I've had several responses to my note, "Can we talk?" (below). But so far none using the "comment" feature on the blog. Hmmm. I'm a believer in "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again-- and if you still don't, rethink your goal or your method or both." (I wish G. W. Bush would adopt that last part, but that's a blog for another occasion.) We'll see. It may be that the "comments" box is too constraining, or too public, or too something else. Or maybe my content just doesn't inspire a lot of comment from the sort of people who are likely to look at my blog. I look at other blogs, and the "comments" sections are generally empty. The exceptions are those where the blogger has assembled a large and avid readership about controversial themes, political or technological. For example, Juan Cole's excellent Informed Comment gets readers' responses when he asks for them.
Anyway, the responses I've had are friendly, but not especially directed to anything I had said. Which is OK, I like to exchange friendly greetings. I think this is a general characteristic of e-exchanges, that they are fissiparous, each idea suggesting some other not very obviously related idea, more a diversation than a conversation. As a sociologist, I don't take this personally but as a phenomenon that may be a key to some larger phenomena.
Among the tangents people have sent me are these blogs: Karla Huebner's Rabbits, Toyen, and so forth is a charmingly quirky collection of images and musings about, among other things, her everyday encounters in Prague, her rabbits (pets, not dinner), and "early Czech surrealism, which is to say Toyen, Jindřich Štyrský, Karel Teige, Vítězslav Nezval, Bohuslav Brouk, Jindřich Honzl, Jaroslav Ježek, Konstantin Biebl, Jindřich Heisler, and their associates in the interwar avant-garde." Now those are names not likely to appear often on my blog. I just wish Karla would provide links to those names (she has links to lots of other things) so ignorami like me could find out who those people were/are and why we should care. They're probably important, to some people, some how. And here's another as yet undeveloped blog that looks promising: Douglas Smyth's Roman Empire-America NOW!!! (What's with the exclamation points, Douglas?) He's done lots of research on the Roman Empire for a novel. Douglas, why don't you use the "comments" box to tell us what the novel is about? What century, and so on?