John Emerson has been running Idiocentrism for six months now, and has taken stock of his goals and successes. He writes:

Idiocentrism is not a blog—I write very few topical or personal posts. I use this site to self-publish the fruit of about 43 years of study and thought. (Think of me as a freelance pamphleteer). This is my main publication forum, though I’m always willing to write for pay, and is also my only institutional affiliation.
My long-term plan is to publish 2000 words a week for ten years, if I live that long. (I’m on track). This will add up to more than a million words, and I hope for perhaps a fifth of what I publish to be of enduring value…

He’s one of the most original and wide-ranging thinkers out there, and doing it without any institutional support. (He says, and I agree with him, that “the university has a negative effect on independent scholarship.”) So drop by and show him some love, why doncha? And if you know how to get an RSS feed set up, he’d like to hear from you.


  1. Many thanks, Steve.

  2. That’s great!
    And yes, RSS would be nice. Otherwise the lazy me can’t bring myself to follow Idiocentrism more regularly. 🙂
    Also – maybe some tips for would-be independent scholars? How to handle the life of the mind alongside day jobs and stuff life that? 😉

  3. aldiboronti says

    Interesting. I like the Ruins of Rome article. Spenser’s version has been a favourite of mine for many, many years. I’m a sucker for meditations on the fall of Rome, which is why Gibbon’s closing pages to the Decline and Fall, written in the ruins of the Capitol, have such an overwhelming effect on me.
    Incidentally, he only gives the second stanza of Spenser’s poem, which consists of 32 stanzas plus an envoi.

  4. I have added that link.

  5. Although it isn’t a blog – there is no reason not to use blog software, like WordPress to run the site. That would automatically give John an RSS feed. He could easily disable some of the blog-like features (such as comments) if he likes.

  6. I’m the laziest guy in the world, even though if I changed over it would make things easier in the long run.

  7. it really is true what they say about WP taking ~5 minutes to do a basic setup. Faster if you have shell access and can do everything right on the server. . . .

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