Meta-Blogging: May 2004 Archives

Welcome to the nineteenth Christian Carnival. This is an exciting edition to be hosting, because 19 is the highest prime number lower than 20. That means this is the last Christian Carnival of the first 20 that will be numbered with a prime number. An era is ending! The prime numbers get much more rare from here on. There are eight primes in the first 20. We have to wait until 53 to get through another eight primes and then 89 for another eight beyond that, then 131, etc. So this is an important edition of the Christian Carnival.

Before going on to the Carnival. I'll warn you that many of the blogs in the Carnival are hosted by Blogger, which has had some serious server problems recently. They were better, but then they started acting up again, so I'm making it a little easier to get to Blogger posts by linking both main pages and individual posts and giving the name of each post (unless it's really obvious to find from the description) for every post on a Blogger blog. You can see my advice for getting around these problems if you encounter them. On to the Carnival...

Blogger Rots

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Why don't we say things rot anymore? Now they just suck, and somehow that's supposed to sound worse than saying they rot, but which is really worse? I'd rather suck than rot, because if you suck then at least you're doing something. If you rot, then you're either dead and wholly a material object (or else it wouldn't be you but your corpse that is rotting) or some sort of undead, and sucking is much better than either. So we should return to saying things rot if we really want them to sound bad.

Well, Blogger really seems to be rotting away these days. The wretched free site that you shouldn't expect anything from because you get what you pay for that seemed to have improved such a great deal in the last month or so has apparently gotten even worse. Blogger has been having some of the most ridiculous server problems I've ever seen them have (and that says a lot). The "www" before the address won't work. Permalinks seem not to be working consistently. Sometimes even a blog's main page won't load up the first time (which has been going on for months, but now it redirects you somewhere else, and you can't just hit reload, which was all it took before for it to work).

I got off Blogger as soon as I had the opportunity to do so without paying for something else, but I still have to read Blogger blogs because others haven't had that opportunity. I'm going through the Christian Carnival entries for tomorrow, and so many of them are Blogger blogs that it's going to be really annoying for people to go through this thing when it's done. For that reason, I've been exploring how to avoid some of these problems, since you can always expend some effort to read a post you're looking for if you can get to the main index of the blog you want and then scroll down. Even the Blogger permalink problems are less likely to occur if you're coming from the blog it's part of (though I'm not sure even that's guaranteed). The problem is that if the main page doesn't load, it redirects you. So you may have to type the name in manually. You'll probably want to copy it before you hit enter, so that when it doesn't load up the first time and redirects you, you can just paste it back in and hit enter again. With a little persistence, it usually works.

So much for the new Blogger, if this is the result!

Blogger Links

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The boneheads at Blogger have gone and eliminated the "www" prefix at the beginning of all blogs stored on the Blogspot server. So if you've got any links to Blogger blogs, check to see if they have a "www" attached to the front. If they do, remove that, and they'll work again. Half the blogs linking to Uncle Sam's Cabin use the discontinued format, so if you're one of those, please fix it.

This coming Wednesday is the next Christian Carnival, and will be hosted right here at Parablemania.

If you have a blog, this will be a great way to get read, and possibly pick up readers in the process, or highlight your favorite post from the past week.

To enter is simple. First your post should be of a Christian nature, but this does not exclude posts that are political (or otherwise) in nature from a Christian point of view. Then do the following:

Despite not being able to move around much without vertigo and still not recovering on my sleep, I've finally gotten through the whole Carnival while also getting through most of my preparation for tonight's Bible study on Isaiah 28. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to do any of the original content blog posts I wanted to do, though. Besides my obligatory mention of my post on God's will and naturalism and Sam's on women being silent in the churches, I want especially to recommend Rebecca's discussion of some things to learn from Paul's prayers, in particular the one at the beginning of Philippians.

Also, La Shawn reminds us of some particularly Christian convictions we should apply to the violence going on in the world right now, along with some good reasons to resist the popular view that Jesus commanded pacifism in the Sermon on the Mount. There are a number of other posts worth thinking about and interacting with.

Another item that's Christian Carnival-worthy that wasn't in this week's Carnival but is worth my mentioning now (for one reason because it continues a discussion that's been partly on this blog) is Jollyblogger's lengthy analysis of charismatic issues as a followup on the Blogdom of God conversation about God's will. I was expecting to have to write a long response, but it turns out there's very little we disagree on, even though he considers himself a cessationist and I consider myself a non-cessationist.

The eighteenth Christian Carnival is at Back of the Envelope. I've been having a hard time concentrating enough all day to be able to read enough sentences at a time to get through it very quickly. I still haven't recovered from being up all night spilling my guts (literally) two nights ago. At least I can write in complete sentences. So I'll have to get around to highlighting entries later on.

When I first moved to Ektopos, I emailed Adrian Warnock a few times to change the link in the Blogdom of God, to no avail. Finally I mentioned my frustration in a post. He responded by saying that I need to blog about anything to get his attention, because his spam filter ate my emails. So I'm blogging again to get his attention, since my email yielded no response.

The links for this blog have changed, including the RSS feed, which is why the aggregator hasn't been including any of my posts. I've got the details in an earlier post.

Secret Agent Man

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Since I'm going to be working on the questions for the Blogdom of God interview soon, I decided to go read the two interviews that I hadn't read yet. One of them was of Secret Agent Man's Dossier. This hasn't been true of any of the other interviews I've read so far, but I found a number of items worth drawing attention to.

From Nick Queen:

This coming Wednesday is the next Christian Carnival, and will be hosted at Back of the Envelope.

If you have a blog, this will be a great way to get read, and possibly pick up readers in the process, or highlight your favorite post from the past week.

To enter is simple. First your post should be of a Christian nature, but this does not exclude posts that are political (or otherwise) in nature from a Christian point of view. Then do the following:

Font Issues

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For some reason my font size on this blog all of a sudden got much bigger this morning after I changed something that should be irrelevant. It looks really annoying. I can change my browser's default font viewing size to make it smaller, but that doesn't look like the way it used to look. Has anyone else noticed this? Does anyone have a clue what might be causing it? My stylesheet hasn't changed, and nothing in the template that I've changed should have anything to do with this.

Downtimes and Fixes

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Well, the blog was down for some time today. It's back up. Some of the internal links are now dead due to the transferral. I assume links to http://parablemania.ektopos.com will continue to work in the future, but the new location is http://mt.ektopos.com/parablemania. What won't work anymore are internal links in the form of the first link, including http://parablemania.ektopos.com/mt, and some of the post numbers have even changed, so you can't just substitute. If you find any broken links, let me know. I am trying to change them all. I'm that picky.

Update: In case you're here from this week's Christian Carnival, go to this entry. The entry I submitted has now left the building (or at least the screen), so you can't get to it by scrolling down as the instructions said. I'll have a post on the Carnival once I've read it all. I've been grading all day and just barely made my first grading deadline. The other one is Friday at noon.

Update 2: I've fixed the wrong link that I had in this post.

The XML link has also changed. It's now http://mt.ektopos.com/parablemania/index.rdf.

I'm gradually updating the internal links. Everything in May and in the sidebar should be correct. It will take some time to work backward.

This coming Wednesday is the next Christian Carnival, and will be hosted at Spare Change.

If you have a blog, this will be a great way to get read, and possibly pick up readers in the process, or highlight your favorite post from the past week.

To enter is simple. First your post should be of a Christian nature, but this does not exclude posts that are political (or otherwise) in nature from a Christian point of view. Then do the following:

What the Pork?

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This search led someone to my site. Keep in mind that the person has to click on the link for me to know about it. Here is the search string:

The mark is seen very importantly at present

Here is the summary statement of my site that resulted, which the person proceeded to click on:

..'ve seen it... land is ...you bring The mark of Cain ..., but Mark
is always worth... me at carnivalhost...(more importantly) the small
... strayed very ... your very ... ever seen in...is present at conception

I should point out that I was the fourth item in the list, and not one of them appears to have anything to do with whatever the pork the person was looking for. I can't fathom what led the person to think my site should have anything to do with the interests of anyone at all based on such a summary.

TAR Moves

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Brian Weatherson's blog Thoughts arguments and rants has moved to a new location. For those who don't know, Brian was a faculty member in my department before moving to Brown, and now he's moving to Cornell. Brown has been hosting his blog while he's been under their employment. His is without a doubt the definitive blog in philosophydom.

Of course, tar doesn't move very quickly, so how am I supposed to watch its moves?

I'm still in the thick of things with grading, though the urgency factor is drastically lower now that classes are over and the first grading deadline is not until Wednesday. Still, I'm putting off the posts on my growing list of things to blog about more seriously (affirmative action, intermarriage and divorce in Ezra 9-10, Leibniz and necessitarianism, President Bush and religion, and a contextualist view of racial classification, not to mention the other possibilities I've been pondering without being sure I have anything to say about). So let's get that lasso out again to get rid of some of the more minor things on my blogging list that won't get full entries. Some of this is old stuff that I just didn't have the time to put together what I really wanted to say.

Google is Skynet.

Watcher of Weasels makes short work of the absurd chicken-hawk stuff.

A Zogby poll shows the majority of Americans to be pro-life. That surprises me in the northeast, where it's almost heresy to think a fetus is a person or that a fetus might have moral rights for any other reason. Still, I've heard many people in the pro-life movement claiming exactly what this poll indicates. What really surprised me was the higher numbers having to do with fairly early restrictions on abortion even when it's seen as ok at very early stages. Thanks to Logicus bLogicus for the link.

Canada has just passed two laws that make me wonder about their capacity to realize the consequences of these laws. I think the contradiction charge is legitimate in this case.

Electric Venom has some good, harsh comments about a sick new adoption reality show.

Bill at Walloword encounters the Internet Genie. This one's good.

Finally, Volokh defends witch hunts, based on reasons that he admits will raise interesting questions about the Mutant Registration Act and other comic book "evils".

Well, OrangePhilosophy has a new home. I'm not quite sure where all the moves are, though.

If anyone knows how to solve the problem of text going off the page, let me know. I searched both Google and the MT forum, and I couldn't find anything about it.

I've been wanting to host the Christian Carnival for about three months now, but I'd made a commitment not to do it during the semester while teaching an 8:30 am class, which gives no time for assembling the posts the night before due to prep work or the morning of due to teaching, so I've been putting if off. Well, the semester proper is over (though I've still got grading to do), and here we are.

Our party this week's Carnival has thirteen dwarves entries, including my own, and following the advice of Gandalf I've decided to pull rank as this week's heir to the title King Under the Mountain host. I've sought out a burglar Hobbit fourteenth entry to increase the size of our expedition the Carnival past such an unlucky unpopular number.

In my continuing slavery to the Man in order to propogate more widespread readership and in the all-consuming goal of progressing upward in the Ecosystem, I've submitted another post to the Carnival of the Bush Bloggers, this time the one on the two lizard candidates and the Constitution Party. Is it subversive to submit a post to something like this that undermines the sense of purity about the Republican Party that many of these bloggers have while at the same time saying it's our best option?

We're on to the sixteenth Christian Carnival this week, and it's being hosted right here. Get your entries in.

This coming Wednesday is the next Christian Carnival, and will be hosted
at Parablemania. If you have a blog, this will be a great way to get
read, and possibly pick up readers in the process, or highlight your
favorite post from the past week.

Political roundup

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I still have little time to write much. I'll probably be able to contribute something of more significance tomorrow. Until then, here are some links to some important political goings-on during my time of not blogging much that I've collected in the hopes of blogging about some of them. Unfortunately I've not got the time and have still got lots of other ones that I hope I will blog about soon.

Bob Woodward, I assume unintentionally, makes the "Bush lied" crowd look very, very bad. Thanks to Le Sabot Post-Moderne for the link.

Rumsfeld's Iraq plan has come forth. Apparently many of the bad moves have been from Colin Powell's resistance to some great ideas. Who would have expected that? Certainly not anyone who listens to the common wisdom about Rumsfeld as the warmonger who wanted a unilateral U.S. takeover of the entire Middle East or from those suggesting Powell is a figurehead whose program for foreign policy has been virtually ignored in favor of Rumsfeld's. This puts the lie to all that.

The Niger uranium thing? More details now appear. I think this makes Bush look better than most critics were allowing, even though it's not absolutely pretty. The country really was Niger, and the person who met with the Iraqi official (a pretty high one) really did come away thinking it was about a uranium deal. The question is whether he had enough evidence to think that and whether the intelligence community should have probed more into his reasons for thinking that. (In all likelihood, that was what it was about.) If you listen to the "Bush lied" crowd, however, you'd get the impression that no one in Niger talked to anyone with any influence in the Iraqi government about anything at all, and the British simply made it up to make their case stronger.

Patriot Paradox compares the "worst president ever" with a large number of other presidents who did similar things. [For the record, I think FDR was the worst president ever, but I'm not about to defend that here.]

I enjoyed this fairly thorough treatment of Republicans and racism at Back of the Envelope. I believe someone made the argument this historian is responding to at Crooked Timber in the near past, but I'm not going to go try to find the post now. I remember thinking that I didn't have the resources to respond to it but that it wasn't a very historically sensitive argument.

I guess I'll end with a Thomas Sowell quote I stumbled across (well, I found it in a list of Thomas Sowell quotes I was reading through):

Those who pose as the biggest champions of the poor are almost invariably the biggest opponents of means tests. They want bigger government and the poor are just a means to that end. Whether the issue is housing, medical care or innumerable other things, the argument will be made that the poor are unable to get some benefit that the government ought to provide for them. But the minute you accept that, the switch takes place and suddenly we are no longer talking about some benefit confined to the poor but about "universal health care" or "affordable housing" as a "right" for everyone.

I would hesitate to conclude that they want big government and just assume that most of them don't realize that they tend to make bad policies to achieve their ends simply because they believe things are much simpler than they really are. I would also add one further example: affirmative action based on race rather than income (which California now does, I believe, instead of the now-illegal racial version). I'll have more to say on that when I finish the promised affirmative action post that's been stalled for a couple weeks due to piles of grading and multiple missed deadlines to return papers, which just made it worse.

Hyleninja moves

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Mark Steen, StuffOntologist, has resumed his blogging distraction at a new location with Typepad, the one blogging tool available that rivals Movable Type. I didn't really expect the hiatus to last, but I expected it to be longer than this, and I didn't expect such a glorious return. Check out the Steve Irwin parody with the investigation of Australian utilitarians. He's got all the mannerisms down.

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