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Dusting Off the Old Blog

15 June 2012 | Category: Site News
a lone white blossom rises from the dull forest floor in early spring

It's been almost a year since I posted my last update. Rest assured that Acceity lives: I have more than one article in the works for the site this summer. I can't promise a date for these updates just yet, so you'll need to subscribe with RSS or Twitter, or just check back in a few days. A few years ago in a post much like this one, I wrote that I meant Acceity to be "a quiet stop along the Internet's equivalent of a winding country lane." That metaphor was probably pretentious, but to extend it for a moment, I fear by now the country lane has faded to an untended and overgrown footpath. I stay too busy to blog as much as I'd like.

The rest of the Internet, meanwhile, buzzes ahead. I waste too much good time online, and you likely do as well — especially if you still check this site after so many stagnant months (though I value your loyalty). Ironically our sleek wireless gadgets have only tethered us more closely than ever to our narrow routines. Rarely are we in any position to make use of the 24 hour news that we constantly crave from friends and reporters. The endless gaffes, polls, status changes, or distant disasters make no difference to our real lives. We follow these things for entertainment; they are the ultimate reality show, and we cheer and jeer the players from afar to pass the time. There is nothing wrong with this except that we could find greater pleasure in the work of true poets and artists and better inform ourselves by studying the broader national and global systems that truly impact our lives.

I know this is hopelessly trite, but while you're waiting for me to follow through on the next article here, join me in spending a little more time offline and unplugged. Walk over the prairies, crack open a book, visit a neighbor, travel to an unfamiliar place and stop at a park or museum along the way. We can learn more useful things about the world through any of these things than we ever will by staying fixed to the web's content mills and reloading the same old bookmarks. Close the browser and take just an hour or two to live.

Posted By: Joshua | No Comments »

This Makes 50: Reflections on Acceity

16 September 2010 | Category: Site News
Blue, Pink, and Purple Flowers in the Woods

Flowers in the Woods to celebrate 50 posts.

It has been a little more than two years since I started the blog. This marks my 50th post. I know, it took long enough. Acceity is like a tree (the site logo should be a clue), and it is growing at about that pace. I strive to keep the site rooted in Southwest Wisconsin, where I live, but I also work to send out branches to other places on whatever topics strike my interest. I make no effort to stay on topic. I know that many blogs work to give their readers what they come looking for. I try, instead, to give you knowledge and ideas you would never have otherwise thought to think.

I hope I am sometimes successful in my goal. I was very glad to hear the reactions to my September 5 post. Eric commented "There is so much out there of which I have never heard," and another reader emailed me saying "I had no idea." Thanks for your comments! I am glad to introduce people to things they didn't know, and I hope that you can do the same service for me with your blogs and your comments here.

The World Wide Web is wonderful tool for organizing and rapidly finding information on a topic. It is a marvelous environment for building communities around shared interests and common knowledge. Those things are amazing — I adore them passionately. The WWW, however, holds the potential for much more. The true beauty of the Internet is its ability to connect people and ideas that are not related: to challenge our predispositions, to expose us to new things and other ways of looking at familiar sights. That is how we as individuals can grow, can learn, can become more than we already are. It does not happen automatically. The web is what we make it: we can use it to retrench ourselves in our preordained cliques, beliefs, and interests, or we can use it to expand horizons and connect to things that would otherwise be out of reach. I am a firm practitioner of the latter, and while the depth of connections I've found to things that are utterly different from me can sometimes be overwhelming and even terrifying, I have no doubt that they have made me a deeper, more intelligent, and more creative person than I would otherwise be. Let's work together to fuse our diverse ideas and bits of knowledge for a smarter, savvier, more sensitive community.

Enough rambling. Thank you to everyone who reads Acceity! If you enjoy what you find here, remember to share this site with your friends and introduce them to something new. You can also (now) follow me on Twitter ( for shorter, slightly more frequent updates — I'm really just trying it out now, so there's no telling how long I might stay. Finally, feel free to leave your own reflections on Acceity, or any other new topic, by commenting on this post. Thanks again!

Posted By: Joshua | 1 Comment »

Merry Christmas

25 December 2009 | Category: Site News
The slender branches of a very small fir tree poke out from the melting snow.

My Christmas Tree

It has been a few days since my last post. When I wrote before, we were still savoring the last weeks of a cool Wisconsin summer. Now we're wading through a December mix of rain and snow, which has turned our White Christmas into a slushy, icy mess. The Christmas Tree in the front yard seems to be surviving all the same — and that's good, because it still has a lot of growing to do. I feel the same way about this blog.

Acceity lives, despite my lack of attention to it. Indeed, visitors have been trickling in daily from search engines, and there were even one or two new comments while I was away. It is good to know that my work is useful to a few people, occasionally. That is enough reason to press on, and now that I have an entire month free from school and other tedious obligations, I plan to post quite a lot in the coming weeks. There is a whole world to talk about, so I hope you'll join me here for the impending discussions. In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas!

Posted By: Joshua | 1 Comment »

At Long Last: A New Post

17 July 2009 | Category: Site News

It's been far too long since my last update—but I've been busy. Since my last post, I've finished semester finals, started a summer internship, traveled to Virginia and back, and knocked a few more books off my ever-growing reading list. Unfortunately, blogging slipped by the colloquial wayside. Now I have a little more time to put into Acceity, though, so updates will be more frequent for the remainder of the summer.

There have been a few changes here since my last post. First, behind the scenes, I've switched servers, from Bluehost to Inmotion Hosting. In doing so, I've both saved myself a little money and gotten a higher-capacity hosting account. The move has been pretty smooth, but I can never be sure if I've transfered every little thing properly from one host to the other, so it's possible there are a few glitches remaining to be smoothed out here in the next couple days. If you find one, let me know.

More visibly, you'll also notice that I've given Acceity an entirely new look. The updated design has its pros and cons, but I was aiming for something simpler, brighter, bolder, and altogether more suited to immersive reading. After all, this is a website where you can still find good, hearty servings of prose—an increasing rarity among the flashes and bangs of the multimedia-enhanced but attention-deficit web—and I think Acceity is now optimized to make reading long passages of text here almost as comfortable as reading long passages of text out of a magazine. We're talking serifs, bigger fonts, more whitespace, fewer distractions. You can just sit back, relax, and read.

This time next week, there will actually be something here to read.

Posted By: Joshua | 4 Comments »

Buried in Books

27 January 2009 | Category: Site News
stacks of dusty old books laid out before a grandfather clock

Time to Get Reading...

My long winter break has come to an end, and school has begun again. I fear this means I won't be making regular posts here for a while. Altogether, my professors have assigned more than two-dozen textbooks this semester. It's a good thing that I like to read.

Despite the excessive classwork, I hope to continue writing here occasionally over the next several weeks. There are plenty of leftover topics buzzing about in my head from last month that haven't been written up, and if I don't have time to pursue things unrelated to school, I may try to adapt a few of my class projects this semester into posts here—provided that I can make them reasonably interesting. At the very least, you're bound to see a few samples of what I do in my new creative writing course. All updates, however, will be rather few and far between.

If you haven't already, you might want to subscribe to the Acceity RSS feed with your favorite aggregator (Google Reader, Bloglines, My Yahoo!, or whatever) so that you are sure to get updates soon after they're made. That way, you won't have to check this site day after weary day wondering when the next post will come. In the meantime, thanks for reading, and hopefully I'll be back with something new to think about before too long.

Posted By: Joshua | 1 Comment »

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