Onwards!

The twelfth birthday of this blog went by uncelebrated, but I guess it is a milestone of sorts.

While a number of good logic/maths blogs continue flourishing (see the sidebar!), many philosophy blogs do seem to be dropping by the wayside — becoming moribund or (like the long-running philosophy of religion Prosblogion) simply  disappearing. I wonder why philosophers are rather giving up on this relatively easy and relaxed way of talking to each other? Possibly, all the cool kids have moved on to something else (select Facebook groups, perhaps? — though I can’t say that that appeals, and even less so after recent shenanigans). Or very possibly, it’s a reflection of the fact that academic life is getting ever more stressed and time-pressured. I have the luxury of retirement, with no one looking over my shoulder.

Not that there haven’t been times over the last couple of years, with the world seeming to be going to hell in a handcart rather faster than usual, when it has been difficult to muster quite enough enthusiasm to write here about what are, after all, decidedly minor matters (and you don’t want my half-baked views here on the state of the nation). But then, I do enjoy being occasionally distracted  by other blogs; and enough people do seem to enjoy coming here to be distracted in their turn.

So onwards! Posts soon on exhibitions of Italian art, on philosophical logic books from back in the day which are worth another look, on the Pavel Haas Quartet (again), on some other quartets, on novels I’ve been (re)reading recently, and even some more logic matters. Well, a chap needs a hobby …

3 thoughts on “Onwards!”

  1. David Makinson

    I wonder whether the emergence of fora such as Research Gate and Academia may have anything to do with it. Researchers can post announcements there, others can “follow” them, discuss, etc. Personally, I do not like chanelling my academic correspondence through such institutions, preferring personal email contact, but they do appear to be assuming a growing role.

  2. I’ve tried an experiment. I did a search for “philosophy blog” and looked at one of the results, 50 Best Philosophy Blogs at Zen College Life. I then looked at some of the blogs linked on that page, chosen not quite at random. Results:

    Ttahko is now a 404 page that says “Quantifying over Non-Existents!”, says the blog is “now defunct”, and suggests “You could try your luck at one of these locations instead”, followed by links to Academia, Facebook, Philpapers, etc. The Facebook page no longer exists.

    Virtual Philosopher (Nigel Warburton) still exists, but the most recent entry is from November 2016. I scrolled past posts as far back as April 2014. All had zero comments.

    The Brooks Blog “Thom Brooks is a Reader in Political and Legal Philosophy at Newcastle University in the U.K., yet his blog site receives more visits from the States than the rest of the world combined …” It’s still active, but there are no comments on any of the posts I scrolled past.

    The Philosophy Smoker — Last post December 2016. However, there were quite a few comments on the posts.

    fragments of consciousness (David Chalmers). Last post November 2013. Occasionally a few comments. The “blog” page on what seems to be his current site says “From 2006 to 2013 I kept an intermittently active blog, Fragments of Consciousness. I haven’t posted there for a few years, but there’s plenty of content there, and who knows? Perhaps some day it will rise again.”

    Chalmers also has a page of Philosophical Weblogs which says “This list dates from the heyday of blogs in the mid-2000s, and while plenty of blogs are still active and I make additions on request, many of these blogs are now inactive or dead.”

    Unpolished Jade (Alexus McLeod) — ‘Insight into Chinese philosophy includes a Zhongwen “Word of the Day”’ Last post May 2016. Most posts had comments.

    1. Yes … I did similar homework, hence my impression that the heyday of philosophy blogging was perhaps past.

      The number of comments is probably not a great indication of how much a blog is read. To be honest, I for one very rarely comment on the (other) blogs and comment-threads that I read — even on the posts I find most interesting/thought-provoking.

      It is difficult to know how many times a blog post gets read here (especially as each post can appear a separate page to an external link, or appear on the /blogfront page with half a dozen others, and I’m not sure how the stats handle this). In the low four figures, I guess. Overall, LogicMatters gets about 10K unique visitors a week, but a good proportion of those won’t pause on the blog, I think. Still, enough readers for me not to feel I’m just talking to myself! So, as I say, onwards!

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