Considering the first introduction, I think I owe a second one.
Any relevant biography is in the About page. Here I want to tell you why I’m blogging and what you can expect. For the first time in a while, I am out of academia with no plans to return in the foreseeable future. Considering how much I relied on school to provide intellectual stimulation, and how much I had to rely on blogging and other activities even then to get as much of that as I need (or feel I need, or what have you), I’m a bit worried. Of course I can read, or try to talk with friends, but that’s never really enough. So, to fill that gap, I will blog.
Foolishly or fairly, I am also afraid that I’ll become complacent in my existing ideas and beliefs. I’ve noticed that people who don’t seriously engage with other people’s ideas and don’t open their own ideas to criticism can become too comfortable with flawed visions of the world. We can lose or never develop a sense of curiosity and a genuine desire to improve our ideas about the world. Academia, especially at higher levels, has some safeguards against this, though of course it can still happen there, too. Since I’m leaving, I know some of those safeguards are gone and I want to replace them.
It may seem silly to assuage this fear by blogging; however, I can use this blog to expose my thinking to other people for criticism. Provided I am honest and creative and self-critical, that criticism should help me improve my ideas and prevent me from becoming complacent in them. And even if no one bothers to quarrel with me (or the quality of the quarrelling is not what I hope it will be—this is the Internet), simply knowing that other people will read what I write often encourages me to be more careful and self-critical in my thought.
Some of you know that until very recently I had another blog; what I’m describing is nothing new. There were a lot of reasons I wanted to retire that blog, which I elaborated in its last post. The short version is that I wanted to make some changes and starting fresh might help me do that. These changes are three: a) I want to be more deliberate about how often and when I blog, perhaps developing a schedule (though we will see how that plays out in the next few months); b) I will use my real, full name and I will not flirt with anonymity or semi-anonymity, in order to help me feel just how accountable I am regarding my ideas; and c) with the exception of links round-up posts, I will try to let each post sit for a week before I post it, in order to give myself more time to edit.
Despite the blog name, this won’t be a library blog especially, though I will try to blog about libraries at least sometimes. I have no particular plans regarding content topics except that I plan to use this space to wrangle with philosophical issues, especially epistemology (the study of knowledge and truth) and axiology (the study of what we should do: ethics, political philosophy, etc.). Expect segues into anthropology, psychology, sociology, theology, literary theory, and critical theory. I might also attempt book reviews.
That’s me. I hope you find something here that enriches, informs, or at any rate entertains you.