One of the least appealing characteristics of blogging is its ephemeral nature. Everything evanesces. Snarks and selfies go viral and last for the lifetime of a Mayfly, while serious writing might just as well have been communicated by Native American smoke signals. This was brought home to me by reading Irving Finkel’s The Ark Before Noah, which deals in mesmerizing detail with writing that was painstakingly etched on clay tablets and consequently has endured for as much as five millennia.
In the past few days I have been re-reading several of the multi-part tutorials that I posted on this blog several years ago. Despite having been written and posted seriatim, they were the crystallization of many years of reading, thinking, and teaching – intended to endure, not, like Mission Impossible assignments, to self-destruct after fifteen seconds. I will say, without a hint of false modesty, that they stand up quite well upon re-reading. They are all stored on box.net, and have evidently been looked at by at least some people [the essay most often consulted is The Thought of Karl Marx, which I confess pleases me.]
It would be a violation of the implicit norms of the medium for me to re-post them – rather like an anxious Assistant Professor publishing the same journal article twice in a desperate effort to pad a tenure file. So I will simply invite my readers to follow the link at the top of the page to box.net and take a look. Think of yourself as browsing in a second-hand bookstore.