Friday 7 June 2013

This blog versus "Tolkien's Notion Club Papers"


It is interesting to compare this blog with my other main one

This one takes much more time and effort, and gets more comment, but only about 80 readers per post on the day it is posted - while the NCP blog gets about three times as many readers per day's entry but seldom attracts comments.

This blog gets more than 1000 readers per day - but spread thinly across loads of past entries.

I get the feeling that this blog is dying...



davidstanley said...

I really hope not Bruce. I value your thoughts and you have helped rekindle my interest in both the Inklings and a thoughtful expression of faith. As a sometime C of E attendee I need all the help I can get! Could you let us know more of your online recommendations,websites and blogs that you find useful?

Bruce Charlton said...

@ds - I'm afraid there are none I could whole-heartedly recommend; although there are a handful I follow (with increasing dismay).

At present, the most cheering and energizing internet location for me is without doubt the (vast and intricate) official Mormon website:

AlexT said...

Thare are many blogs that ar more 'fun' than yours and many that are easier to read, but vanishingly few that are as useful or honest. In my humble opinion i do think you are going a little far in your love of Mormons, but that may just be the latent Orthodox missionary in me talking :)

Bruce Charlton said...

@Alex T - I missed the word 'latent' when I first read your comment, and was surprised because there aren't many actual Orthodox missionaries (in the strict sense of the word) at least not in the West.

BTW I am very perturbed to read that Putin has divorced, and in such a way to trivialize marriage (ie without giving any good reason or indicating the seriousness of divorce).

This event has substantially reduced my estimate of the odds of a serious long term Orthodox (monarchial) revival in Russia (and possible fulfillment of the prophecies of this among recent Russian Orthodox Fathers).

Adam G. said...

Dying? I take it those numbers represent a decline?

Don't worry too much about beancounting. The task is to light a candle in the darkness, which you ably do.

Anonymous said...

This blog has been a blessing. Every post goes straight to my email and I read them all. I haven't found anything of this quality, depth and breadth, anywhere else. I've never commented before but I just wanted to say I hope you keep it going.

Steve Hansen said...

I'd like to join the chorus (a trio?) in favor of not considering this blog to be dying.

I'm a longtime lurker. I don't comment because I have been too lazy to put my thoughts together. And I feel that contributing to the noise with sloppy comments is the last thing I want to do.

I'm often slow to get to blogposts on Miscellany, not because I don't want to read them but because I want to read them carefully. I'm sure I don't get counted towards that 80 readers per new blogpost on the day of posting, because I let the posts pile up in my rss reader and I won't do them the disservice of scanning through them during a moment of downtime.

Eventually, I find myself with a clear head and an early morning or late evening on my hands. In that time I'll read.

And over the years, this reading has brought me closer to God than I've ever been during my normal and thus godless life since I was a teen. The story is typical: For some of the last 25 years I considered myself a reluctant atheist, a "scientific" one. Then when I realized that wouldn't hold water, I migrated to a fairly nihilistic agnosticism, also thought to be "rational" or something of the sort. There I trudged in despair for years.

It's been almost solely through the influence of this blog that I've begun exploring and come back to the possibility of faith. I can't say exactly where I am in that journey, but I consider it my honor to have had access to this blog and I'd hate to see you let it die for a lack of countable readers.

Bruce Charlton said...

Thanks for these encouraging remarks which fortify me to continue - my concern was that nearly all of that 80 per day were actually automatically-browsing robot web-page compilers, or some such...

Matthew C. said...

No, I think this is one of the (very!) few blogs worth reading.

Wm Jas said...

Don't take those numbers too literally. People (like me) who generally go to your blog's homepage to read the recent posts rather than following links to the individual posts themselves won't be counted as having read any particular post on the day it was posted, even though that's what we're doing.

Yours is the only blog I read daily -- never missing a single post -- and has been for some time. For me right now it's the most consistently enlightening and thought-provoking thing on the Internet. I certainly hope you're not considering terminating it.

(And anyway, what do numbers matter? Mass media are bad, remember?)

Jonathan C said...

In terms of the quality of its content, this blog is not dying at all. It is still as profound as ever. Over the last few years, you've built up an entirely new lens for me to see reality through--one that clarifies so many things more than I knew possible--and I'm still somewhat dependent on you to help keep me in that mindset from day to day. Almost every other source of "information" I am buffered by tends to pull me away from that clarity, erodes my ability to make sense of the world and my priorities. I really rely on you to keep me anchored to both the transcendental and a non-nihilistic view of this world.

(Lawrence Auster, may he rest in peace, also served in this way, if not as effectively. He died in March.)

AlexT said...

The problem with Orthodox missionary work is that traditionally it encompasses two distinct but related spheres. The classic travelling preacher who converts with words, and Orthodox laymen who convert by example. The only strand of Orthodoxy that practices either of these methods are the old calendarists and the catacomb churches. 'Mainstream' Orthodoxy has agreed an armistice with the Catholics and Protestants, probably in preparation for an eventual union. And as you have pointed out, modernist churches don't inspire pious living, so missionary work by example is out of the question. As you can see we are swamped with traitors an fools. On the plus side, the catacomb churches have had tremendous success in making converts but the numbers are still too small to make a difference. A very disorganized post, but hopefully useful to you in some way.

AlexT said...

As for Putin's divorce, i was a little surprised, but not shocked. He has always shielded his family from public view, so couldn't really comment on the reasons behind his decision.
As for this event impeding a future Orthodox monarchical revival, i don't see it. Something like that would be an epochal event, equal to Constantine's conversion in my opinion, so one man's divorce wouldn't make the slightest difference. Having said that could you point me to these prophesies? I have heard so many versions and rumours that i've mostly been left confused. Would love to know that there are reliable sources that confirm this.
I do remember reading that none other than St. Seraphim of Sarov had predicted the rebirth of not only the Romanovs, but the Bourbons and Habsburgs as well. If true, the best thing about it would be that it will have to happen soon, cause Europe is running out of time. Now that would be an epochal event, and then some. God's will be done!

Anonymous said...

I, and at least one person I know, read your blog through a blog reader. I don't know if that shows up on your stats.

I hope you continue.


Arakawa said...

If an Orthodox revival on a massive scale happens in Russia, it's going to drag along whatever remains of the current administration (those who don't quit / are deposed) behind it; they certainly aren't going to be leading it in any fashion. Imagining that Holy Russia is substantively returning as we speak -- as the primary motion of Russian society as opposed to one positive movement in an overall-discouraging stew -- requires looking at the fruits of the society in actual Russia through severely rose-tinted glasses. News of Putin's divorce doesn't change that assessment for me.

Unlike the Communists, the current administration doesn't mind Orthodoxy, as it improves the health of society; but keep in mind who Putin and his ilk are: they are former KGB middle-management and such, the exact same people who were climbing the ladder of power in the Soviet Union, just camouflaged behind a different ideology. They are not stupid, but I'd need extraordinary evidence to become convinced that they are interested in Orthodoxy outside of its being something that can be used instrumentally to their advantage. At best they might just want to leave it alone as being a positive force in society, at worst they might have some notion of actively co-opting the Orthodox revival into a vehicle for nationalist doctrine.

But that Putin is going to divorce rather than sacrifice his convenience just to set some kind of moral example to the nation (as an Orthodox monarch might be expected to do), is by no means surprising. From what I know of his biography, he's more likely to be making use of Orthodoxy in his day job than living it 24/7.

Converso said...

Prof. Charlton, I owe you a debt of gratitude, both for your work in general and, specifically, for introducing me to C.S. Lewis and the concept of "mere Christianity," which was an important step on my road to the Roman Catholic Church. Thank you.

Sometimes, it seems, a writer might feel he just has no more to say; if that's true in your case, it would be presumptuous to try to convince you otherwise. However, as long as you do feel you have more to say, I, for one, plan to be here to read it.

The Great and Powerful Oz said...

As I've said before, some of your posts have had a rather profound effect on my life and way of thinking. I would certainly miss reading your well thought out posts.

Bruce Charlton said...

Again, many thanks for these enthusing and energizing comments!

Tolkien Reader said...

Google Reader subscribers for this blog: 295

Google Reader subscribers for Notion Club: 44

J. B. said...

This is a great blog, Bruce. I rarely comment but I often talk about your posts with Christian friends and with my wife, and your thoughts have provoked many great discussions. I hope you keep it up. Cheers, Jason Brown

J. B. said...

This is a great blog, Bruce. I rarely comment but I often talk about your posts with Christian friends and with my wife, and your thoughts have provoked many great discussions. I hope you keep it up. Cheers, Jason Brown

SonofMoses said...

Dear Bruce,
As I read your posts (and I never miss one, except when it gets technical about stuff like intelligence quotients and sleep rhythms, etc. - and why shouldn’t a man have his hobby horses!) I notice a clarification going on in my thinking.
The experience is bracing and strengthening.
‘Ah,’ I feel, ‘why was I allowing myself nearly to be fooled by all that other drivel, impossible to avoid, but laced with the siren songs of You-Know-Who, untiring organiser of the cacophony.’
Again, it’s like the lifting of a burden, as when the barber shears off three months’ hair-growth and I watch the stuff falling from shoulders to ground and experience a lightening from the load that had previously lain on my head.
A third metaphor: it is like a corrosive acid eating through the gunge that clogs up the reasoning.
You have a gift of cutting through the flim-flam and saying it right and saying it true.
The point is we can’t do without your daily dose of cleansing fluid.
Without it, and the work of other such clear thinkers, it’s too easy to grow acclimatised to the weak and woolly (and worse) thinking of the age.
Someone has to do that job – and it’s a serious and important job - and it falls to you and a few others. That’s why you were given the gift.
So, take the job seriously, man up, and stop thinking you have the right to throw in the towel.
A talent has to be used!
And, by the way - thank you.

Donald said...

Myself and a friend would say you have a pretty significant impact on our thought.