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More Generally: The Web (113)
More Specifically: Year in Review (8)

January 1, 2015

Blog Year 2014

It's 2015 already, and as the new year starts it appears to have been more than 2 months since I posted anything here. I did a lot of 'serious' writing in 2014, and this is probably part of the reason why I've done less blog writing - only 29 posts, and most of those in the first three months of the year. (This covers the tail-end of my blogging about The Puzzle of Existence, and also the lull between submission and defense of my dissertation.) Despite the light blogging, traffic is up significantly from last year with nearly 590,000 visits...
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January 3, 2014

Blog Year 2013 in Review

The year 2013 saw about 425,000 visits from nearly 140,000 distinct users. This is by far the most activity I have seen in the 10 years (!) I have been writing on this blog. (I failed to mark the tenth anniversary of my first post, but this happened on March 1 of this year.) This increase came despite my writing only 33 posts this year, up from 30 in 2012, but way down from the 50+ posts I wrote in most previous years. This means that I received nearly 13,000 visits per post, compared to my previous record of 4,200!...
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October 3, 2013

Update on Comments

After an extremely slow and unhelpful exchange with my web host's technical support, in which I was told that it was "not possible" to install the Image::Magick Perl module on this server (not possible? really?), I've decided to try doing without CAPTCHA for a while by setting my spam filter to be more aggressive. If your comment gets rejected and/or doesn't appear within a few hours, please email me and let me know so I can keep fiddling with the settings...
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September 21, 2013

Comments Temporarily Disabled

I've just upgraded my blog software and CAPTCHA is presently not working. This is resulting in such an awful deluge of spam that I have temporarily disabled comments altogether. Hopefully, I will get the problem fixed within a few days and be able to turn comments back on....
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January 2, 2013

Blog Year 2012 in Review

It is now, believe it or not, 2013, and time for my annual review of this blog's activity. Posting has been quite light here for the last few months. The reason is that I spent the fall semester teaching at Pepperdine. I actually thought, going into it, that this would lead to more blogging, since I would be going back through important texts and thinking about how to present them to students and so forth. But it turned out quite to the contrary, probably because of some combination of spending all of my very limited spare time trying to get...
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February 15, 2012

Dropping My Tagline

For several years, this blog has been labeled with the tagline "The Evangelical libertarian philosopher." For some time now, I've been dissatisfied with this label, both as a description of my views and as a description of what this blog is about. I've hesitated to drop it primarily because I think that blogs of non-famous people, such as myself, should have some kind of descriptive name or tagline rather than just the author's name, and I couldn't think of another short, catchy, descriptive phrase that would nicely fill that bit of screen space. (I toyed with: "Berkeley's metaphysics, Nozick's politics,...
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January 6, 2012

Blog Year 2011 in Review

Welcome to 2012! This is my annual review of this blog's activity. The year 2011 saw over 184,000 visits from more than 60,000 distinct users. This is a very significant increase from 2010. I have been very busy in my academic work this year, with the result that there were only 51 posts this year, down from 80 in 2010 and 79 in 2009. This makes for a whopping 3,617 average visits per post! My previous high for this statistic was 2008's 2,623; 2009 and 2010 were both under 2,000. Most Popular Posts March 22, 2009: Kant's Argument for Monogamy....
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January 1, 2011

Blog Year 2010 in Review

Welcome to 2011! As I have done in past years, I will provide a review of this blog's 2010 activity. The year 2010 saw over 141,000 visits from nearly 44,000 distinct users. This is a significant increase over last year, probably due to my joining The Prosblogion in September. There were 80 posts in 2010, holding roughly constant from the 79 in 2009. That makes an average of nearly 1770 visits per post, a significant increase from 2009, but still well behind 2008's 2623 visits per post. Most Popular Posts March 15, 2010: Philosophers' Carnival 105. November 13, 2005: Translation...
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March 11, 2010

Philosophers' Carnival Call for Submissions

I will be hosting the 105th Philosophers' Carnival this coming Monday, March 15. Posts in all areas of academic philosophy are welcome. Submissions should be made by Saturday, midnight.
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January 1, 2010

Blog Year 2009 in Review

It is now (shockingly) 2010! As such, it is time to write my annual "year in review" post. The year 2009 on this blog saw about 124,000 visits from over 41,000 distinct users. This continues the trend of an annual drop in traffic. Last year, it was suggested that this might be due to less frequent posting. In response, I have tried this year to make at least one post per calendar week. The number of posts in 2009 was 79. This compares to 69 in 2008. That's about 1570 visits per post; a significant drop from past figures. Allow...
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September 30, 2009

Philosophers' Carnival 97

The latest Philosophers' Carnival is up at Camels With Hammers with a link to my list of philosophical science-fiction stories. I will be hosting the next philosophers' carnival on Monday, October 19, so be sure to submit a post by the deadline, Saturday the 17th!
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March 3, 2009

Philosophers' Carnival 87

Philosophers' Carnival 87 is now up at There Is Some Truth in That with a link to my "The Problem of Sex in Kant's Ethics". The 88th carnival will be held here at on Monday, March 23. The submission deadline will be Saturday, March 21.
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January 5, 2009

Blog Year 2008 in Review

The year 2008 on this blog saw over 181,000 visits from nearly 55,000 distinct users. This is the third year in review post I have done, and each time I have seen a drop in my statistics. Last year, I attributed it to less regular carnival submissions and the fact that I hosted a Philosophers' Carnival in 2006, but not in 2007. However, I hosted two carnivals in 2008, and my stats continue to drop. It has been suggested that over the past two years...
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December 22, 2008

MovableType Upgrade

I have just upgraded to MovableType version 4. Please report any problems you experience. This should allow me to fix ongoing difficulties with comments and trackbacks. In particular, I should be able to turn off all of my spam filtering stuff and rely on CAPTCHA. I haven't played with the settings yet, so if nothing has broken it will be pretty much the same as before, but a number of improvements will hopefully be coming in the near future. Update (3:05 PM): I am aware that comments are currently not working. All commenters receive a message that says the comment...
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September 3, 2008

Call for Submissions: Philosophers' Carnival LXXVII

Philosophers' Carnival LXXVII will be hosted here at this Monday, September 8. Submissions on any subject related to academic philosophy are welcome. The best posts will be selected for inclusions (I will probably pick between 10 and 20 posts). Posts can be submitted online here.
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April 2, 2008

Philosophers' Carnival 66

I'm a couple days late with this (my apologies), but Philosophers' Carnival 66 is now up at The Uncredible Hallq with a link to my post, Berkeley: Phenomenalist or Platonist? The 67th Carnival will be held right here, so stay tuned!
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March 27, 2008

The Philosophers' Carnival Returns to

The 66th Philosophers' Carnival is coming up this Monday at The Uncredible Hallq. The Philosophers' Carnival is a bi-weekly roundup of blog posts on subjects related to academic philosophy including, but not limited to, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political theory, "continental" philosophy and the history of philosophy. Submissions are due online every other Saturday for inclusion in the carnival the following Monday. Following the Uncredible Carnival 66 this Monday, Philosophers' Carnival 67 will take place here at on Monday, April 14 (submissions due by Saturday April 12). Some of you may recall that I had previously hosted Philosophers' Carnival 31. The 67th carnival will be focused on the theme of "idealism"...
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January 22, 2008

January 14, 2008

Christian Carnival CCVI

This link is a little late in coming (my apologies), but Jeremy has included my post on hyper-Reformation theology in Christian Carnival CCVI (that's 206 to you barbarians) at Parableman.
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January 3, 2008

Blog Year 2007 In Review

The year 2007 on this blog saw over 214,000 visits from over 72,000 distinct users. This is down just slightly from 2006, a trend that I attribute to less regular blogging, and especially less regular carnival submissions, and also to not hosting the philosophers' carnival, which led to a big surge of hits in 2006. Here are the top ten most popular posts...
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October 26, 2007

"The Semantics of Sense Perception in Berkeley"

My paper "The Semantics of Sense Perception in Berkeley" is now available on my writings page. An earlier version of this paper served as my undergraduate honors thesis, and a somewhat reduced version of it has been accepted for publication by Religious Studies. I haven't heard anything about what issue it will appear in. This paper discusses Berkeley's theory that our sense perceptions (especially visual perceptions) form a language by which God communicates with us, and asks how we are to interpret this language. In particular, it argues...
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June 28, 2007

Introducing Guest-Blogger Lauren!

So, now that I've started blogging regularly again (at least for the last three days or so), I'm leaving town and going to be away from the computer for about five days. However, there is good news! This, I think, will be an excellent opportunity to hand over the reins to my lovely fiance, Lauren. (I expect she will continue to blog occasionally after I come back, but I figured this was a good time to start.) Lauren is entering her senior year at Penn, majoring in physics, math, and philosophy. She's been instructed to stick roughly to the general subject areas ordinarily discussed on this blog...
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April 24, 2007

February 17, 2007 Now With Boring Colors!

As of right now, users of this blog have access to a new feature: boring colors! Seriously, though, I was trying to print something off this blog so that it was readable on a white background and realized this was a non-trivial task. This combined with the fact that people have often complained about my site being difficult to read has motivated me to finally create a feature to view the site with a more normal stylesheet. Clicking "View With Boring Colors" on the top right of any page should cause the page to appear in black on white. Reloading...
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January 3, 2007

Blog Year 2006 in Review

The year 2006 on this blog saw over 265,000 visits from nearly 95,000 unique users. Here are the top ten most popular posts (note: there is some margin of error here, as a configuration change part way through the year caused some posts to be accessible at two URLs, screwing up the statistics): May 30, 2006: More Comment Spam Reconfiguration. People must be finding this on search engines thinking it will help them eliminate spam from their own blogs (although none of the top ten searches get you here, so everyone must be searching with a different phrase). Kinda sad...
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June 13, 2006

Poll: Is My Color Scheme Too Hard to Read?

I like my color scheme. It looks like an old computer terminal, which I think is kind of neat. I can read it fine, myself. However, since I posted the the Philosophers' Carnival here yesterday, I've had two different people (Clark at Mormon Metaphysics in his post linking to the carnival, and play_jurist, commenting on the carnival itself) comment that the text is too difficult to read. So, what I want to know is, how many people think the blog in its current format is hard to read? If a lot of people do, I'd like to get a feel...
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June 12, 2006

Philosophers' Carnival XXXI!

Greetings one and all, and welcome to and the 31st Philosophers' Carnival! The Philosophers' Carnival is an every-few-weekly compilation of philosophy posts from blogs all over the web. The next Philosophers' Carnival is scheduled for July 3rd, and is still in need of a host! If you would like to host Philosophers' Carnival XXXII, visit the hosting guidelines then contact Richard Chappell of Philosophy, etc. to volunteer. Today's Philosophers' Carnival contains a truly fantastic collection of deep and insightful posts which will be divided into the three traditional sub-divisions of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology (including logic/dialectic), and ethics (including political...
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June 5, 2006

Philosophers' Carnival #31 Reminder

Just a reminder: Philosophers' Carnival #31 will be hosted right here at on Monday, June 12, one week from today! Any philosophy-related blog post is eligible for inclusion, so get those submissions in! The submission deadline is midnight, US Eastern time, next Sunday night....
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May 30, 2006

More Comment Spam Configuration

So I've discovered that by increasing my comment spam filter's aggressiveness by .1 I can eliminate nearly all spam (I was getting a whole bunch of spam which the filter scored at exactly 0 and referred to me for moderation, and it was clogging my email box like mad). The downside is that certain non-spam messages will also get junked, and MovableType will direct the user to a page that says the comment was 'held for moderation' rather than junked. When I get a chance (probably next week) I'll work on getting a more accurate message up there. For now...
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May 22, 2006

Comment Problem Fixed?

I think comments may not have been working the past week or so (that is, I think a lot of them were giving the 'held for moderation' message, and then getting junked). I hope I have fixed this now. If you had something to say within the last week here, please either post again, or email me and I'll try to dig it out of the spam box. Sorry!...
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May 7, 2006

More Comment Spam Recongifuration

I've added to my blog configuration a list of words used in offensive comment spam (especially those that link to porn sites). I realize, however, that the relevant words (which I will not list here, as I will probably add more later as the need arises) have legitimate uses (which is why I'm moderating rather than junking them). So, if you write a comment that contains, for instance, the word 'nude,' you will receive a message that says "Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner." I'll get an email with your comment and approve...
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April 10, 2006

Comment Spam Filter

So, a comment that I wrote myself was recently rejected by my spam filter. This seems to have occurred because it contained an excessive number of links. I don't want to turn the filter aggressiveness down because a lot of spam already gets through, so if you post a comment (or a trackback) and it doesn't appear on the page within a few minutes (it's normally pretty much instantaneous), please email me at so I can retrieve it from the junk bin. Thanks!...
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March 20, 2006

Philosophers' Carnival 31 Coming to!

It's official! Philosophers' Carnival 31 will be hosted right here at on June 5, 2006. The philosophers' carnival occurs about every three weeks and showcases philosophy posts from many different blogs, in order to help small blogs gain exposure and help facilitate blog discussions about philosophy. The next carnival will be on April 3 at The University of Nowhere. You can submit your entries here....
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December 30, 2005

Upgrade to MovableType 3.2

Apologies for the brief outage earlier this evening. I should now be up and running correctly following my upgrade to MovableType 3.2. Please report any errors or difficulties you have with this blog to me by email, Thanks....
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November 21, 2005

Funny Story...

I was checking my blog status on technorati and found a link to my post on Transliteration vs. Translation from a site in a language I couldn't even identify! It looked Germanic to me (but what do I know), so I tried to plug it into the Google translator for German to English and it didn't work. According to the author's blogger profile, he is a theology student in Sweden, so I guess the blog must be in Swedish. How fun! Only I can't read it, and I can't find a web-site with automated translation from Swedish. Amazing how the...
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November 1, 2005


It has come to my attention that comments (and probably also trackbacks) on this site have not been working (probably for a long time). They should be fixed now. If you encounter any problems, please let me know by email. Thanks....
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August 14, 2005

Online on New Server

I'm up and running on the new server, and as far as I can tell everything is in good working order. Please report any problems, and remember to change links and bookmarks with port numbers (e.g., for this blog, links that begin with should be changed to Thanks....
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August 12, 2005

Real Hosting!

I ordered real hosting for this site and my domain today (in case you didn't know, as of this moment it is running off the linux workstation on my desk, which doesn't work very well due to (a) my domain registrar not supporting dyndns, and (b) Verizon home DSL blocking all kinds of important ports, including most notably port 80, the HTTP port). This will result in a number of changes, the vast majority of which are, in my view, positive. The port numbers that appear in the URLs will go away. At present, translates into, into...
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July 8, 2005

I'm Back!

Regular visitors to this site (the existence of such individuals is disputed, but I believe you are out there somewhere!) may have noticed a substantial outage recently, lasting approximately from the afternoon of Sunday the 26th until yesterday afternoon. This was due to a major administrative debacle at Verizon. As you can see, I am back online now. I'm sure I've missed a lot the last few weeks (Sandra Day O'Connor, London, etc.), but I'm not going to try to catch up. Let's just pretend I already blogged all of that and I'll start up again in the middle. Look...
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May 7, 2005

The Future of This Blog

In case you hadn't noticed, this blog has been awefully sparse for the past few months. I had an extremely busy semester and not much time for blogging. It is now summer (that is, the spring semester of school is over), and working 40 hours a week and having Saturdays and Sundays off and not taking work home in the evenings is sounding restful. So, in this post I'd like to give some idea on what sorts of things will be influencing my topics over the course of the summer, and then comment briefly on a few issues I missed.
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July 27, 2004

"A Philosophical Discussion of the Christian Doctrines of the Fall of Man and the Regeneration of the Holy Spirit"

I've just posted a new paper to my writings section. The name of the paper is "A Philosophical Discussion of the Christian Doctrines of the Fall of Man and the Regeneration of the Holy Spirit". This is a first first first draft (not yet seen by anyone but me) so any input would be much appreciated and can be posted here or e-mailed to me. That goes for any kind of feedback, whether on form or content. As before, I'll post my responses here and if I alter the paper in any way I will make note of that here. Check it out here (PDF format).
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May 17, 2004

Outages and Such

So here's the thing: You may have noticed that there have been a lot of outages on this site lately. This has to do with being behind a firewall and on Verizon DSL. My current setup for this site has a lot of problems. This port forwarding thing is ugly (that's the silly numbers after the : in the URL), and it turns out that my DNS record is technically invalid (but it works anyway). What I really need is to actually pay for hosting. The cheapest hosting that will do what I need costs around $8/month, which will bring the cost of running this site, including the domain name, up to just over $100/year...
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May 12, 2004

Beauty is Not in the Eye of the Beholder: Foundations for an Absolutist Theory of Beauty

My writings page has just been reorganized. There are now separate pages for older and newer documents. The first thing to go up on the new documents page is the paper "Beauty is Not in the Eye of the Beholder: Foundations for an Absolutist Theory of Beauty." This is an edited and slightly expanded version of my term paper for aesthetics class this past semester (spring of 2004). Special thanks to Serena Halley whose comments made the first revision possible, and Michael Rohlf whose comments did the same for the second. Click here to take a look at it (PDF format).
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May 10, 2004

Back Online After Outage

This site is now back online after an outage which lasted approximately two days. The outage was due to the move from on-campus housing to the Crusade house off campus, and then the realization, only after I had flown to the other side of the country, that Verizon was blocking port 80 and so the site was not viewable from outside the house. You may notice a change: the URLs you used before now forward to URLs with ugly port numbers at the end of the domain. Something else you might notice is that the URL (without the www)...
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January 21, 2004

GPG Key Up

I posted my GPG (OpenPGP compatible) public key on my contact page today. You should use it if you plan on saying important things to me via e-mail. You should get your own if you want people to be able to say important things to you without announcing them to the world. Go here to get my public key, and more ranting from me about why you should use it. Go here for info on GPG, or here for general info on OpenPGP....
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August 18, 2003

Site Downtime/College/etc.

This site is going to go down sometime soon, probably Friday, and it may not come back up for a while. I am leaving next Tuesday (August 26th) for the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where I hope to enter the Computer and Cognitive Science program, through which I would get a degree from the School of Engineering and Applied Science in computer science and a degree in philosophy from "The College" (the arts and sciences school). I'm getting a new (much faster) computer when I get there, and it may be a little while before I get everything transferred. I'll move in and get my computer and stuff on the 28th, so look for the site to be available again any time after that. Hopefully it won't be too long.
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April 5, 2003

Disciple Mp3s Removed!

As of about 6:15 PM (Pacific), I have removed the Disciple mp3s from my web-site after receiving an e-mail from their webmaster requesting that the mp3s be removed. I want to say first and foremost that I do absolutely respect the band's right to request that I not distribute their mp3s, provided it is truly the band's request, and not a record label or other similarly large and evil corporation working against their will. Since Disciple is currently unsigned, this is clearly not the case. As of the time of this writing the Disciple's web-site is apparently being redesigned and the archives of the messages they have sent out to their mailing list are not available. However, I do remember that what the message I took to authorize distribution of mp3s actually spoke of is e-mailing them to friends, rather than posting them on web-sites and, additionally, might only have referred to the radio single mp3s the band had released to At any rate, if you still want Disciple mp3s, you can check them out at their site.
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March 1, 2003

My New Blog!

I just set up this new weblog here on my web-site. Pretty cool, huh? Now we'll just have to see if I actually write anything in it. I'll probably keep some news in here on the ministry I'm doing and any cool stuff I find in Bible study, and where I get accepted for college and all that kind of stuff. If you don't actually know me then probably only a small percentage of what gets written here will be of any interest to you....
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