Website Revival and New Approach to Developing Content

It has been a long time since the last blog post was published on this website. That hasn’t been for a lack of ideas to write about. It is time to revive this website and try to express and test these ideas and hopefully receive some feedback.

The presentation and development of the website content may be more suited to a persistent webpage format rather than the episodic style typical of blog posts. The current plan is to trial a different process for developing this content:

  1. The main content of this website will be permanent pages that undergo progressive development.
  2. The blog will document this development.

Place-holders for an initial set of pages have been created that will be developed to contain writing on philosophical ideas on a variety of topics:

The next step in the development of these pages will be to update them with a summary of key ideas. Later updates will work on presenting explanations and logical arguments for these ideas.

Feedback is welcome.

Priorities, Hibernation and Twitter

To the few readers of this blog,

I have an important task ahead of me that requires most of my attention, time and energy. That is, completing my PhD will need to be my priority for the next 6 months or more.

Few people are likely to miss my already infrequent posts, but they are likely to become more infrequent. Once my PhD is complete, I hope to embark on some larger projects, posting on the philosophy of mind, the meaning of life, and artificial general intelligence. I will still try to read the posts of other bloggers and comment when possible.

In the meantime, I take public transport, so I may use this time to take up tweeting with more frequency. Sometimes I will tweet links to interesting articles, but I also hope to start tweeting some of my ideas and thoughts.

Questions and comments are still welcome on my blog, but responses may be slow.

[smiley face]

Writing this blog in style (or not)

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on this blog. I’ve written numerous lengthy drafts that haven’t (and may not) see the light of day. This has prompted me to consider what I want to achieve with this blog, and how I might change the style and content of my writing. And that’s what I’ll write about here: the style that my posts might start to take moving forward, and the rationale for how and why that might work better.

Going back to the beginning, I wanted a platform to share my ideas and opinions on a broad range of topics. A blog seemed to be a good alternative to more formal publishing, and the pseudo-anonymity the internet still affords means that expressing some of my more unusual ideas might be less likely to come back and haunt me. However, the incorporation of recreational writing in my everyday life, when having a lot of other things that need doing, is less easy to manage than I’d hoped. I’m sure many bloggers know this feeling.

The posts I’ve written in the past have been of a moderate length, and have been reasonably planned out rather than spontaneous. I’ve been aiming for word limits, but under the current circumstances, time limits might be more effective. This would probably push me to write in a different format and style. Most ideas and topics can, and probably should, be broken down into smaller elements. This was done  for the first series of blog posts I wrote on values, but my posts could probably be broken down even further. Long and winding posts might be useful for explaining the drawing of links–painting larger stories with vivid similes and poetic phrases–but are less concise and sometimes lose clarity.

Part of the beauty of blogs is the incremental nature in which posts can be made that build a story or a concept. Leveraging the blog as a central store of writing, posts can be very short and reference previous or future posts rather than cover the material all in one place. And that is what the aim will be for the immediate future: to write shorter posts, not necessarily self-contained, but focused on a single idea concept or topic. Ignoring the immediate gaps that are almost certainly exist at the beginning, but hopefully identifying them, pointing to references, or dealing with them in future posts or comments as they become apparent.

This is almost a necessity when I hope to be dealing with topics that cross philosophy, ethics, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, technology, artificial intelligence and robotics. The boundaries blur and merge, as the horizons lie within each others’ borders. I hope that, if I still have anyone reading, people will challenge these ideas, point out when I’ve made unfounded assumptions and prompt me to find references and evidence.

I’m always open to revising my point of view in light of sufficiently compelling evidence and arguments. I’ll see what I can do to write arguments that are thought-provoking and compelling too.