What All of You Love About Me, Composing a History Boy, 03/02/2015

There’s still a lot in my new apartment to unpack, but my girlfriend and I have moved to Toronto. I even got the rental car back to Enterprise Etobicoke* in one piece, despite the snowstorm we had overnight having left the roads horrifyingly slick.

* Yes, we do live in Etobicoke. But it isn’t the stereotypical Etobicoke of blandly brutalist mall plazas, featureless suburbs crawling with invisible poverty, and Ford Country. We live in a neighbourhood of 3-5 story apartment complexes across the street from King’s Mill Park and the Humber River. 

Moving to Toronto marks a clear dividing line in my life, what you could call a new era. I may even be porting the blog to Wordpress later this month, though I ultimately may not bother simply to maintain the folksy feel of a Blogspot blog, which I prefer for my personal public image over the slick Wordpress image. 

My post about Day of the Doctor was one of my most
popular since starting Adam Writes Everything.
And I’ve spent my snow day today so mentally exhausted that I couldn’t do much seriously other than unpacking some of our clothes, reading some journalism and fiction, and have a couple of nerdy online conversations. But I did want to upload a post with a little something interesting for Tuesday, since I’ve been absent for four days in a row. I at least thought a little navel gazing would be fun to read.

One of the posts I’ve become solidly impressed by was one of my first. I can see why so many people liked it and read it, even though it still has a relatively amateur style. Longer paragraphs, less flow in integrating my reading into the concept of the post. But the flow of the argument was expert, if I can say so myself, and the jokes and ideas connected with a lot of people.

It’s about what makes a poor philosopher, which is quite closely connected to being a poor human being in society. The culture of undergraduate student societies connected to university philosophy departments encourages insularity and clannish culture, competitive displays of victory and defeat in argument, and the exclusion of people who want to philosophize differently. 

Such hostile behaviour can continue throughout a university philosopher’s career, and contributes to the culturally conservative nature of the discipline. What’s more, they make for poor thinkers because they mistakenly view tentative or still-speculative ideas as weak or false because they don’t yet stand up to aggressive attack when you haven’t worked out all their implications. They can never entertain the uncertainty of an experiment.

I’m really impressed not only by how well I wrote this post myself (it’s much higher quality than most of what I write here, which I already consider pretty good for a short length philosophy blog), but by its audience. Not only was this post my first large spike of audience, but it’s maintained a steady readership over the last two years. A week never goes by without at least a few people reading that post. No other post I’ve written has had that kind of continued shelf life of people reading that exact thing.

Two of my other most popular posts picked up readership because I posted links to them in Reddit’s libertarian forum. They were about libertarian and anarchist philosophy, and I wanted the input of some nerds in those communities. Because I posted to my own blog, I was shadowbanned for a while, my posts made invisible without my being told. I didn’t know this was a soft rule on Reddit, that you couldn’t play your own horn. 

Albert Camus is one of the few heavy smoking French
philosophers not to have died from complications of
tobacco use because a car crash got him first.
Once it was reversed, not only did some of my posts about the subject pick up steam from there, but my post about my friendships with my radical right-wing libertarian friends C and G was linked at Reddit’s serendipity board. A lot of people were interested in that story from there.

Reddit was also what catapulted another popular post’s readership. I posted a few thoughts on how Edward Said interpreted Albert Camus’ work through his post-colonial lens, which I found an intriguing critique. I actually got some pretty ignorant feedback, though.

My personal endorsement of my old friend Chris Bruce for the NDP leadership back in Newfoundland and Labrador was pretty popular too, simply for being shared widely around that province and its communities outside.

And my Doctor Who posts have all done well, particularly my breakdown of the moral principles in Day of the Doctor, and my take on the class dynamics that shape the character relationships of The Caretaker. I’m quite proud of both those posts as well, among my Doctor Who coverage, because I think I was able to say something with those that helped communicate the depth of ethical understanding that really good Doctor Who carries. 

So even though the Blogspot era of this blog may end soon, I can definitely say I’ve done some good things with it.

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