Meta-Blogging: January 2005 Archives

Evangelical Blog Awards

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The Evangelical Blog Awards are here, hosted by Evangelical Underground. I have reservations about the very idea of it, but I got nominated in the apologetics category, so I guess I need to promote it now. A few categories are rather low in the nominations at this point, so go ahead and suggest some if you can help fill it out.

Update: Apparently, even though some seem to have understood what I meant from the outset, others did not. I'm not going to remove any words, but I'll clarify in brackets, in a few places at length.

I'm de-linking World Magazine's blog, and I'm encouraging anyone who feels strongly enough about this to do the same. There's a fairly reputable view that the English language has no semantically gender-neutral but grammatically masculine terms. I think that's true of the dialects of most people I interact with on a daily basis, though I don't think it's true of every native English speaker. They think the view is false altogether [and have a history of very harsh comments to the effect that those pursuing translations according to this view are pursuing an anti-Christian agenda].

I have no problem with that view [though their language has been way over the top in the past]. I disagree with the views expressed on that site from time to time. That won't stop a link. Most of the sites I link to express views I disagree with. One of the reasons I wanted to link to them is because I really like Gene Veith, who posts there regularly, and Marvin Olasky was the source of what George Bush calls compassionate conservatism, which I think is generally the right sort of view to take and why I like him so much. It really came from George Will, but Bush got it from Olasky. [I should also say that they're one of the best news sources in the Christian blogosphere, largely because of the amount of content.]

Christian Carnival LIII

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I'm almost a week behind on this, but the 53rd Christian Carnival is at Sidesspot. (Well, the carnival itself was late, so that's not quite as bad.)

I'm pretty sure it's the biggest one ever, with a whopping 53 posts. It includes my Scalia's Rhetorical Skill and Sam's The Book of Acts: Or how to start a riot.

Christian Carnival LIV Plug

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Digitus, Finger & Co. will be hosting the 54th Christian Carnival, and submissions are now open. This is a great way to make your writing more well known and perhaps pick up some regular readers. 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. Second, please send only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival (i.e. from last Wednesday through this coming Tuesday).

Then do the following:

Philosophers' Carnival VIII

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8th Philosophers' Carnival is at enwe's meta-blog. [Update: It's been moved here now.] I didn't submit any of my posts, not thinking I had anything philosophically worthy, but someone apparently disagreed, because my is in it. That's one of the nice things about the Philosophers' Carnival. People seem much more inclined to submit other people's stuff to it than with other carnivals. Here are some of the highlights for me.

I'm going to do something I rarely do. A close examination of some of the comment threads on this blog, particularly the longest ones, should show that this is rare. I have very high standards for exactitude in spelling, grammar, and style when it comes to writing and often speaking, but I refrain from making a big deal about it with others online except when it leads to unclarity.

Those who have known me the longest can testify to this. I've reigned it in quite a bit since high school, but it's a fight. In my younger days I would deliberately point out things that, if taken literally, would mean something extremely unusual. It was a sort of joke, and for some reason most people don't understand just how funny it is to think about what our words would mean if we meant them literally. In fact, they somehow found it annoying that people might enjoy thinking about such things. That's something I'll never understand.

Anyway, in the interest of good discussion I don't bother to spend time talking about mistakes in commenters' or other bloggers' writing (unless it really affects the meaning or unless it's in response to someone who is being a pedant themselves). I do find a number of things to be at least a tad annoying, though, and in many cases they're innocent things, so holding my tongue, or as it were my fingers, is desirable but hard. Since I allow myself in my milestone posts to do things I don't normally do, I've decided to use this, my 950th post, to express some of my blogging pet peeves.

This is not directed at any individual, and I don't have a hit list of those who read my blog who have done these things. Perhaps this will give you a reason to change your behavior if you do any of these, but I'm not doing this to complain about any particular person or act. Some of the items in the list are incredibly annoying and thoroughly immoral, and don't think I intend to classify the minor in the list as morally similar merely because they're in the same list. This is just my outlet to express things that I wish people didn't do.

10 Christian Blogs

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Adrian Warnock has put together a new aggregator. He's looked through some of the evangelical blogs with the most links in the Ecosystem and selected ten that provide an orthodox Christian perspective on a diversity of issues to have a sort of central location for people to see all these blogs at once. As far as I can tell, every blog in the list has an RSS feed that limits the excerpt to a short teaser, so people will have to click on the links to get to the blog to read any whole post. Each person in the list has agreed to receive occasional emails from anyone who thinks a post is worthy of being highlighted on a blog in this aggegator, and most in the list try to highlight things they find of interest anyway, so this should be a nice fast way to check up on what's going on in the Christian blogosphere.

The blogs in the list are, in alphabetical order: Adrian Warnock's Evangelical UK Blog, Evangelical Outpost, In the Agora, Jollyblogger, La Shawn Barber's Corner, Le Sabot Post Moderne, Parableman, Patriot Paradox, Smart Christian, and Wittenberg Gate. The site itself is called 10 Christian Blogs, though some of us prefer to call it the Decablog.

For more information, see Adrian's first post presenting the idea, his official announcement of the site with the blogroll code for the ten blogs, the announcement as the Decablog with some further thought on how this can encourage other bloggers, and his explanation of why these particular blogs are in the list. You might as well just go to his main page and scroll down (or up for chronological order, of course), because something like half his posts have been on this.

Razorskiss has a new carnival, the Apologetics Carnival. I missed the first one because I was apparently behind in reading the sites that I read that linked to it. Judging by the topic, I would have had virtually nothing to say anyway, since it was all meta-apologetics, and all the posts I glanced at were such wide-open, big picture, paint-with-a-broad-brush, forest-over-the-trees sort of thing that I'd be just out of my realm even trying to say something about it.

The second one is coming up quickly, and it's still meta-apologetics rather than doing apologetics, but the way it's not well-defined leaves an opening for some of what I do well partly because it's so undefined, if I can pull it off. The topic is Digital Salt, whatever that means. The goal is to see what people come up with when there's no further explication. See Razorskiss for more. There doesn't seem to be any submissions information, though, so perhaps those in charge could come up with some soon, since the deadline is less than 40 hours away.

Carnival of the Vanities CXXI

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It's taken me almost a week to get through the 121st Carnival of the Vanities at Multiple Mentality. I think I counted something like 52 posts in it. I guess it's a good thing I forgot to send in a post for the Christian Carnival last week. I couldn't decide which of two posts to submit or if I should write a third. I decided not to write a third because I was putting so much into my new Clarence Thomas series. By the time I got through my second Clarence Thomas post that night (posted the next morning), I'd simply forgotten about the Christian Carnival. Oh, well. I think this makes the third I'm not in out of the 52 Christian Carnivals so far. Anyway, it meant I didn't have to do my usual roundup of highlights from that. I don't link to carnivals I'm not in, since my purpose of linking to a carnival is to return the favor from getting a link out of it myself. The links to reciprocate lose significance if I do it with carnivals that don't link to me.

My Armstrong Williams Fallout is part of this week's festivities, and I've selected three other entries to highlight.

Christian Carnival LIII Plug

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Sidesspot will be hosting the 53rd Christian Carnival, and submissions are now open. This is a great way to make your writing more well known and perhaps pick up some regular readers. 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. Second, please send only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival (i.e. from last Wednesday through this coming Tuesday).

If you are looking for posting ideas, the host offers some suggestions. "You might want to consider that the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision is January 22. Another topic might be to consider how Christians of different denominations can put into practice Christ's admonition that we love one another -- what does this mean in real life, what impact could it have on nonbelievers if we did this? How Christians can help foster a sense of community in their neighborhoods is another topic." Posts of a Christian nature on any other subject are also welcome, as always.

Then do the following:

Jesus the Logician?

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Joe Carter has begun what he's calling the 'Jesus the Logician' Project. The goal is to show how Jesus used sound reasoning, and different bloggers are contributing through discussing particular examples of Jesus' reasoning. Doug Groothius' paper "Jesus: Philosopher and Apologist" is a good example of the sort of thing Joe is up to here.

I think the name is off. A logician is not someone who uses good reasoning but someone who studies the nature of reasoning itself. The content of the logician's study is good reasoning. As Joe acknowledges, Jesus didn't do that kind of extremely abstract study (at least in any public records we have). Jesus used logic, but he didn't talk about logic itself. Then what's going on here is that Jesus isn't being shown to have been a logician but simply that he used good reasoning. Even though the name is a misnomer, I'm still going to contribute. My first post (of at least one) will follow shortly.

Instalanche?

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I'm having a definitional problem. Does it count as an Instalanche if Instapundit opens up comments and then someone links to me? I've only had five people click on it between 9:15 and 10:30, and since it's an older post I imagine it won't be a huge influx, but you never know. I imagine real Instalanches lead to a much greater traffic increase.

It's already more traffic than I'm getting for that post from the Carnival of the Vanities, but that had a whopping 78 posts in it, and I'm not sure most people looking through it wanted to click on very many posts.

Being a Successful Blogger

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Joe Carter has been working on an excellent series on becoming a more successful blogger, misnamed "How to Start a Blog". If he'd called it "How to Be Successful at Blogging", he'd have been more accurate. He uses that sort of language far more than anything about starting a blog, which sort of lost its steam after a couple posts. He's finally created a post linking to all the posts in the series, and it will be updated as more entries appear. It also has links to his previous posts on blogging, many of which are quite excellent. I follow a lot of his advice in the earlier stuff, and it's been pretty helpful. I don't know if anyone has assembled as much information on this stuff as Joe has. It may be enough for a short book.

Christian Carnival LII Plug

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IntolerantElle will be hosting the 52nd Christian Carnival, and submissions are now open. This is a great way to make your writing more well known and perhaps pick up some regular readers. To enter is simple. First, you 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. Second, please send only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival (i.e. from last Wednesday through this coming Tuesday).

Then do the following:

Christian Carnival LI

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The 51st Christian Carnival at Weapon of Mass Distraction is a New Years edition, as the first Christian Carnival of 2005. This blog is represented twice, with my Life Amidst Suffering: How Should We Now Live? and Wink's Critiquing Penal Substitution. Sam's Where Was God? also makes a cameo.

Philosophers' Carnival VII

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The seventh Philosophers' Carnival is at Mixing Memory. My OrangePhilosophy post Act vs. Rule is there. My co-blogger at Prosblogion David Hunter shows up as well with God the Utilitarian?

Siris has a nice post on arguments from analogy and what Hume had to say about them.

Studi Galileiani has a fascinating post about why the principle of Occam's Razor (which may have originally come from a quotation by Occam of his opponents!) isn't incredibly helpful when it comes to scientific theorizing. Most of the big scientific advances haven't really relied on it, and in many cases it would have prevented them! One thing that seemed strange to me was his account of Galileo's conflict with the Roman Catholic Church, which, though it acknowledges that some of the oft-repeated common account is apocryphal, still differs from what Donald Crankshaw and Joe Carter have said really went on. So I looked around the site more, and apparently the author has argued against both the standard account and the account Donald and Joe are arguing. Galileo was no martyr for science and reasoning as opposed to a backward and theocratic church, but at the same time the blame wasn't on Galileo for pushing a theory without evidence, as Joe's account suggests. Apparently it's a very complicated story. I don't have the time to pursue the details, but I wanted to mention that since I've linked to Joe and Donald's posts before.

Don Herzog at Left2Right has a very nice post on equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws. I don't always agree with his posts, but this one shows some real balance between libertarian principles and classic liberalism's insistence on limiting libertarian principles for various reasons. I highly recommend to people of all political persuasions to think through some of the arguments he gives regarding the political theory behind these issues.

Christian Carnival LI Plug

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The first Christian Carnival of 2005 and the 51st Christian Carnival overall will be hosted at Weapon of Mass Distraction, and submissions are now open. This is a great way to make your writing more well known and perhaps pick up some regular readers. To enter is simple. First, you 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. Second, please send only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival (i.e. from last Wednesday through this coming Tuesday). The host would like you to consider writing about one of the following themes:

What will the new year bring? A resurgence of Christian values in Western culture? A continuing slide into humanism and the occult? More battles over the separation of church and state? A continuing exodus of men from the Christian church? Armageddon?

Please send your post, on these topics or whatever you're led to write about (provided that it's Christian-related), to:

Christian Carnival L

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The 50th Christian Carnival, the last of 2004, is up at MediaSoul. My The Divine Watch-Setter appears right after Sam's Merry Christmas. The reason she lists me as "Jeremy Pierce himself" is because she originally had Sam's entry listed as "Jeremy Pierce's wife", not knowing her name. It had nothing to do with thinking of me as someone famous or incredibly important.

Those of you like me who never cared much for the tradition of New Years resolutions should read some of Jonathan Edwards' resolutions at A Physicist's Perspective. Now those are resolutions.

Semicolon shares some thoughts from Tolkien's worldview behind Middle-Earth out of the Silmarillion. I've never been able to get through the Silmarillion (actually, I only tried once, in high school), but the part at the beginning about Tolkien's cosmology is just absolutely wonderful. It deals with lots of issues that reflect his view of God and the world, but the one here is one of the more important ones.

Rebecca Writes reflects on the theological background to the phrase "in the fullness of time" (from Galatians 4:4-5) that people often associate with Christmas. She ties it to other statements from Paul about the significance of the total change in reality that comes with the advent of the Messiah, which is in fact an end to things as they were and the beginning of the end of things as they still are.

Off the Top presents some highlights from C.S. Lewis' Reflections on the Psalms. I actually disagree to some degree with a couple of the Lewis quotes Bonnie gives, but I think the first three highlights she lists are incredibly insightful and worth spending some time considering.

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