Welcome to web-of-belief


My inaugural post!

First let me say that most challenging aspect of starting up a blog is not deciding on the content but rather trying to come up with a name — one that is not actively being used by other blogs, web sites, etc.   Believe me when I say that virtually every clever combination of words (and even many not-so-clever ones) are already in use in some venue or other.   Many thanks to those bloggers who took some of the best domain names and then proceeded to make a grand total of 2 blog entries over the span of 5 years!

In the end I wasn’t able to come up with a name that I was completely satisfied with and the one I did end up choosing, “Web of Belief”,  is actually already in use at “blogspot.com”, though that blog is apparently one of those that never made it off the ground, so I guess the name is mine now.   I imagine, also, that I will disappoint a great many people who are expecting this to be a blog devoted to philosophical ideas related to such people as Willard Quine.  It isn’t, sorry, though the topics discussed here may veer tangentially into that territory occasionally.

So what is my intention with the name, then?   Not much, to be honest.   It’s mostly there to sound nice.  However, I do imagine that quite a few of the posts on this blog will have to do with issues of knowledge and belief, e.g., what people believe about various claims of science and how these beliefs interrelate and also how the media (including web-based media) tend to influence those beliefs.   Thus the epistemological connotations of the name seem appropriate, to some extent.    But the word “web” could also be seen as having a double-meaning here (as in “world wide web”).   Ultimately, it’s just a name and honestly doesn’t mean too much.   People are free to ascribe any meaning they want to it.

In the end, this blog is intended as a forum for me to critically reflect on some of today’s important issues (e.g., climate change) and to hopefully spur intelligent discussion on these topics so that I (and others) can achieve a better understanding of them.  Along the way I imagine I will sometimes get philosophical (to the degree that I’m still capable of it). Sometimes I’ll simply  blog about seemingly unrelated topics that happen to be of interest to me (e.g., music, computers).

One thing to note.   Not everything I post here will be a formal essay.   If I limited myself to that sort of content, I would probably never write anything.  There just wouldn’t be enough time to make everything perfect enough.   Instead, in the interests of providing more content, I suspect that I will often make posts that are more like essay fragments; something still meaningful and logically coherent, but perhaps not a complete or thorough discussion of the topic at hand.   Hopefully these posts will still be of interest and can spur discussion.

Stay tuned.

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