Friday, January 07, 2005


Blogging and me

I am not much of a diarist -- I find the practice boring. I have tried from time-to-time in my life to keep a diary, but cannot maintain the practice. I know what I did and see no reason to repeat it to myself. On the other hand, I must admit that I find it interesting to read later.

I don't much like it when people ask me "what's new?" or "how are you doing?" because that puts me in the position of being a diarist -- telling people what I already know is not interesting to me. I would rather hear about them. Not because I am not self-centered -- I am intensely self-centered -- but because I already know what has happened to me but do not know what has happened to them. I prefer new information to old news.

I have written more than my share of travelogues and autobiographical snippets. They do preserve memories that would otherwise be forgotten. My website has a "travels and experiences" section:
I originally thought that this would attract the most attention to my website, that people would be less interested in my scientific writing, but I have been pleasantly surprised. I find it boring and tedious to recount my experiences, but I find it fascinating to digest, think-about and communicate scientific ideas -- attempting to solve scientific puzzles and formulate scientific concepts.

Similarly, writing history and philosophy have a greater appeal. This year I became positively obsessed with updating my history of Christmas webpage:
This year in late November and early December I was getting five to six thousand hits per week on that page, compared to about a hundred per week in July -- about five times more hits than any other page on my website. I kept trying to stop writing about the subject, but each time I thought I had finished, I would start pondering some subject -- like the effect of the Reformation on the Puritan rejection of Christmas -- and jump back into my researches. It was addictive.

Anyway, the idea of an on-line "diary" does not appeal to me, but I am willing to keep an open mind and experiment with it -- and see where it goes.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


There is lots to see on my website

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