Meta-Blogging: April 2005 Archives

For my 1125th post (selfishly counting all of Wink's posts as mine but not counting any I've written for Prosblogion or OrangePhilosophy), I've decided to recount some of the biggest lessons I've learned through the practice of blogging. These are in no particular order, and they're sort of a mish-mash. Some are very serious, with serious consequences. Others are a bit sarcastic but about things with serious consequences. A few might be just humorous. I'm not going to try organize or categorize them. I just wrote them in the order they occurred to me. All of them really did come from personal experience, in case you might get the thought that I'm making any of this up.

Searches of note since Tuesday:

continent of Iceland any black people living there?
There aren't any people living on the continent of Iceland.

pictures of kids with color blindness
Are you expecting them to have monochrome skin or something?

This week's ridiculous accusation via a search:
Michelle Malkin hates her filipino heritage

quran "warp space"
Any ideas what this person might have been looking for? I don't know of anything in the Qur'an about warp space.

Interesting searches since Thursday:

Is Iraq an unjust war?
No, Iraq is a country.

in the what states is it illegal for gay people to get marriage
It would be much easier to ask which states allow it. I don't think there's likely to be a website out there listing all 49 states that don't allow it separately when they can just say that Massachusetts is the only state that does allow it.

Autobiography of dust in the wind
So is Kerry Livgren's song writing a biography about itself, or is the dust that it's about writing its own life story?

scalia thinks women are property
You've got to wonder about why people like this don't get deterred by the obvious lack of influence wishful thinking has on what search engines will turn up. Anyone who searches for something like that deserves what they'll get if they turn up my blog. As it happens, this search turned up my reference to Scalia's claim that orgies can be beneficial to society.

On to the roundup:

Revenge of Mr Dumpling will be hosting the 67th Christian Carnival this week. The Christian Carnival is a weekly collection of some of the best posts of the Christian blogosphere. It's open to Christians of Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic convictions. One of the goals of this carnival is to offer our readers to a broad range of Christian thought. 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 about home life, politics, or current events from a Christian point of view. Second, please submit only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival (i.e. from last Wednesday through this coming Tuesday).

Then do the following:

Christian Carnival LXVI

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The 66th Christian Carnival is at Pseudo-Polymath. My contribution is How Do We Respond to Ministry?

Christian Carnival LXV

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The 65th Christian Carnival (yes, I know, this is last week's; I'll eventually get around to this week's) is at AnotherThink. My entry for this one is Reflections on the Schiavo Case.

Interesting ways people have found me since Monday:

why is a group rape bad?
If you don't know that, I'm not sure anything on this site will help you.

gene robinson's first name
Believe it or not, his first name is Vicki. Now people searching for it with this search might find it more easily.

i believe bush doesn't do God's will
Wow! He thinks he's human, too! What a coincidence! At least he's trying to do what he thinks is God's will, i.e. what he thinks is right. That's not true of many civic leaders, who do only what they think people want them to do so they can get reelected.

differences between christians and protestants
That must be like the differences between Muslims and Shi'ites, the differences between politicians and Democrats, and the differences between human beings and those who search the web for differences between Christians and Protestants. [I'm sad to say that I've gotten three separate searches for this so far since Monday, plus differences in christianity and catholicism once.]

Pseudo-Polymath will be hosting the 66th Christian Carnival this week. The Christian Carnival is a weekly collection of some of the best posts of the Christian blogosphere. It's open to Christians of Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic convictions. One of the goals of this carnival is to offer our readers to a broad range of Christian thought. 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 about home life, politics, or current events from a Christian point of view. Second, please submit only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival (i.e. from last Wednesday through this coming Tuesday).

Then do the following:

So why do I keep getting insane numbers of searches for "reverend ketcham"? I can't seem to find anything interesting related to those keywords that would have arisen recently. What's stranger is that they begin to show up in the evening and then get sparser during the day time. At one point they were even more frequent during the given interval than the searches for my name were (which have begun to slow down a lot now that his funeral is over). [Update: See the answer in the comments.] Other unusual searches since Thursday:

PICTURE ON EITHER OF THE CATHOLIC PROTESTANTS
I'm not sure why you think shouting will help. Maybe you should reconsider your assumption that there can be someone who is both Catholic and Protestant, never mind the assumption that there are exactly two of them or that their pictures would be online even if they existed and there were exactly two of them.

theology of the muppet show
Next thing you know we'll be looking at the military tactics of Struck Touched By an Angel or the philosophy of science of Beavis & Butthead. Wasn't Jim Henson a practitioner of the most badly misnamed religion in history, Christian Science?

Ineffective search of the week:
christian song, i think about the cross
Way to distract the search engine with thoroughly irrelevant terms. There are probably thousands of such songs, but this will turn up only ones containing the terms 'think' and 'about' in addition to many other things that aren't songs but have the word 'song', as was the case with my post that turned up, which was a Christian Carnival I hosted with a Kansas theme. Isn't there someone that can teach people common sense regarding web searches?

questions to find who would your friend be
in a movie? in an alternate possible world? I know this is someone who doesn't know how to use a search engine, but it's pretty bad if even a human being can't figure out what they're searching for.

should christians think?
at all?

TypeBlogs

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Marla Swoffer (formerly Proverbial Wife for those who might know her by that but not by her real name) has started TypeBlogs. One of the selling points is a blogroll for each Myers-Briggs personality type, and she's got a link to a quick, online test to discover which type you're most like. [You could also do this short one, this longer one, or this word matching one. Generally speaking, longer tests are more accurate, but shorter ones are quicker to do.

To join one of the blogrolls, see this post.

I've updated my RSS feeds. I now had two feeds of RSS 1.0, two of RSS 2.0, and one of ATOM. The two of each version of RSS are so I can have one excerpts version and one with full posts in the feed. Until now, the ATOM feed was the only one that gave full posts, I believe. If you read my blog with a newsreader and have been using one of the RSS feeds, the feed you've been using has converted to full posts. If you prefer the excepts, you should switch to a different feed. The links to all of them are at the top of the sidebar.

Someone emailed me saying his newsreader was updating with old posts as new, I believe with the same date and time as the new post, and it does this every time I post something new. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, which of my feeds have you been using? Does anyone have an idea what could be causing this problem and how it might be solved? I've already been spending more time than I really can afford to on this and would appreciate anything that might prevent me from putting in a lot more time if it's something pretty simple.

I don't normally link to carnivals I'm not in, but I can't resist this time. The host for the 134th Carnival of the Vanities was so rude and unintelligently critical of many of the posts in this week's carnival that Laurence Simon decided to do a decent edition of the same carnival on his own site.

I have nothing at stake because I'm not in this carnival, but I've had someone misrepresent and poorly portray what I've said in a COTV in the past, which showed both laziness and lack of respect on his part. So I can understand why he's done this. This one was much worse than the one I was in was. Maybe seven or eight people got the unintelligent lack of respect and unwillingness to engage with the content in the one I was in. Here it was probably close to half the entries.

When I host a carnival, I present the material as the person would themselves, usually using their own description. If I have something very short that I can say about it, whether a mild criticism or an acclamation of praise, I will do that. Extensive or less mild criticisms will go in a comment on the carnival post, in a separate post altogether, or on the post that was submitted. It's never ok for a carnival host to be rude to anyone submitting a post, though harshness might be ok for someone who keeps submitting posts that obviously shouldn't have been submitted because of content, which COTV doesn't have any restrictions on anyway, and even in that case the post just shouldn't appear at all. Respectful treatment of submissions is part of the convention of the COTV, and anyone who is willing to take part ought to follow it or be heavily derided by all who take part.

First: how are people finding me this week?

Biggest search event of the week: Someone with my name died Friday night, and I've been getting scores of searches every hour for it. That's what I get for monopolizing the Google ratings for my name. I've had to check my sitemeter every couple hours if I don't want to miss anything. I don't mind getting more traffic if it's people wanting to read my stuff, but this is just from frustrated people who can't find what they're looking for. At least people began to leave comments to help them after a bit.

Unfortunate misspelling of the week:
critically asses locke's distinction between primary and secondary qualities
The difference one letter makes. My students do this often enough, and spellcheckers can't catch misspellings that are real words. One of my colleagues regrets the existence of the word 'posse' because it means spellcheckers never catch 'posses' for 'possess'.

Conspiracy theory of the week:
mcwhorter's ties to swift boat veterans
John McWhorter is a linguist who writes popular books about race on the side. I can't even see the connection in content, never mind with the people. He didn't even vote for Bush in 2004, so I'm not sure why anyone would think he'd have much to do with the Swift Boat Vets, whose main goal was to prevent Kerry's election. All conspiracy theorists are intellectually dishonest in their speculative connections, but this one seems to be from just plain stupidity. Well, it's probably just racism, which is a kind of stupidity, particularly when it involves assuming that anyone who is black who says anything remotely like what conservatives say, even if it's for very different reasons, must have something to do with the most extreme people on the conservative side on issues unrelated to what that person even talks about. It's racist to assume a racial essence that requires black people to be liberal, and it's racist to assume that those who will say conservativish things must be mirror images of whatever your image of a conservative is. The only reason people will think such things is if they assume black people can't think for themselves.

False dilemma of the week:
is the death penalty racist or just
This one came earlier in the last week and then again yesterday. The second time, it had a question mark at the end. I don't suspect that was because they were less sure that those were the only options.

Attempt to Start a Slanderous Rumor by Means of a Google Search of the week:
norman geisler homosexual molester three times

Most bewildering search of the week:
philosophical meaning of eyeshadow

Christian Carnival LXIV

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The 64th Christian Carnival (yes, I know I'm a week behind, but I've had a particularly busy week) is at Proverbs Daily, with a nice topical categorization in terms of particular proverbs. My Intermediate State is there, and it's consciously occupying its position in the carnival but not with the kind of consciousness I have now.

moralhealth.com

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Laurence Thomas has a blog, moralhealth.com. I worked for Laurence as a TA for three and a half years, three as his head TA for a 400-450 student ethics class with a team of six TAs (plus the occasional undergrad TA or three). I also helped edit his portion of his book with Michael Levin on sexual orientation and human rights, and he actually heeded to some of my comments, though not all. That book more than anything else helped shape the current form of my views on those issues from what it had been previously. I would say that he's also influenced my thinking on abortion, euthanasia, race, affirmative action, and a number of other applied ethical issues, but I think more fundamentally he helped shape my thinking on more basic foundational issues, such as the moral implications of the state of evil in the world that Christians call the fall, which he describes under Martha Nussbaum's term 'the fragility of goodness'. His work on the value of showing moral deference to those whose moral framework we can't understand due to their own experiences is outstanding. He also awakened in me a desire that I haven't always honored to give thought in an ethical theory to oft-ignored considerations like the value of modesty, gratitude, and forgiveness, and I think he convinced me more than anyone else how deep a role parental love plays in the moral development of a child.

I really enjoyed working with him and think he offers a lot of insight into the kinds of moral questions that most people want to stay away from, either because the questions are too hard or because they won't like the conclusions they'll draw. It helps that I have tremendous sympathies for some of his underlying convictions on moral issues, but sometimes even when I disagree with his conclusions I'll really appreciate what he has to say to get there. There's a lot more that I could say about him, and when I get a chance to read through his posts perhaps I'll flag some of them.

Another Think will be hosting the 65th Christian Carnival this week. The Christian Carnival is a weekly collection of some of the best posts of the Christian blogosphere. It's open to Christians of Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic convictions. One of the goals of this carnival is to offer our readers to a broad range of Christian thought. 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 about home life, politics, or current events from a Christian point of view. Second, please submit only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival (i.e. from last Wednesday through this coming Tuesday).

Then do the following:

Did someone with my name die? I've been getting a lot of searches for my name since last night. I mean a lot, something like a few an hour some hours, though it's slowed down a good deal now. After a while of this, I finally saw two this morning that hinted at what might be up. One was "Jeremy Pierce suicide" and another "Jeremy Pierce death". I looked at a bunch of searches related to that, and I've pretty much monopolized the Google results for my name, so I can't come up with much. Does anyone know what's going on here?

Update 4-10-05: Someone named Jeremy Pierce did die Friday night. See the comments if you came here looking for further information, and if you have more information for the many, many people trying to find out anything on this, please feel free to share it in a comment so those who have so far been very frustrating in looking for something on this will be able to know what's happened.

Update 4-12-05: A commenter provided this link to an article about Jeremy's death. You'll need to type in your zip code and one or two other incidentals to access it, but you don't need to register with an email address. There's also more information now in the comments.

Now that we've had some time to distance ourselves from Terri Schiavo's death and some time to get distracted by the death of John Paul II, I've decided to share some of my mixed feelings from the whole affair. I know Wink is planning to do the same, and I didn't really intend to one-up him on this, but as I was working through the Christian Carnival I came across Neil Uchitel's post at Digitus, Finger & Co., and I wanted to say much more about his post than I have room for in my weekly Christian Carnival roundup. Wink can frame his comments as a response to this if this doesn't entirely preempt what he wanted to say, and I'm fairly sure it doesn't, so I've decided to go ahead with this.

Neil raises some important points about the Terri Schiavo case that I think most Christians who have written about it aren't considering, sometimes out of mere ignorance but sometimes, I suspect, out of total irrationality in the face of arguments that should convince them. I don't agree with everything Neil says, but he's right about enough things that I wanted to express my agreement in addition to noting my further reasons why I don't think his conclusions all follow. Much of what follows comes from my own comments on Neil's post, since I wanted to preserve what I'd spent so much time writing.

How people arrived here this past week:

what's the meaning of patricia williams
Now was that supposed to be like "What is the meaning of this?!?!?" or like "What does this this expression mean?"

facts about spongebob no one knows
If no one knows them, then why are you searching for them as if someone out there knows them?

bad negative sinful emotions
As opposed to positive sinful emotions?

"islam is not real"
I'm not sure what this person was looking for, but not one of the hits involved anyone even discussing the strange thought that Islam is not real. Some had to do with the God of Islam not being real, others of someone's Islam not being real, one about Islam not being real big on revolutionary thinking, and one about the Nation of Islam not being real Islam. Whatever they were looking for is not on the internet anywhere.

any thing on Romans
Wouldn't it be easier and more effective just to search for "Romans"?

saddam's justification for invading iraq
I'm not even sure what to say about that one.

Proverbs Daily will be hosting the 64th Christian Carnival this week. The Christian Carnival is a weekly collection of some of the best posts of the Christian blogosphere. It's open to Christians of Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic convictions. One of the goals of this carnival is to offer our readers to a broad range of Christian thought. 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 about home life, politics, or current events from a Christian point of view. Second, please submit only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival (i.e. from last Wednesday through this coming Tuesday).

Then do the following:

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