Saturday, September 26, 2009

About the Blog

Update - November 30, 2011

It has come to my attention, via site statistics, that a lot of people find and read this post.  I'm here from the future to warn you that it's not entirely accurate.  For one, I have more than 3 readers (though perhaps not much more).  Secondly, while my initial imagined audience was, perhaps, friends and family, I've come to write for a broader spectrum of readers.  Or sometimes for none at all.  Finally, I want to agree with the sentiment that the blog still has no unifying principle beyond "not these tones," but that certain topics are much more common than others.  Music, baseball, learning and education issues, politics, and astrology all make fairly frequent appearances.

With that in mind, welcome.  I've done a lot of writing over the last couple of years, as the archive will show you.  Most of it probably isn't that good, but some of it, if I may say so, is.  I hope you find something of interest.


Hello everyone (all, what, 3 people who might read this?),

Back as an undergraduate, I wrote emails to my friends and family as I studied at St. John's. It turned out that most of those emails tended towards the philosophical or literary, rather than the personal, and eventually I decided to stop sending them, both because they took too much time, and because I didn't think I was really writing for the right audience. With that in mind, I'm finally taking the jump into blog-space to write those very same kinds of thoughts.

I have no illusions about who this blog is for. I've been writing essays and journals for myself for a long time, and this is basically the same thing, only on the internet. Why on the internet? Because it's easier for Jericha, or James, or Joe to get to that way. It's also easier for them to ignore; while an email demands a response, a blog just kind of sits there. In general, I'm happy to have feedback - about ideas, about writing, about anything - but I'm not really expecting it. We're all busy in this crazy world, and I see no reason to add to anyone's work-load but my own.

That said, I want to clarify what the title of the blog means. "Nicht diese tone" are the first words of Beethoven's Ninth, and they basically mean, "Not these tones." It follows with, basically, "Let us sing yet more joyfully." I can't promise that I'm going to write exclusively joyful reflections here, but I can promise that I'm going to try - as I always do - to think about things differently. Nicht Diese Tone means, then, not in the way you're used to seeing (or hearing) things.

There is no unifying principle behind this blog. I may be studying Education Technology at Stanford, but I am just as likely to write about music, or literature, or politics (sorry), or marine biology, or surfing, or well, whatever. To me all of those things are, ultimately, related. Maybe not in terms of content, but in terms of process. But maybe more on that later. For now, welcome, friends and family, and I hope this serves as a way for us to keep in touch better than we have.



  1. Well, it's about time! I am much looking forward to reading what you do here. My own rambling, all-over-creation blog is I am neglecting it for the time being, but do love writing on various topics.

    I'll put in a link to this one on my links page. :-)

    Welcome to blogs!

  2. Omg I got mentioned in a blog post! I'm checking that off my life goals list. Thanks Paul.

  3. Today my contacts inform me that a Newsmax editor wrote a piece suggesting it is time for a military coup to remove "the Obama problem." Newsmax took the article down, though it can be traced... Recently there was that Facebook poll suggesting an assassination... I've been trying to get my hands on Zinn's "People's History". The current situation is going nowhere even faster than usual -- so much heated opinion, insufficient public rationality injected into that. My concern is that when a certain percentage of people recognize this, someone will take a very bad preemptive action. Man, we need disciplined minds to sort out for ourselves a productive manner of recovering versus what pundits profusely yowl about...