Merry Christmas

As some of you know, the last year was a tough one for me.  My blogging frequency crashed to virtual nonexistence in late 2017 and early 2018, a result of switching to a new job and dealing with the fallout from my father’s death.

During that period, although I keenly missed our conversations, I had a lot of problems finding motivation to write.  I commented on other people’s blogs, but struggled to produce much of my own material.  Part of this was lack of time for reading and pondering things enough to produce a post, and part of it was straight out writer’s block, trouble finding topics I cared about enough to think through, put out, and defend.

It’s only in the last few months that I’ve been able to get back to some kind of semi-regularity on posts.  And it’s been a relief.  I’d forgotten just how much satisfaction I get from our discussions, how much of a sanctuary discussing consciousness, space, science fiction, and similar topics can be in a world that often appears to have gone off the rails.  And I’m grateful to all of you, my online friends, who stuck around through those dry spells.

Hopefully 2019 will be a much more productive year in terms of blogging.  I know I’ll be much happier if it is.

Whether Christmas is a religious observance, a chance to visit with family, or just a nice holiday from work, I hope you and those you care about are safe, comfortable, and enjoying the holiday season.  (And if today and tomorrow aren’t a holiday where you are, I hope you have a great couple of days.)

Merry Christmas!

 

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18 Responses to Merry Christmas

  1. john zande says:

    And to you! Have a good one, and a great ’19

    Liked by 1 person

  2. paultorek says:

    Merry Christmas and New Year’s Mike! Thanks for all your thought provoking posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wyrd Smythe says:

    Mike, a very merry and warm Christmas and a happy and safe New Year to you and yours!!

    (Sounds like we went through similar arcs recently albeit for different reasons. I didn’t post at all in 2017, and have only gotten back into it this year.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They say that if life didn’t have downs then you wouldn’t appreciate the ups. Well maybe, but I’d rather have ups separated by oks. I don’t have much use for downs. But then I don’t make the rules.

    It sounds like you’re optimistic about the future Mike. I am as well. Let’s have a great new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michael says:

    Merry Christmas, Mike! Always enjoy the conversations here, in this sanctuary you’ve created. I hope you’re able to look back on the year with some newfound perspective, after the challenges that came your way. I definitely look forward to more posts in the year ahead.

    Best Wishes for a Happy New Year
    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Mike!

    Many or few, I appreciate every one of your well-thought products. Take care.

    *

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    It sounds like you’re getting back into your groove. That’s a nice feeling. I’m hoping to eventually get back into publishing more than 2 posts a year, and more importantly, reading everyone’s posts…I haven’t even managed that.

    So… (raising a glass): To conversation sanctuaries! To grooviness! Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    • nannus says:

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Tina. Greetings to your house philosopher!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tina,
      I know that everyone would like to see you around more as well, but of course life is what it is. I’d just like to mention something that got buried in the comments recently between Mike and I that might help you and others have more time for this sort of thing. You can put a free app on your phone that converts any text that you select on the web into a high quality spoken English voice. The one I use is called “Speechify”, though it may be that other apps also work pretty well. Thus instead of finding a quiet time and place to read a post and commentary, you might listen to such material while working through less demanding mundane life, and so realize extra intellectual stimulation.

      That’s mainly what I wanted to say, though Mike and I talked about this a bit here: https://selfawarepatterns.com/2018/12/09/dogs-have-metacognition-maybe/#comment-25060

      Liked by 1 person

      • It sounds like a nifty way to multitask. If I spent a lot of time driving and if I had a phone that wasn’t made when Steve Jobs was still alive, then I’d probably try it out. I’m afraid that when I’m doing stuff around the house or writing, I’m too maniacally focused on whatever it is I’m doing, no matter how mundane, that I don’t even think to put music on. But I do like listening to lectures with my husband as a sort of after dinner entertainment activity, then discussing.

        I guess my problem is managing time—spending too long on one thing—but thanks for the tip! I’ll keep it in mind.

        Liked by 1 person

        • A 7 year old phone shouldn’t be sufficient. I’ve milked smartphones way beyond their effective life spans in order to retain a functional thumb keyboard. In fact I’ve just tried Speechify with one of my old droid 4’s, which was apparently from was from 2013. No chance! So it’s a potential tool once you update. But for example, I suspect that I was thus able to be one of the first to go through the paper that you provided about how dogs would have more trust in the perspective of a person that was looking in the direction which contained the relevant information. Piece of cake! Surely you might enjoy listening to things like a blog post and commentary while walking Geordie and such?

          (By the way, your provided paper suggested some strong theory of mind! If dogs can think that abstractly about the perspective of others, how could they not do so for themselves somewhat as well? I’d say that Geordie Bear has plenty to teach an anthropocentric science culture. He was clearly asking you if you’d finally give him permission to open the Christmas present that he knew was his. And like a little human, I’m sure that he’d run scenarios about opening it when you were out, and then decide that he couldn’t stand the worry given what you might think of him for doing such a thing.)

          Liked by 1 person

          • I get the desire for a functional keyboard. I prefer to text from my computer, but it only works with some people’s phones. As for listening to blogs while walking Geordie, I really couldn’t afford to be even a little distracted. We have coyotes, javelinas, bobcats, even mountain lions that roam through the area. Geordie’s already had one encounter with a rattle snake, and they’re difficult to spot sometimes—I almost stepped on one once—so I have to be on high alert. Not to mention neighbor’s dogs escaping the backyard, or their leashes…that happened too.

            You know, I’m convinced that Geordie has a keen sense of other minds…I could give many instances of this, but I fear it would quickly get boring.

            A good phrase— “anthropocentric science culture.” Sometimes I wonder if those conducting these studies have ever met a real dog!

            Liked by 1 person

  8. nannus says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I also hope to have the time to blog more regularly again next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorry to hear about the challenges, and it’s great to have you back. I know what you mean about hitting dry spells or finding that your attention is taken by more pressing, and less pleasant things. Been there, and it’s great when you get back in the head space for blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hariod Brawn says:

    Reciprocating your very kind and thoughtful best wishes, Mike, with gratitude for your most enlightening blog — Hariod.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Steve Morris says:

    Merry Christmas to you, Mike, and hoping that 2019 will be a great year for you. I must say, your blog posts are always very thought-provoking and interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. J.S. Pailly says:

    It’s been good seeing your posts again. Here’s hoping 2019 will be a much better year for us both!

    Liked by 1 person

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