Metablog

2011 04 01
Explananda Turns Seven


Posted by in: Metablog

Wow! Someone should post about that.


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2010 05 21
Comment Spam, 2.0


Posted by in: Metablog

For years I wondered why comment spammers didn’t try to sneak comments into discussion threads by re-posting existing (legitimate) comments in that thread, but with a link back to their site in their signature. The illusion of topicality would make it harder for human and spam filter alike to catch on. Alas, just a month or two ago I started to see this technique show up on this site. Congratulations so far go to D.C. and Steve: Some bot found you worth emulating.

Also, gosh I’m busy these days.


Howls of outrage (2)

2009 10 11
We’re back


Posted by in: Metablog

If you read this blog through rss, you probably didn’t notice that the site has been completely hosed for about a week and a half now. I’m happy to say that we’re back on a new server.

Nick, who is listed in the sidebar though he has never posted, very generously hosted the site free of charge from 2004 until last week, when his server became very, very ill. Let us take a moment to salute Nick and his awesome awesomeness. Thank you, Nick.

Steve, noticing our technical difficulties a while back, very generously offered to host the site free of charge. Last week, I finally took him up on the offer. He then helped to make sure that the transition between servers went smoothly. Let us take a moment to salute Steve and his awesome awesomeness. Thank you, Steve.

Here’s to free hobbies, and the people who make them possible.

That is all.


Howls of outrage (9)

2009 09 16
Proust killed the book blog


Posted by in: Books, Metablog

Well, no, not really. I’ve been very busy with lots of things. Also, this blog never dies! It just lies motionless sometimes, mainly to elude predators.

Still, whew! In Search of Lost Time is long. But I’ll be back with a review in just 1200 pages.


Howls of outrage (6)

2009 06 18
Technical difficulties


Posted by in: Metablog

I’m afraid that Explananda is nearing the end of its relationship with its current server, which is suffering from late stage iis dementia. When I get a chance I’m going to switch everything over to a new server. Until I get to that, you shouldn’t be surprised to see the server flaking out intermittently.


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2009 04 01
Five Years


Posted by in: Metablog

Explananda turns five today. Happy birthday, Explananda!

We’re currently at 2,340 posts (for a total of 643,511 words) and 5,049 comments (for a total of 307,511 words) (—that is, before publication of this post).

According to our site tracker, we’ve had 208,000 visitors in the past five years. Almost all of them came in from Google and left immediately, presumably disappointed. Thanks to those of you who stayed, and were presumably disappointed.

Update: Whoops. As Upyernoz points out in the comments, we started by importing most of the posts from my old blog. So the posts tally above is wrong. The comments tally, however, is accurate, since my old blog didn’t have comments, and the site tracker is accurate, since it’s only been tracking this site.


Howls of outrage (10)

2009 01 02
Retraction: who/that edition


More than a year ago, I wrote:

You would never write this, would you, dear reader?
Socrates was a philosopher that believed . . .

No, of course you wouldn’t. You would write,

Socrates was a philosopher who believed . . .

In such cases you use “who” or “whom” for people and “that” for objects, right?

Almost every day since then I have encountered some counterexample to my claim. I hear it in spoken English in every register. I come across it on blogs, in newspapers, books, and even in the titles of books. It’s clearly standard English to use “that” for people as well as “who” or “whom.”

So, I was wrong. I hereby retract my previous post.


Howls of outrage (7)

2008 04 01
Four


Posted by in: Metablog

Explananda turns four today (because I imported posts from my old blog it looks a bit older than that if you glance at the archives).

It’s been fun. Recently I’ve been insanely busy, and so haven’t been posting as much. But that just means a slower posting schedule. I have no plans to pack it in, and would guess that Explananda will still be around in 10 or 15 (or 25 or 30!) years in some form another.

People often say to me, “Hey your blog really sucks now, eh.” But I’m ok with a bit of suckage. It’s serving its purpose, which is to provide a little corner of the internet where I can hang out with friends occasionally and blow off a bit of steam once in a while. That’s good enough for now.


Howls of outrage (8)

2007 11 02
Zeitgeist


Posted by in: Metablog

I am pleased to announce yet another pointless, time-wasting feature on this blog: Zeitgeist. This puts a bit of code on a dedicated page that prints a random sampling of recent search referrals, each with a size matching the frequently of hits from the search terms. Endlessly fascinating, totally pointless. Hit reload and see a whole new set of results.

I think you’ll soon see that virtually no one who comes here from a search engine finds what they’ve been looking for.

A link to this page will stay up on the top left-hand side of the blog.


Howls of outrage (3)

2007 07 25
Categories


Posted by in: Categories, Metablog

In light of the new developments around here, I thought the categories should have their own category.

That’s all.


Howls of outrage (3)

2007 07 17
A banner day for Explananda


Posted by in: Blegs, Metablog

I’m told that some people can’t see the banner at the top of the screen. (The image is here, if you don’t know what I’m referring to.) I haven’t the faintest idea why not, though I imagine it’s the fact that I went into the original template design and ripped out a whole bunch of stuff that looked irrelevant to me. The code for the header section is here, and the original, unmutilated header code is here. And, yes, of course it doesn’t validate, and of course I ought to be spanked on my naughty bottom for that. But come on, I don’t actually understand any of this stuff. I just want a blog with a nice banner. Is that so much to ask? Any help appreciated.


Howls of outrage (13)

2007 07 10
Welcome to the new site


Posted by in: Metablog

Explananda is dead! Long – ah, forget it. So, this is the new site. Would you believe, I spent countless hours trying to duplicate the look and feel of the old site, but then something went wrong and I had to start over again. Oh well. Not sure if we’ll keep this look, but we will keep the new software this site is running (WordPress) for the foreseeable future.

Some nice things: I’ll be able to open up all the comments. That might not last if the spam gets really bad, but WordPress is much better at handling spam than our old software. We’ll see. Also, we have a much enhanced category system now, which should allow you to peruse your old favourites with ease.


Howls of outrage (54)

2007 04 01
And now we are three


Posted by in: Metablog

Explananda turns three today!


Howls of outrage (5)

2007 03 11
Because the key to sustainable blogging is recycling


Lots of old timers have been linking lately to their to March 2003 archives to show what a bunch of smarty-pants they were. Here are the March 2003 archives from my old blog, in case you’re curious.

Main impressions: There’s not a lot there that is flat out wrong, but I hate the emphasis. I’m so desperate to be fair-minded and balanced, so terrified of appearing shrill, that I keep bending over backwards to conciliate anyone who might disagree with me.

So much for tone. If there’s been a change in substance, I think it’s that I wasn’t ready at that point to reject American imperialism root and branch in the way that I am now.

Also, fucking hell, did I always have to be so damn earnest? Had I never heard about sarcasm and bemused detachment? Oh Jamie, I’ve learned so much from you in the intervening years.

Anyway, I enjoy exercises like this. One reason I started a blog was so that I would have a nice record of my views, so that I couldn’t revise them in my memory in a self-serving way later on. And it’s nice to have it public, for that extra little dash of humiliation.


Howls of outrage (2)

2007 02 21
Spam


Posted by in: Metablog

I keep an Explananda email address up on the sidebar in case anyone feels like writing to me out of the blue and doesn’t know my regular email address. Don’t laugh, it happened once. Anyway, I’ve had to ditch the one I started with because I was getting about 1,000 – yes 1,000 – spam messages a day. Anyway, I’ve written the new one in a convoluted way in order to confuse spam bots, and from now on I’ll not use a real address when I leave comments on other sites. Perhaps that’ll keep the villains at bay for a while.


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