Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Queries invited?

After a few days rest, I have switched blog commenting back on - and un-hidden previous comments.

So, do readers/ commenters have any queries that have been building-up a head of steam over the recent period of enforced silence?


Francis Berger said...

If it is not too intrusive to ask, how do you prepare for/celebrate Christmas?

Seijio Arakawa said...

Not a query, but I do find it a pity that Blogger requires prior comments to be hidden in order to disable the firehose of new comments. Many of the earlier posts do contain valuable contributions by other people.

Although, the fact that your commenting hiatus is becoming an irregular tradition does make me wonder — has the signal-to-noise ratio of good comments vs. rejected comments in your submissions queue been getting worse?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Francis, The main preparations - as a family - are decorating the Christmas tree, and attending a carol service and a Christmas Eve service at our usual church. Christmas is the usual.

@Seijio - What I do just hides earlier comments temporarily - they are now again visible.

There is no problem about the 'quality' of comments; indeed there are fewer trolls and bots than used to be the case... That may just be that blogs are no longer 'where it's at' and not worth plague-ing.

Also, thanks to host changes that I don't understand, this blog has less than half the page views it used to - and this change (from more than 5000 views/ day to about 2000) happened overnight. Something similar happened to word searches for my name - despite that there is another and much more famous (as contrasted with notorious) Bruce Charlton (US Golf Course Architect).

But I have always regarded this platform as time-limited, and am surprised it hasn't been deleted before now - only being saved, I suppose, by 'chance' and its small audience and low impact.

dropit said...

Do you have any suggestions on how to pursue Romantic Christianity? Or: is there a question I should have asked, instead of that?

Bruce Charlton said...

@dropit - Many suggestions -

It has probably been the main theme of this blog in recent years. The key fact, though, is that because we are each - in origin and destiny - unique. So our path is something we must each discover and do for ourselves, by a version of trial and error, repentance and further trial.

In other words, by learning from our experiences.

David Balfour said...

Did Jesus *need* to be crucified to complete his spiritual destiny? Or could there have been another feasible scenario in which he attained full divinity without a violent death? The end of Jesus' ministry seems inextricably linked to the brutality and violation of the human being; body and soul. On the one hand, this seems so monstrous as to feel unacceptable to be at the centre of what is essentially understood from a Christian perspective to be a supreme act of love, and yet on the other hand there is an intuitive sense of the necessity of this horrific end to Jesus' life for the ressurection to have any eternal meaning or significance at all. Put another way, could we have had Christianity without all of the violence, torture and unfathomable suffering?

the outrigger said...

You are in a rich vein of form Dr C.

If you ever work up your meditations on intuition into a small book I vote for "All valid knowledge based on evidence and logic can be traced back to an intuition. If not traced back to an intuition, then it cannot be known to be valid" as the opening salvo.

The physicist David Hestenes has long been my go to scientist for ruminations on intuition. Just a few articles that may be based on bog standard cognitive science for all I know. He is big on working up intuitions into what he calls 'mental objects' in order to understand them for oneself and for it to be possible to transmit them. His emphasis is more on the working up but touches on the wonder of a penny dropping, how the germ of understanding has that tell tale quality of always being so, once it has come to consciousness, and how the source of the germ remains resolutely veiled. Your recent post clarifies these mysteries a good deal.

Deep sleep being the sleep of intuition and dreaming being the sleep of waking consciousness - if that is what you meant - are ideas I hope you return too.

Oh. If you ever work up your thoughts on mass media into a (another?) small book, I vote it begin: "The authority of the mass media is based on their ability to mobilize and direct the attention and emotion of colossal numbers of people"....Despite reading many rants, not just yours - It's all the mass media's fault- has always sounded like a fob off to me (in a previous millennium, leftist's like Marcuse wrote treatise on it). Well, I lacked an image of how a *global scale* sleight of hand might work and had been completely blind to the attendant mass *shift of attention.*

Thank you.

Bruce Charlton said...

@David - I don't think so. To be brief, my understanding is that the gift that Jesus brought did Not require his crucifixion; but he did need to die (to be resurrected) and he had accomplished his mission.

@outrigger - Thanks. I don't plan on writing any more mini-books. The earlier ones did not create much interest, nor did they have a lasting effect that I know-of - no more than a successful blog post.

I write easily at short essay length, but find writing even a small book a painful business; and I am certainly less good at it than the short forms.

Seijio Arakawa said...

I believe the mini-books are mostly useful because they present some ideas of the blog in separation from unrelated ideas, and gradually build support in the reader's mind for the less mainstream ideas. For example, I am able to point people to Not Even Trying which makes a coherent argument about the state of science. Or Addicted to Distraction. I can do this without worrying what someone will think about Mormon theology blog posts.

However, these kinds of limited arguments about particular things that don't-work (bureaucratic science, mass media immersion) are probably not-enough to help people... or at least the effect is not worth the effort of assembling a book, getting it published, etc.. The use of separate blogs for well-defined topics (e.g. Notion Club Papers) accomplishes essentially the same effect, with the downside that regular readers of your work wind up with more blogs to check.

(I avoid using a 'feed reader' that automatically gathers blog updates because, with enough blogs, it rapidly turns into a stressful firehose of stuff to get through in addition to regular email. It's interesting that Google Facebook etc. have de-emphasized and given up on blogs and feed readers in favour of algorithmically 'curated' content... which makes it far less obvious that too much information has been signed-up for.)