Monday, October 28, 2013

Some Useless Trivia

In honor of my one year anniversary of blogging, I look back at the most popular posts with some notes:

11. A report on the resignation of a university administrator. It is not often that people publicly tie their actions to repentance, even rarer that people will repent of their improper actions relating to someone else's crime.

10. The debunking of a certain malicious rumor.

9. A report on book burning at San Jose State. The irony of someone opposed to carbon emissions deliberately burning something is both astounding and hypocritical.

8. A response to the accusation that I believe the Book of Abraham is pseudepigrapha.

7. A memorial about some great people that I have been privileged to work with. These were and are really great people.

6. A report on an article discussing a bullseye from the Book of Abraham.

5. A report on Syvia Nasar's lawsuit against her own university for misusing the funds of her endowed chair.

4. A retrospective on Hugh Nibley's famous (or infamous) talk on Leaders to Managers. This talk was one of Nibley's more popular talks but was very unpopular in certain quarters. Nibley's reading of the Book of Mormon was usually very careful, but I think he distorted it a bit here to make his point.

3. A report about an archaeologist claiming to find the city of Abraham. There are reasons to be cautiously optimistic about this particular site.

2. The survey of things that Elder Maxwell had to say about doing ancient scholarship.

1. The day's Maxwell quote back on March 29th. From this quotation we know exactly what Elder Maxwell would have thought about one issue because he directly addressed it.

A number of people enter my blog through the very first post, so I do not count that one.


Those were not necessarily my favorite posts. Some of my favorite posts, in no particular order, were:

One can find some very strange practices in the apocrypha. This one from Tobit I find amusing.

There is a different way of looking at the Christmas story in Luke which would probably dramatically rewrite your typical Christmas pageant.

Looking at leadership and management among the Vikings. In many ways I think the earlier Vikings had the right idea. The earlier notions of leadership may have worked better than the later ones.

You would not normally think about foreign relations between the Roman and Chinese empires, but there was some ancient Chinese influence on Roman economic policy. The ancient world was much more interconnected than many of those of us who study it would like to think.

I have always found the notion of Coptic Buddhism amusing, but it actually exists in a way.


All told I have published 758 posts in the past year on this blog, averaging just over two a day. Originally I thought that I would be putting out about one every two weeks.


One of the constant themes in this blog was expressed by Screwtape in C.S. Lewis's book, The Screwtape Letters (chapter 27):
Only the learned read old books and we have now so dealt with the learned that they are of all men the least likely to acquire wisdom by doing so.
Old books should be read by more than just the learned. Things in old books enlarge the memory of people (Alma 37:8) and seeing their mistakes might help us to avoid those same mistakes (Mormon 9:31). Perhaps that is being too optimistic.