Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

My Blog Review in 2010: Wow!

Posted by Jerry on January 3, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 3 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 645 posts. There was 1 picture uploaded, taking a total of 321kb.

The busiest day of the year was August 4th with 304 views. The most popular post that day was Richard Dawkins is not an Atheist.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were reddit.com, search.conduit.com, facebook.com, search.aol.com, and blogger.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for flamenco, leitmotif, flamenco dancer, flamenco dance, and philosophy.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Richard Dawkins is not an Atheist September 2007
60 comments

2

Leitmotif June 2006
86 comments

3

Flamenco Passion December 2006
3 comments

4

Men, Women, and Breasts July 2007
48 comments

5

Being Gay in India August 2007
46 comments

Some of my most popular posts were written before 2010. According to WordPress, my writing has staying power!

Posted in General Work/Life, Personal, The Best of Leitmotif, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Switch to WordPress

Posted by Jerry on October 1, 2007

All you bloggers who use Google’s pathetic platform of Blogspot (also known as Blogger), I’d like to honestly know your reasons for not having switched yet to a more advanced, aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly, features-rich, community-supporting platform like WordPress.com?

Why why why!!?

You know, it’s getting really tiresome for me to comment on your blogspot blogs: for one, there’s that primitive anti-spam technology for posting comments that gives me headaches everytime I try to read those mangled letters! Sometimes, it is an incredible feat of imagination to figure out exactly what the letters are–is that a lowercase l or an uppercase I or an f or a t!

 And then, for all the trouble of writing up a detailed comment, the damned captcha spamming thing decides that you haven’t proved yourself to be “real” enough, and it forces you to tackle another mind-boggling jumble of distorted characters; in the meantime, your Internet connection is refreshed and often the lengthy and thoughtful comment you just typed up is conveniently LOST!

The comment features are so appallingly poor on Blogspot! It makes having a discussion such an arduous task, for unless your are proficient with html and coding and scripting (I don’t know which you really need), you can’t figure out how to use block quotes to demarcate quotes from your responses, how to add hyperlinks, how to emphasize your points with bold or italics, or anything of that sort!

Please people! You would make *my* life easy by switching to a more enlightened way of blogging–on WordPress.com. And trust me, you will experience the direct benefits of the switch as well! WordPress allows you to port all your posts from Blogger directly here, along with your comments, so you won’t miss a thing!

Besides, you will increase your readership by exploiting the rich publicizing features of WordPress, like Categories, Tags, Featured Posts, etc. And WordPress allows you to read other blogs and follow-up comments on other Wordpress blogs right from your own Dashboard! That means, it saves you the time and bandwidth going around navigating the hideously treacherous territories of Google’s Blogger! 

WordPress.com is a beautiful community of really benevolent creators; and look at how pleasing it is to the eyes! Come join WordPress now!

Posted in General Work/Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Philosopher Watch

Posted by Jerry on September 26, 2007

Philosophers in particular have long been happily secluded in the obscurity of their journals, books, and philosophy departments. Rarely have they had to engage with the popular culture and defend their ideas in public, and rarely do they even bother to do so. Even when philosophers publish books and papers, they are mostly just putting their views out there without being pressed into a dialog with their readers to respond to criticisms.

However, with the revolution that blogging is today, practically any person or opinion can be the target of intense scrutiny, analysis, and investigation, and on a medium that is open to a large number of people. Intellectuals, therefore, now have to be more careful of what they say and how they say it because not only can they suddenly be picked up by some obscure blogger out there, but their views can be traced, archived, summoned repeatedly, linked, and distributed.

With the ability to search for keywords and activate keyword alerts, practically every area of knowledge and content on the internet is at the disposal of anyone interested. So, for example, if you’re a philosopher like Colin McGinn, you have much to worry about what you publish on your blog and how/who you engage in a dialog with.

Recently, Colin McGinn presided over what may be the lengthiest comment thread on his blog, on a post about ethical egoism. He began the discussion by claiming to have swiftly “dispatched” with the egoistic moral theory; when several of his commentors highlighted the logical flaws of his arguments, he proceed to label them with ad hominem smears, insult their intelligence, dismiss their criticisms as irrelevant, delete their comments, and even send private e-mails to at least one commentor with immature insults.

Flibbert was that particular target of McGinn’s private cheapshots. In several and persistant e-mails to Flibbert, McGinn comes off looking like a teenage bully in a schoolyard. Now, remember that Colin McGinn is apparently a well-known philosopher in his academic circles. But on the blogosphere, the man is a cheap weasel. Here is a sample of the e-mail exchanges Flibbert had with Professor Colin McGinn, which Flibbert posted on his blog:

McGinn: “What a pompous fool you are.”

Flibbert: “More name-calling? Really? Seriously, professor, I’m not sure which is in worse shape: your manners, your logic, or your integrity.”

McGinn: “There are a lot of fools in the world. The internet has given them a voice they wouldn’t otherwise have. You are a particularly egregious example of the type. I am simply stating the facts.”

Flibbert: “The same could be said of intellectual cowards and their university posts particularly in the case of philosophy departments.

Has it occurred to you that you’re engaging a complete stranger — one you’ve deemed to be obnoxious junk and a pompous fool — with petty insults? You seem to do so without any sense of irony about it. Compounding the irony is the fact that you are again hiding your shameful behavior from others. If your conclusion is so factual, why didn’t you just post an additional comment to your blog calling me a pompous fool?

I’ve told you why I think you’re a shameful and dishonest, not to mention condescending and rude, but as usual you haven’t provided any citations or examples to support your conclusions. No, you’ve simply ejaculated your opinion into this medium and expected others to slaver over it. To use another’s phrase, it’s a bukkake of stupid with you.

You disgust me.”

Professor McGinn continued to delete comments and insult Flibbert in private e-mails. Flibbert, on his part, decided that McGinn’s behavior did not warrant any decent and restrained responses from him any longer (with which I agree); Flibbert responded to him likewise.

After more than 100 comments were written by various commentors, McGinn finally chooses to reveal that he had never even read anything about the kind of ethical egoism Ayn Rand had formulated and which his detractors were pointing out to him. He said that he had never intended to address the ethical egoism of Ayn Rand but was attacking the egoism of Thomas Hobbes and Glaucon in Plato’s Republic.

This admission gives a clear indication of McGinn’s intellectual dishonesty because any honest interlocutor would have explicitly defined the target of his criticism by stating early on who’s theories were under scrutiny. Notably, in contrast, he did indeed define his exact usage of “altruism”–which he was defending–very early on in the comments.

Early commentors politely suggested that he tackle the Objectivist theory of ethical egoism because it was the strongest case ever devised–because it was also true. Instead of coming in right at that moment and admitting that Objectivist egoism was not his proper target because he was not yet properly familiar with it, McGinn chose to insult his commentors as “cultists”, and presided over a comment thread that introduced a whole host of wildly bizarre hypotheticals and contorted theories to distort ethical egoism and paint Objectivists as intellectually inept cultists.

I think McGinn has learned a very stinging lesson from the blogosphere: if you choose to put your intellectual opinions on the internet–even on a blog, you better consider what you say and how you conduct yourself–intellectual dishonesty will particularly be called out and receive scathing attacks. There are potentially a large number of eyes reading every word on the blogs. This cautionary principle applies particularly to professional intellectuals and philosophers because they bear the greater responsibility of being careful with what they say: indeed, they are in the profession of shaping minds!

And with the Internet the way it is today, they can no more hide behind the dusty covers of philosophical tomes, closed academic circles of acolytes, and misty deparmental offices. On the blogosphere, professional authority has little traction.

Posted in General Work/Life, Philosophy, Rights and Morality, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

 
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