Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON
LECTURE ONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d__In2PQS60
LECTURE TWO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al7O2puvdDA

ALSO AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ONE THROUGH TEN ON IDEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE



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Monday, October 14, 2013

COLUMBUS DAY REFLECTIONS ON BLOGGING

I have been blogging now steadily for five years.  During that time, I have put up one thousand five hundred eighty posts, many of them quite lengthy, and these have occasioned six thousand three hundred thirty-five comments.  All of that is as nothing compared to the traffic at the popular blogs, of course, but I do this myself and relatively rarely simply link to what someone has said elsewhere.  All in all, that is a pretty big pile of chopped chicken liver, as they used to say where I grew up.

I have been delighted and touched by the evidences of regular readers, some of whom have been coming to this site for almost as long as it has been operating.  The quality of the comments is astonishingly high, especially when one compares them to what shows up on the better known blog sites.  I have had a troll or two, and there are the inevitable hitchhikers who say "nice blog" and then proceed to sell their wares, but some really interesting debates have developed in the comments section.  I am a great disappointment to Chris, I fear, but the young are always disappointed in the old -- how could it be otherwise?  Lord knows, I was pretty disappointed with my elders when I was young.

Perhaps the biggest surprise for me is the discovery of what triggers comments and what does not.  I suppose I should have anticipated that I would receive a blizzard of comments on my report of reading Newt Gingrich's doctoral dissertation -- horror stories are always popular.  But I have been puzzled -- and, I confess, disappointed -- that my several comments about the extraordinary work now being done in many branches of Biology has apparently captured no one's interest.

The hardest part of blogging for someone like me who has spent his life attempting to write serious stuff is simply finding something to say every day.  On some days, I seem not to be able to stop myself, but there are other days when the prospect of putting up a post creates in me a yawning void.  I envy the chaps in piano bars who can say , "And now for a medley of favorite hits," and proceed to play tunes they have played countless times before.  Even someone afflicted as I am with logorrhea runs dry from time to time.

Fortunately [if I may speak paradoxically], the sheer horribleness of the world offers an endless series of opportunities to view with alarm.

I began blogging out of desperation at the prospect of retirement and it has grown on me, so I shall carry on until at long last my two forefingers can no longer bang out the words.  There has been one good consequence of all this writing:  The article on me on Wikipedia no longer says that I am dead.

6 comments:

T Gent said...

Prof,
I am one of your avid and faithful readers, and I wanted to say I am following eagerly your reports on parasites. Maybe it's just something that invites less comments, especially by someone who might not know a lot about these things. What you said about the parasite who gets the fish it is infesting to be aten by birds did remind me of something that I think I read in the Selfish Gene (the only biology book I read cover to cover, now that I think about it). You may already know it, but it's quite astonishing. There's a species of ants whose larvae collect themselves in groups so as to look exactly like female wasps. I seem to remember they also give out the same smell. When the male goes to them to mate, they simply jump on him and eat him up.

Chris said...

Hahaha:
" I am a great disappointment to Chris, I fear, but the young are always disappointed in the old -- how could it be otherwise? "

Not even close to true! I mean, I think the lack of equal criticism of Obama is disappointing (remember I found this blog after reading In Defense of Anarchism), but you as a person are not a disappointment.

Now I just need to swing you over to the TSSI interpretation of Marx, and get you back on board with the original labor theory of value!

Jerry Fresia said...

Your blog is simply delightful. I love the range - from the rigorous, to the political commentary, to Paris odysseys, and the amusing reflections on everyday life and activities. Also, your efforts to involve your readers and their comments makes the whole thing accessible and down to earth.

I have found your comments on Biology, such as those on the Combes book, to be absolutely fascinating. Ditto with regard to Kant and some other subjects. But such commentary is so far beyond my capacity to respond to that I prefer to remain silent. I'm sure there must be others who feel the same way. I can understand how, from your vantage point, however, it must seem that no one is terribly interested, but I'm sure you've sent more than a few to the book store.

Too bad there is not a way for your readership to click a button that lights something up so that you could see the engagement.

Jerry Fresia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Magpie said...

Prof.

I don't know what I like best from this blog: all the wonderful things you teach us, the treasure trove of material wrote by you over the years which you link to, or your gentle humour.




Chris,

A challenge for you: honour your own idea.

Teach us about the TSSI!

Chris said...

Magpie, I'd be happy to, but I know ahead of time that others can do it better than me. Far better. I sent Wolff the best book on the subject.