Dan Porter, an elderly-looking gentleman with a penchant for scavenging the internet (that's where you go for valuable information!) for stuff related to the Turin Shroud, has what every blogger dreams of. A blog that gets a lot of attention with very little effort from the author.
Dan Porter at his blogging desk - this is where the magic happens
He is not the kind of guy who spends countless hours typing his posts, hoping to catch the reader's eye with brilliant reasoning, expert competence, sound argumentation, or eloquent prose. He is much too shrewd and seasoned for such a noobish approach. His MO is both profoundly simpler and incomparably more effective. Certain that it will not in the least affect the popularity of his blog (after all, he has chosen an audience whose allegiance is not easily lost), we will disclose his secret - now.
Dan has a set of saved Google-searches (such as the 'Turin Shroud', 'Image of Edessa', 'Holy Face', 'Mandylion', 'C-14 carbon testing' and the like), which he runs every morning with one click of his mouse.
Having found something that may be even remotely interesting to his audience, he provides the following:
1.) a catching title - preferably something that sounds like a comment in itself (If such a title can be found, Dan has pretty much already done his job!)
2.) a short 'intro' - something that puts the reader in medias res and makes it seem that Dan has actually read the thing he is promoting - such as:
Davor Aslanovski, in an email to me, writes, “I know that [‘two posts on my blog’] express some views radically opposed to yours, but they are products of diligent research and reflection.” Indeed! I found them very informative so I strongly recommend his very significant blog postings at Deum Videre.
3.) (optionally) an even shorter comment on the content of what he's promoting - such as
No, I have not changed my mind. But that is not the point. Read:(see, just a few simple words will do - even for papers that are well over 10.000 words in the original!)
and 4.) a picture, of course - a photograph of the author will do, but in the absence of one, or if one has already been provided in a recent post, a funny caricature or a clever illustration works great and is often, in fact, a better solution. For instance, in the case of the author mentioned above, whose posts are 'very informative' and 'very significant', something like this will show that, for all his expertise, this author, who disagrees with you, should not be taken too seriously:
And that's pretty much it. After that, Dan simply leaves it to his audience (believers in the authenticity of the Turin Shroud) to do what they like to do most - argue. He doesn't take a more active role in their subsequent debates than he does in stirring them up. The most that he does is to 'promote a comment' every now an then - just to show that he is aware of what is going on on his own blog and to give some indication that he still is a believer in Ian Wilson's teaching. Thus:
Comment Promoted: On being lazy or a fool; a pseudoskeptic
July 4, 2012
What I find amazing is the Asimov article which is a part of blog that started this discussion. It’s Medieval (maybe not so medieval). He adopted of the language and analysis of the Inquisition. Thus we have “orthodox” science defending us against the heretics who dare to publish without imprimatur.It is a very elitist view and anti-democratic. It’s not that scientific issues should be decided by a majority vote. It’s that even crackpots have a right to free access to what Madison called “the market place of ideas.” The essence of the Asimov view is that only approved ideas can be shared.Given the scientific investigations of the Shroud of Turin and the published results of those investigations anyone who still argues or tosses off the opinion that the Shroud is, or must be studied as, a painting, is either lazy or a fool, or both.They are also what Marcello Truzzi called “pseudoskeptics.” They are not seeking to discover truth but to sustain their predetermined point of view. They are truly “true believers.” And yet in the posts to this blog the pseudoskeptics label those who take the scientific findings concerning the Shroud seriously “believers” as if that were a curse word. When it comes to “belief” those who maintain the Shroud is a painting and attack the credibility of those who deny that are the Taliban of science.
The journal that Marcello Truzzi started because he believed that skepticism was being replaced by pseudoskepticism You can see all the comments related to this particular comment by clicking here.
And, believe it or not, that's really all there is to it. That is all there is to know about Dan Porter's secret zen art of blogging by not blogging, writing by not writing... and sometimes even thinking by not thinking! To hell with those over-specialized, over-researched, over-length articles that pedants write just to get laughed at. You don't have to have anything to say, and you certainly don't have to write anything, you noobs. Just 'promote' other people's posts and comments and enjoy the extra time you now have to spend in the shower.