Archive for ‘administrative’

December 31, 2012

2012 in review

by Neil Rickert

[I don’t know whether readers will find this useful.  It is the annual report on the blog generated by wordpress.]

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 12,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 20 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

December 21, 2012

Season’s greetings

by Neil Rickert

‘Tis the holiday season, so I will delay any future posts on perception or on how science works, until January.  I may still post on other current topics, such as the fiscal cliff.


  • Merry Christmas
  • Happy Holidays
  • Tasty Noodling
  • Enjoy the Mayan apocalypse
  • etc, etc, etc

I hope I haven’t left anybody out.  I’m not sure why some people take offense at neutral expressions such as “happy holidays”, but if they get their enjoyment out of indulging in a persecution complex, then best wishes to them.

It has long seemed to me that Christmas time is really an orgy of celebration for America’s true god, The Almighty Dollar.

November 15, 2012


by Neil Rickert

Readers of this blog may have noticed two things over the last few weeks:

  • I have broadened the range of topics that I have discussed, to include more posts on topical and social issues;
  • there has been a hiatus in my posting on topics related to epistemology and other aspects of philosophy.

I plan to continue with my coverage of a broader range of topics.  And I shall soon break that hiatus.  I needed that break.  But it was not a complete break.  I was engaged in a discussion of truth and the correspondence theory at a Yahoo group site.  I will probably post a summary of that discussion, with links to the full discussion, within the next few days.


March 17, 2012

Criticizing philosophy – or not

by Neil Rickert

In a recent post, I suggested that I might start a series critical of philosophy.  I won’t.  I have reconsidered.  It’s not that I have suddenly changed my view of philosophy.  Rather, it is that it is not up to me to tell philosophers what they should study and how they should study it.

Instead of a negative account on philosophy, I plan to provide a positive account of my own views on such matters.  Of course I will be comparing my own positions with the more traditional ones.  But the emphasis will be to provide an account of how I am looking at things.

Why do I bother?  Mostly, this is because philosophy seems to dominate cognitive science.  Because I am interested in cognition, I am interested in some of the same questions that philosophers study.  But my approach is different.  I have been interested in the question of how cognitive abilities might have evolved, and in what that tells us about our cognitive abilities.  As a consequence, I see things very differently from the way that most philosophers see them.

My plan will be to provide a series of posts which, taken together, will attempt to explain how I am looking at things.  In the meantime, I shall also continue to post on other topics of interest.

February 4, 2012

That hiatus

by Neil Rickert

I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks.  I have been rethinking about how to best discuss my views on human cognition.  I will be resuming those posts in a few days.

January 12, 2012

Plans for this year

by Neil Rickert

Well, okay, “plan” is a bit too strong.  But I do have a tentative direction for posts this year.  I want to get more into my own unconventional views, particularly on knowledge and on human cognition.  I’ve been thinking a bit about the best way to do that, resulting in a brief hiatus of new posts.  By now I have, more or less, settled on how to proceed.

The basic issue of how to proceed, was whether I should directly confront traditional philosophy (particularly epistemology), or whether I should concentrate on presenting my alternative and only criticizing the traditional view as appropriate with that presentation.  I have settled on that second, more positive, approach.  My disagreements with traditional philosophy will still be apparent, but they will usually be secondary to the main emphasis.

My non-traditional views are difficult to present, because so much of western thought is bound to traditional.  That makes it hard for me to explain my ideas, and it also may make it hard for the reader to get the point.  I’ll do the best I can, but comments sometimes help me see where the misunderstanding is.  So don’t be shy in adding your comments.

December 20, 2011

On comment spam

by Neil Rickert

The spammers have been very active of late.  I just deleted 9 spam comments.  I check several times a day, and 9 in a few hours seems to be high rate for me.

Akismet, the spam detection service used by WordPress does a pretty good job.  The statistics show that they have detected 2490 spam comments since I began this blog less than two years ago.  I have not been keeping close count, but I can only remember one false positive (a non-spam comment that was identified as spam).  And I don’t remember any spam that was missed (failed to be identified).

October 9, 2011

Blog changes

by Neil Rickert

Time/date: I have switched to showing UTC (or Greenwich Mean Time) for posting times.  I am making this change in the hope that it will be less confusing.  When reading other blogs, I am never sure what timezone is in use, so I thought it best to use the international standard (UTC).

Another blog:  I have started a second blog, Thoughts on computing.  I have previously made some computing posts here, although that is strictly outside the intended subject matter for this blog.  Future computing related posts will be at the new blog, and might be more frequent than past computing posts.