For several years, I have rolled my eyes and scoffed haughtily at the thought of beginning a blog. I have always regarded most internet blogging as fitting into one of three categories: 1.) a sort of low-grade editorial journalism, in which the author has an inflated view of his own opinions, and takes advantage of internet technology as a means of disseminating said drudgery; 2.) a record of the author’s thoughts and activities which amounts to little more than an electronic diary, which is—but should not be—available for worldwide consumption; 3.) a commercial venture which exists only to write posts that are disguised (often thinly) as informational or educational articles but which actually serve only as platforms for advertisements and the income that accompanies them.
I now begin this blog with the hope of avoiding these three pestilences of the internet. That is not to say that there will never be ads; if someday there is enough traffic to warrant, I would love to have a bit of extra income from ads. That will never the primary goal of this blog, and I hope that the things I write will stand for themselves.
I have long considered beginning to keep a journal “in case I ever became somebody.” That sort of journal would include private thoughts, summaries of adventures, and many other things that I might look back on one day. This blog is not intended to be that sort of journal, but it is intended to provide a record of my public thoughts and adventures. It is also a way for me to scratch the writing itch that has plagued me for the last year since I have been out of school. I have had no reason to write, and not much to write about. I enjoy writing, though, and so I have decided to make a reason. Since it now looks like I will not be continuing my education, I hope this will provide a way for me to stay connected to the academic world of religion and history. On this site, I will post book reviews of recent releases that are relevant to me and people I know, along with the occasional editorial on current events.
I hope I will write with humility and relevance, and you will read with enlightened discernment.
Allow me to close with a summation of what my educational journey has taught me:
ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα
” One thing I know, that I know nothing.”
The quote is generally attributed to Socrates, coming to us by way of Plato’s Apology. As if to prove the point, though, Gail Fine (Professor of Philosophy at Cornell and Oxford) argues that we don’t even know this for sure: “it is better not to attribute it to him” (“Does Socrates Claim to Know that He Knows Nothing?”, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy vol. 35 (2008),p. 51).
This quote actually exists in the Apology:
ἀλλ’ οὗτος μὲν οἴεται τι εἰδέναι οὐκ εἰδώς…αὐτῷ τούτῳ σοφώτερος εἶναι, ὅτι ἃ μή οἶδα οὐδὲ οἴομαι εἰδέναι
“But this man presumes to know something that he does not know…I am wiser than this man, because that which I do not know I do not presume to know.”
Here’s to knowing what we know, and knowing what we don’t.