Blog Evolution

September 18, 2014 Update: The contents of this post are out of date; I’m leaving the post up for archival purposes. -Ari

I’ve already made a few technical changes to the blog. I turned the column widths into percentages rather than fixed pixels. I added a link for comments. Note that comments will be moderated ruthlessly, as most unmoderated comments that I’ve seen are basically worthless (or worse).

More importantly, though, I’ve decided to narrow the scope of the blog. One of my friends persuaded me that a more focused blog is more useful than one with random comments. Now, the description says, “Notes on politics, religion, and culture.” Granted, that’s still extremely broad. However, I had been planning to include more notes about products, recipes, etc. Now, I’ll include such personal matters only rarely.

The purpose of the blog is to advocate reason based on sensory experience; individual rights, liberty, and capitalism; and life-enhancing values. I will therefore criticize religion, political violations of rights, and cultural problems such as moral subjectivism and nihilism. I am most influenced by Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, though I continue to struggle with some of its tenets.

I’m going to try to use the “labels” function to its full effect. I’m going to label every post with one (or more) of five main tags: politics, religion, books, art, culture, and personal. Then I may add additional labels that are more specific. For example, a post about art might be further labeled as movies, music, or fine art. The category for culture is intended as a catch-all for culturally interesting items that don’t seem to fit elsewhere.

So now I think my blog is on track. Perhaps it’s worth mentioning my goals in blogging. First, writing a blog will help me formalize my thoughts about particular issues. Writing for an audience generally demands more rigor than merely mulling something over. Second, I’ll be able to search my own blog as a way to help me remember particular things. Third, I hope to persuade readers. The point, after all, is to facilitate positive cultural change, not merely to complain about what’s wrong. Fourth, I hope that the blog draws readers’ attention to my other projects.

So I’m ready to take the dive…

Welcome to AriArmstrong.com

Welcome to my blog. Even though the blog is new, I’ve been writing for the internet since 1998 via the Colorado Freedom Report. [September 18, 2014 Update: From this date to the present, I’ve moved most of the contents from FreeColorado.com to AriArmstrong.com.] I’ll continue to publish material on that page, as well, and I’ll make a note on the blog about new material there. I literally predate blogs (which I guess makes me an old timer). According to Wikipedia’s entry on blogs, the term “weblog” was coined in 1997, and the term was shortened to “blog” in 1999.

Yet I’ve never been that “up” on the technology. I’m more interested in the writing than in the presentation. It is with no shame that I admit to having learned HTML from one of the Dummies books. So my blog is simple. I’ll improve it over time. I’m open to suggestions.

I started the blog because posting short comments is so easy. Otherwise, I have to load up a template in my word processor, save the file in the correct folder, load up the FTP software, and upload the file. Blogging services automate the process. I’ll continue to use my traditional process with the Report for longer, more formal articles (especially regarding Colorado politics).

My goal is to use the labels to organize my blogs into broad categories. So far these are the categories I plan to cover: Colorado politics, national politics, movies, fiction, nonfiction, music, products, home, health, and blogging. My goal is to post at least one entry every day. So I hope you’ll check back often.