this blog turns 11

I began blogging on Jan. 6, 2003 and have posted once every work day since then (i.e., excepting weekends, vacations, and sick days). This is post #2,633.

Jason Kottke, who started blogging three years before me, says the blog form is dead. But on the Internet, everything that is declared dead actually lives on in specialized niches. I plan to continue because I find that the rewards of interacting with a particular community through this blog are actually increasing.

I don’t think the blog changed dramatically in 2013. I was on the road a lot and wrote much of the content on airplanes or in airport terminals. Nowhere exotic: mostly Boston Logan, Washington National, O’Hare, Philly, and flight paths among those.

I may have responded less than usual to political news because, frankly, my news consumption fell off somewhat in 2013. During several stretches of the past year, US national politics was just too painful to follow intensively. I was willing to wait and find out, for example, whether we would go over the fiscal cliff. Ignoring the daily play-by-play, I read some excellent literature instead. I blogged about Bring Up the Bodies, A Place of Greater Safety, Fathers and Sons, and poetry by Heaney, Jeffers, Pinsky, and Justice (all guys, now that I think of it.) I also put nine of my own poems here.

The posts that I wrote in 2013 that got the most Facebook likes and shares were:

  1. do we live in a republic or a democracy?
  2. an argument against intervening in Syria
  3. top ten signs you are an academic careerist
  4. Jesus was a person of color
  5. the limits of putting yourself in their shoes and looking with their eyes (on the president’s speech in Israel)
  6. the case for active citizenship when government fails us
  7. the aspiration curve from youth to old age
  8. the new framework for social studies

These are the posts (some of them written earlier) that drew the most page views last year:

  1. notes on Auden’s September 1, 1939
  2. who first said “We are the ones we have been waiting for”?
  3. the politics of The Sound of Music
  4. top ten signs you are an academic careerist
  5. six types of freedom
  6. Seamus Heaney, “The Republic of Conscience” (questions for a discussion)
  7. logical positivism and chivalry (on A.J. Ayer meeting Mike Tyson. The page views were prompted by recent news reports that the Champ reads philosophy)
  8. what is the definition of civic engagement?

About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.
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