Monday, June 15, 2009

200th blog post!

Hi Ya'll:

This is my 200th blog post! Feel free to mark this momentous occasion by donating large sums of money using the Pay Pal button over in the right hand sidebar. (-;

A few reflections looking back over the 200 posts in the last two and a half years.

One of the things I want to do with this blog is to push the envelope in terms of how we understand progressivism. I was tired of kumbaya privileged white liberalism that categorically ruled out violence even as Martin and Malcolm and Bobby were killed by dog whistle death squads and corporations destroyed life as we know it on this earth. I want the writing on this blog NOT to be constrained by preconceived notions about what is proper or how we're supposed to talk about things. I want this blog to be an ideation factory -- capable of entertaining and developing a wide range of idea that will help reduce suffering and build the sort of world we all want to live in. And I have been motivated by the notion (popularized recently by Naomi Klein) that ideas have consequences and that one reason there is so much suffering in the world is because our minds are populated with such crappy ideas. I believe that if we can free our minds from the colonization imposed upon it by the dominate culture, parents, and ourselves, we can repopulate it with ideas that reduce suffering and lead to bliss. I really believe that. I just haven't experienced it much.

I'm writing a lot more on religion these days (I'm up to 17 posts on the topic). I'm really enjoying the religions posts a lot (even if they make my hands sweat as I worry that they will offend -- which I'm sure they often do). Even though I support the separation of church and state, I feel that so many of the mistakes we make in our theology later show up in our politics. So even though this blog is mostly focused on progressive politics, I feel that we have to get our theology sorted out in order to fix our politics. I think there is tremendous opportunity here -- in so many ways I feel that we are on the verge of the next great reformation -- but bigger even than the reformation. I think the Big 4 modern atheists (Harris, Dawkins, Dennett, and Hitchens) are doing some really important plowing -- destroying so many of the old structures that have caused so much harm in the world. But I don't think the modern atheists are gonna be the last word (or at least these 4 aren't gonna be the last word). I think that we'll develop a new way of talking about creation, better ways of relating to each other in community, and an evidence-based morality and politics dedicated not to ancient anthropomorphized gods, but rather dedicated to reducing suffering and increasing happiness. It'll have a lot of the elements of the new atheism -- while still leaving room for us to marvel at the joy of creation.

I think my posts on framing are probably the most helpful to other people (and not very controversial). I'm up to 9 posts on framing.

I think I rocked it with my 11 part series on coal back in 2008. But it's interesting to note that the evil coal lobbyists were writing to me every day to engage me in conversation -- and I didn't hear shit from the Sierra Club or NRDC or anyone else who I was actually fighting to support (Rainforest Action Network did send me a note on YouTube which was nice). In spite of all of our talk about progressives owning social media -- the bad guys still have WAY more resources for engagement.

When Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism links to me, my traffic goes through the roof! If she doesn't link to me, my traffic is just okay. If I cross post to Kos -- I get a nice bump. But nothing brings in the readers like a link from Naked Capitalism. Thanks Yves!!!

The blog gives me an excuse to read good stuff and then share my thoughts with others. I'm particularly pleased to discover The Wisdom of Crowds which totally blew my mind and led to 6 different posts exploring the implications and application of this idea.

I feel like I totally rocked it with some posts. I particularly love:

I probably missed it with other posts -- like my 2 on The Hills.

Interesting, my post The Palin Phenomenon: "Like Care Bears meets Jenna Jameson" is my all time most read post -- with something incredible like 1,500 hits in one day. In spite of the salacious title I do think there are some intriguing sociological observations in there.

But looking at my analytics -- it appears that my most beloved (and linked to) post is one I did back on Valentine's Day 2007 called 7,100 types of apples. There's just something simple and sweet about that post that seemed to resonate with folks more than anything else I've written. People also really seemed to like the otters (hat tip to Kos for originally posting the video).

I continue to be satisfied with Blogger as a platform although I'm getting envious of those who rave about Wordpress.

I'm gonna open my blog up for unregistered comments again. But we all know that if you have any balls you'll sign your name. However, if too many global cooling freaks come out of the woodwork again, you will be deleted (please take a moment to read my No Haters Policy in the right hand sidebar). Conservatives who are trying to destroy the world with their ignorance are still strongly encouraged to go elsewhere.

Good times.

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