Philomathy Returns?

Hi ho, folks.  Philomathy’s been down for several months, following a planned hiatus and then an unplanned despondency period when I discovered I hadn’t successfully backed up the content, and that several years of writing had poof’d.

With Brian’s help and encouragement, we tracked down many of the longer articles through, and I’ve been able to build a skeleton of the missing ones; since most of the posts were written by hand, I have a stack of notebooks that I’m hoping to raid over the next little while so that I can gradually repopulate Philomathy’s history.  It won’t be perfect, and I’ve changed an awful lot since those early posts (many of which are painfully twee to read now, in the sere dotage of my present vernacular), but I’d love to recover that record.

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Danny from 2017: Accidentally, I’m adding this on New Year’s Day, 2017, which seems to harmonize with the notion of arbitrary beginnings and the declarations around them.  This was more coherent than the first first post, but clearly not by very much.


I think, more or less, I’ve stayed true to my proclaimed intentions for the blog, though Philomathy did (and likely continues to) suffer from the dereliction I anticipated.  The website I referred to, incidentally, was, which has been totally defunct since well before 2009, and had been a high school collaboration with Victoria Panos (and eventually Geoff Core in university) where we’d post our webcomics, The Stairwell and Snow in October, respectively.

Alright, perhaps a high-twee mission statement with an extensive pre-ramble wasn’t the most astute PR decision I could have made, though in a few years, when rules the Internet and cyber historians clamour to write its biography, its aggressive salutation will be vindicated and lauded. Luckily, I have between now and then to remove the actual first post where I was still fooling around with themes and emphasis colours.

Welcome, readers!

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Welcome to (Fragment)

Danny from 2016:  Re-reading this fragment (I don’t think I wrote this by hand, and can’t find more than what’s posted below), it’s stunning to me how much my motivation to communicate has changed in seven years.  I understand everything I’ve written below, and while the diction is definitely highfalutin, I don’t think it’s imprecise with regard to what I wanted to express, and how it pleased me to express it.  For a first post (for any post), it feels so unwelcoming, though!


At the time of this writing (December 22, 2016), I vacillate between feeling that I’ve lost something by not being able to command these kinds of words the way I used to, and feeling like I’ve matured to the point where abstruse usage is a kind of failure of consideration for my audience.  I believe this describes a trade-off between merciless precision in rendering the ideas in my head (with their exact emotional flavours or intertextual echoes) and decipherability to anyone not in my head.  I’ve definitely transitioned from valuing the former to valuing the latter.


Does that mean I’ve sold out?  Does painting this shift as an act of compositional maturity, or even as a choice, allow me to deny fears that I’ve burned out and lost my spark?  Facing these questions makes it even harder to read this stuff than the word-choice would suggest, and it makes it harder to write more.  Tricky business.

I am subject to a socially-debilitating frisson whereby my inner narrative slows and distends: queued sentences fall into clauses, then words, then morphemes, and then sometimes, constituent letters (though this last happens with increasing scarcity as the incursion of spell-checking software further and further into my patterns of composition is eroding my orthographical confidence). The outward manifestation of this phenomenon is that I have lost my train of thought, perhaps because I have been speaking ex-proctologically (this is not always never the case), but witnesses concerned for my cognitive acuity and fitness may be cheerfully reassured that I am even then merely in the throes of a kind of lexophilic masturbation which involves them only peripherally at best. My frisson culminates in the spontaneous synthesis of long forgotten, or at least hitherto dissociated, etymological data into a personally novel insight regarding the use, significance, and varying aptness of a commonly invoked word I had been presently planning to deploy. Naturally, by the time I have sanitised and condensed my epiphany into a generally edible product, its sovereign relevance to the conversation has waned and I wind up looking like a weirdo.

Danny from 2016:  Here endeth the fragment.  I probably continued in this excruciating vein until the end, but it still feels like a shame not to have the original, mindnumbing document for archival purposes.  Ah, well.

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