Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019) and AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021).
Unfortunately the website doesn't allow comments. I can understand why he wouldn't want to have to police an open forum, but part of what makes a website appealing to me is the opportunities for vibrant discussions it affords. Why stifle that? I don't like one-way dialogues. It suggests the author either cannot handle criticism or believes themselves to never need feedback. Either way, reminds me too much of the way the religious operate. Feels too much like being preached at.
I should add that the website does have a separate forum which could be used for commenting, which is how Dawkins' website is also set up. But Dawkins doesn't "blog" per se, so it makes more sense to structure the site that way, with his formal essays and articles separate from the community forums. I just think less formal blog posts should allow for more immediate feedback.
H.H - I agree with your thoughts on comments. It also strikes me that (and this is not about Sam) someone who blogs without offering the readers the opportunity to point out that an argument is bogus or the facts incorrect should be boycotted.
Furthermore, why blog if you're not interested in whether the people who read it agree, find it persuasive, like your writing style or vice versa?
If you just want to blog and then count up how many hits you get without regard to whether people agree then that's just egotistic.
I'm heavily involved in a (no doubt crude and sophomoric) discussion at the moment over at Ophelia's blog (and Joseph Hoffman's (to a lesser extent :-) ) about Pastor Jones and the UN murders. I would love to hear your take on this if you have the inclination and time in the next few days.
Perhaps he sees it as just another channel to get out his views. Not what I'm doing here, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. I guess it's up to the readership whether they just want to read Sam's thoughts or whether they'd like to go somewhere where they can kind of engage. Room for both, maybe?
Felix ... will have a look.
Thanks for your comments:
"I don't like one-way dialogues. It suggests the author either cannot handle criticism or believes themselves to never need feedback."
I think you are being absurd and unfair by assuming such a posture. Handling criticism and receiving feedback are two things Sam has been constantly doing ceaselessly since he acquired some public notoriety.
I'm sure that there must be some other rationale for Harris' currently monologic blog. You are right to recognize Sam's new blog's resemblance to Dawkin's website and acknowledge that Richard does not 'blog per se' , but you seem to have overlooked the fact that neither does Harris. If anything, they are both equally reticent bloggers.
I agree that Sam Harris can run his website any way he likes, but I also agree with Felix, if you're not interested in dicussion, why bother? This is particularly the case when he ends the piece with a question, as he often does. One would expect he would provide the facility to reply.
Thalamus said.. You are right to recognize Sam's new blog's resemblance to Dawkin's website and acknowledge that Richard does not 'blog per se' , but you seem to have overlooked the fact that neither does Harris.
Well, no, Harris is blogging. That's why there is an entire section of his website named "The Blog." It really is an unfortunate name if Harris did not wish to give the impression that he is running a blog.
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