in the process.