Well, all this is interesting to me, anyway, and that's what matters here. The Internet is a terrible thing for someone like me, who finds almost everything interesting.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Two years and counting
I started this blog two years ago today. It's been fun. It's still fun. My biggest problem is that I can't stop blogging.
And I still find far more to blog about than I can actually get to. As I noted in my one year anniversary post, I originally worried that I'd run out of topics. The reality has been just the reverse.
At the start, I kept a list of backup topics, things I could use if I ever found myself running short. Heh, heh. That seems so laughable now! I never used a single one of those. In fact, I regularly have to clean out my "temp links" folder of ideas I want to blog about, plan to blog about, but never get done.
I don't have as much to say as in last year's post, though it's interesting to see what's changed and what has stayed the same. The biggest change - and a very welcome one - is that I've got a few more readers now. That whole first year, my return readership - people who'd been here before - didn't increase much at all.
Of course, the more posts I make, the more Google hits I get, but very, very few of those people ever return, if they actually read the post they find here at all. (I have to wonder at some of the Google search terms that direct people here. Often, they don't seem to make any sense.)
Well, at any rate, I still blog for myself. That's why I started, and that's why I continue. But it's good to get readers. And it's even better to get comments. In both respects, this second year has been a definite improvement.
I still wonder about variety. I'd like to have a bigger variety of posts here, although that's actually a negative for attracting readers. I do have a lot of different interests, though it might not seem like that. But in any case, I don't worry about it. I write what I want, when I want.
As in my first year, it's been mostly politics. I think I'm posting more about religion now, too, though that's probably because religion is politics, at least in America these days. Even science has become political, with the entire Republican Party coming down firmly against it.
I no longer post political cartoons every day. I don't even read them every day. Just no time. And I rarely post a "Quote of the Day" at all, not these days. Well, although that started out as a quote - and not actually a blog post - it turned into a post where I simply didn't add my own comments. That was really the only difference between those and any other post. And since I pretty much always have comments,... :)
I haven't been reading lately, so I haven't posted any book reviews for awhile. I will, eventually, but I don't know when that will be. The thing is, this blog is fun, and I don't want to change that. I don't want to turn it into work, a chore that must be done. That's the reason I haven't been reading, too. I love to read, but I just haven't felt like it lately.
If you particularly like some things here, or dislike them, I'd like to hear it. I really would. But honestly, I'm not sure that it will make too much difference in what I post. I know that some of you dislike my game posts - Gregg, this means you - but I enjoy writing them, so you'll just have to skip those. Just be thankful that I don't start describing my dreams. :)
But I'm not completely immune to the desire to have readers, either. I've really enjoyed having more readers this year, compared to my first. And I enjoy replying to intelligent comments. (Actually, I enjoyed replying to "Your [sic] an idiot," too, but I would have preferred a more detailed description of my shortcomings.)
So if you especially like some particular kinds of posts here, I'm likely to post more of them. I'm only human, after all.
If you want shorter posts, I feel your pain. I'm long-winded. I'm verbose. I know I am. It's a personal failing. But,... what can I say? I don't care enough about it to change. I write these posts for me. And I like to examine things in depth.
Spring will be here soon, and I'll have to cut way back on blog posts then. I'll have to try, at any rate. This is just lots of fun. And it's addictive. It's really hard to stop.
If you're still reading this, thanks for being here. You've made my second year even more fun than the first!
I'm a skeptic. I think it makes sense to have reasons for what I believe, so I apportion my belief to the evidence. You're welcome to disagree. Please, tell me I'm wrong. I probably don't agree with anyone about everything. Why should disagreement be a problem? Check the Pages section below for series posts and links to book reviews and game posts, as well as contact info. I have varied interests, so there's a little bit of everything here. I encourage you to look around. - Bill
We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true. - Robert Wilensky
It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong - Richard Feynman
The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other. - Sir Francis Bacon
When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Speculation is perfectly all right, but if you stay there you've only founded a superstition. If you test it, you've started a science. - Hal Clement
No matter how many times a theory meets its tests successfully, there can be no certainty that it will not be overthrown by the next observation. This, then, is a cornerstone of modern natural philosophy. It makes no claim of attaining ultimate truth. In fact, the phrase "ultimate truth" becomes meaningless, because there is no way in which enough observations can be made to make truth certain and, therefore, "ultimate". - Isaac Asimov
The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion. - Treaty of Tripoli, passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate and signed by President John Adams (1797)
I don't doubt the sincerity of dowsers, but even after we've demonstrated that they can't produce results that are any better than chance they'll still go away believing in their abilities... It is like the mother whose son is caught shoplifting on tape. She wonders why someone would want to frame her child by producing a fake video. - James Randi
During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church ... imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. - Mark Twain
Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths. - Bertrand Russell
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. - Friedrich Nietzsche
I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. - Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.
This is not about proof. Science does not use proof. We favor evidence, and the work consists largely of the slow accumulation of evidence in support of ideas, not magically potent proofs that establish an idea as unassailable. - PZ Myers
No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. - President Barack Obama
The formula was very simple: build this really flexible, really open economy, tolerate creative destruction so dead capital is quickly redeployed to better ideas and companies, pour into it the most diverse, smart and energetic immigrants from every corner of the world and then stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat. - Shekhar Gupta
We are prodding, challenging, seeking contradictions or small, persistent residual errors, proposing alternative explanations, encouraging heresy. We give our highest rewards to those who convincingly disprove established beliefs. - Carl Sagan
We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. - Richard Dawkins
120 million of us place the big bang 2,500 years after the Babylonians and Sumerians learned to brew beer. - Sam Harris
To kill a man is not to defend a doctrine, but to kill a man. - Michael Servetus, burned at the stake in 1553
Democracy is not about majority rule; it is about minority rights. If there is no culture of not simply tolerating minorities, but actually treating them with equal rights, real democracy can't take root. - Thomas L. Friedman
We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point, that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us and with just as much apparent reason. - Thomas Macauley, 1830
It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men. - Edward R. Murrow
The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence. Science is simply common sense at its best - that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic. - Thomas Huxley
There is no absurdity so obvious that it cannot be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to impose it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity. - Arthur Schopenhauer
Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. ... Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. - President Thomas Jefferson
To be elected in America, no matter from what party, the candidates have no choice but to year after year pledge to lower taxes further and further. We have become the nation of Ken and Barbie, looking good but very poor at the math. - Rack Jite
Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of great spiritual power. We know this because they are capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can't see them. - Steve Eley
We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. - President Franklin D. Roosevelt
I have been attacked by Rush Limbaugh on the air, an experience somewhat akin to being gummed by a newt. It doesn't actually hurt, but it leaves you with slimy stuff on your ankle. - Molly Ivins
In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. - H. L. Mencken
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. - Winston Churchill