Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Some info. on my blogging

Below is a bit of information about the topics I favour on this blog. (There is also a general welcome lying around somewhere).

The idea is to say why I find these topics interesting and what I will do with them. If the summaries below are not enough to persuade you of the overwhelming value of any particular topic, try the linked posts in the sub-heading. If they do nothing else, these linked posts (I like to call them "Introductions") will bore you intoagreement.

Travel (as literature; as philosophy)
Writing is not just a way of expressing the world, but also of sensing the world. Travel-writing is easier than creative writing, because it places fewer demands on the imagination. It is easier than philosophy because you don't have to think too much. When I am traveling, this suits me. Frequently when I am not traveling it also suits me.

I would like to think that metaphor is the one true link between the crafts of the intellect and the arts of the imagination, the fibre in the knot that binds the threads of science and poetry. There is a faint possibility that this view is a bit fanciful. But I like metaphors anyway. I also like to collect them - here's a sample. I deny that this hobby makes me in any way odd, obsessive or eccentric.

I would like to say that I am deeply enthusiastic about education. But really I am deeply enthusiastic about the idea of education. I like to say that good education is rich and empowering and full of wit and wisdom, that good education is key to human flourishing, that we should all become school teachers. I probably should think about these claims a little more. I should also admit that I am not really as keen as I might be on the idea of being a school-teacher. I wrote a series of three essays on education; it is called "Education as an Ideal."

Philosophy (and here and here)
In the first of the linked posts I wrote: "I do not have the will or the ability to live a life of philosophy, but I do wish to life a philosophical life." On reflection, this is really just a way of saying that I'm a pretty amateur philosopher. The things I do write on this topic are just as likely to be stimulated by a book or an abstracted idea, as by a real-life event. I am not equipped to say anything really interesting about ethics, education, politics, aesthetics or science; and I am not equipped to say anything at all about logic, metaphysics or semantics. But I like to exercise my mind and I like to reward my curiosity. I aspire to asking interesting questions. Failing that, I hope to make some interesting errors.

Everyone likes a good yarn. A lot of people also like words. Some people like writing books. Some people like writing poems. Some people like sticking a bunch of words together to see what happens. A poem is a good way of decorating a thought that would otherwise be uninteresting. It is also a good excuse for bad arguments. I like writing poems that rhyme, especially sonnets.

There are lots of good-sounding reasons for people to write dialogues. However, it is easier to write about writing dialogues than to write dialogues. Watch this space (intermittently).

Does this need an introduction?
People read books, and then they write about them. I write about them because it enriches the experience of reading. Reviews can be long and ponderous or little more than a quote. Often they are just a way of making one's blog look better by including the prose of people who get published.


Stories About Cows


Andrea said...

Long time, no blog. I'm wondering if there will be any more new leaves?

Mike B said...

Hi there loyal commenter! Yes, it's quite likely there won't be many new leaves, or maybe just one or two here and there. Things got in the way. Anything that would have gone here will probably go instead to www.defectperfection.org.nz (once we fix that annoying non-appearance bug) or http://disputedscience.blogspot.com (that one's under construction as well).

I just saw you've got one of these things for yourself -- see you over there sometime!

Andrea said...

Yes, I'd seen that blog in its previous incarnation, the new one should be interesting. I'll be sure to check out your other blog as well!