New posters: read Da Roolz (and how to send photos)

September 3, 2023 • 8:15 am

Lately there’s been an influx of rather toxic new posters, people whose first posts are nasty, rude, clueless, or call other posters names. If you’re going to make your first post on this site, please read “Da Roolz”—the guidelines for posting on this site. You can find them here or on the site’s left sidebar. I’ve been rejecting comments that don’t follow these guidelines, and, if the comments are sufficiently obtuse (e.g., taking me to task for not accepting the “overwhelming evidence for God”), I’ll just ban the commenter.

I have no idea why this is happening; is it “post-pandemic meanness”? I’ll remind posters of rules 7 and 8:

7.) Do not insult your host. Pretend that you’re speaking to me in my living room which is, in a sense, what this website is.

8.) Most important, please try to refrain from insulting other posters, no matter how misguided you think they are.  I don’t like name-calling, for it lessens whatever class this site has and certainly doesn’t foster discussion.  I will often warn people about this behavior either on the site, or in a private email. About 70% of those who are warned respond with truculence, either insulting me or saying that their behavior is fully justified. That’s a good way to get blacklisted—almost as good as telling me to stop posting on cats or cowboy boots. If I ask you to apologize to a commenter whom you insulted, please do so.

Also, I’m delighted to get readers’ wildlife photos (but please hold off until Sept. 23), and there’s another link that shows you how to send then to me.  Please send good photos of the quality that usually appears here.

Glitch fixed (I think)

August 7, 2023 • 10:38 am

Several readers noted a glitch in the Jordan Peterson post, which involved the text running in a narrow column way down the page, making a mess of the whole thing.

Fortunately, Greg found the cause: some bad code that somehow got inserted into that post. He spent a fair amount of time fixing it, and now I think things are okay.

Many, many thanks to Greg for taking the time to do this. I hope we’ll be okay from now on.

Oh, and if you left a comment on the Jordan Peterson post that disappeared in the fix, please make it again. Thanks!

A question for readers about posting

April 27, 2023 • 8:00 am

My crack website tech person has attacked the issue of all the comments having to be moderated, and I think that one is solved. The resolution was technical, and I don’t need to go into details, for what I want to ask the readers is this:

      Are you having any problems at all posting or subscribing to comments? 

Please describe any technical issues in the comments below, and if there’s something afflicting several people, I’ll try to get it solved.

“We aim to please”


Off to France!

April 10, 2023 • 7:45 am

This afternoon I head to France, and will immediately take the Metro to the First, where I’ll have a slap-up lunch at Chez Denise with a friend. Restaurant reservations are made for all eight days, and I will try to walk a lot and eat only once per day to stave off obesity.

What this means for readers is that there will be fewer posts, and they will concentrate mainly on Paris, travel, and food.

Also, since the comments feature has a glitch whereby I have to approve nearly every comment manually, regardless of whether a reader has posted before, your comments may take a while before they appear. Bear with me, and please don’t write me telling me your comment isn’t up!  I do my best.

Please keep emails to me to a minimum until I’ll back in business on April 20.

À plus tard!

Talk to the tech guy!

March 23, 2023 • 12:45 pm

The person who handles the technical aspects of this site has left a comment on today’s Hili dialogue asking for you to notify him of what problems you’re having getting emails from the site, not having comments go through immediately, and so on. (As I’ve said, I’m now having to approve virtually every comment, even of those people who were never moderated, and it’s a pain.)  Here’s what he says, but go to the comment itself (click on link in previous sentence or on screenshot below to reply) to beef about your issues. Now’s your chance. Please be as specific as possible.  Thanks!

Email issues. Are they resolved?

January 30, 2023 • 10:15 am

My tech expert has worked on the subscriber issue, and I’ve received notifications from several people that they are once again receiving emails notifying them of new posts on this site. It may be fixed, but I won’t know until I hear from readers. You should have received this post, and perhaps the one before that.

If you’re still shut out, let me know, either below or in an email, and I can try removing your name from the subscription list and then putting it back in. I’m not sure that will fix anything, but a reader suggested it. If you’re still getting bupkes, put your email address below or email it to me and I’ll take you off the list. You’ll then have to resubscribe. But again, I’m not sure that is a fix, so I’d wait another day before contacting me.

But if your problems have been solved, let me know below.

Thanks, and sorry for the inconvenience,
Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus)

Readers report problems getting WEIT emails

January 29, 2023 • 8:00 am

About half a dozen readers have reported that since yesterday they haven’t received their emails of posts on this site. (I think they’re all Gmail users.)  I have no idea what’s going on, and have called the problem to the attention of my web tech person.  I’m not sure if anything can be done about this, but I’m trying.

To judge the nature of the problem, simply put a comment below if you’ve stopped getting emails rather than emailing me about it.

In the meantime, if you have another email account I would suggest using that one, or, as in the good old days, just look at the site itself online once a day (there are rarely any posts after 2 pm Chicago time, and each day begins with a Hili Dialogue post).

I hope this is a temporary inconvenience, and I’m doing my best to get it fixed. Thanks.

A little beef

January 27, 2023 • 11:15 am

Here’s a dilemma I face constantly. A lot of material on this site is devoted to opposing “progressive liberal” (i.e., “woke”) initiatives, particularly in science. And I’m pretty much of an absolutist when it comes to freedom of speech on campus, which isn’t exactly an attitude that’s au courant or ubiquitous among progressives.

Whenever another site links to a post on WEIT, which is fairly often, I get a “pingback” that lets me know that someplace has put up a link. Very often I go to see how my posts are being used, and very often—in fact at least 90% of the time—it’s a right-wing site like The College Fix, or The American Conservative, or someone like that, all of them decrying wokeness. Likewise, you’ll never see my criticisms of the incursion of wokeness into science appear in science journals—or in any left-wing media. In other words, my words are being uses to attack the Left, which happens to be the end of the political spectrum I’m on.

Now I could look at this situation in two ways.

1.) Since I go after what I see as irrational or harmful behaviors of “progressives”—and I do that to try to show that even liberals can call out their own, as well as to help purge the authoritarian and reflexively irrational elements on my own side of the aisle—I could regard these pingbacks as helping me in those efforts.


2.) The audience for these right-wing websites isn’t just interested in getting rid of “progressivism” or authoritarianism in the Left: they want to get rid of the entire Left. To the extent that my words are being construed as tarring the entire Left, I could be seen as hurting my own cause. Or even as helping the most dire Republicans around—the people like Trump who call out wokeness to go after Democrats in general.

Each time I see a pingback from one of these conservative sites, then, I am ambivalent. Am I helping or hurting my own cause? Like all people who take my point of view, I have of course been called “alt-right,” “racist”, and even a white supremacist. I brush off those names because they’re just slurs that progressives who lack arguments use to tar their opponents.

Now I’ve already my decision: I’m going to keep doing what I do (alternative 1) for several reasons. My motivations in calling out woke craziness is not to go after the Left as a whole, and thus I may, as someone with Leftist beliefs and a fairly activist track record, have more credibility than the right-wing sites who call out the same stuff. Further, I cannot bear it when the Left is associated with performative nonsense and general insanity. It’s like when someone in your family is acting badly: you call them out before others do, because, after all, they’re family. Finally, I still think that purging progressives from the Democratic side, or at least letting others know that we recognize the Follies of the Woke, will keep centrists from moving toward the Right. So long as people think all Leftists are “progressive”, they will shy away from the Left, and that would not be good.

I just wanted to air these thoughts. Readers are welcome to react, and you can tell me to dial down my criticisms of “progressivism,” but I’m not going to do it.  Oh, and please don’t lecture me about using the word “woke”. I have not found a good substitute and I’ve gotten plenty of blowback about that, which I’ve also rejected.

Note: premature posting and link to final post

January 5, 2023 • 12:59 pm

I accidentally goofed up this morning and published “Once again America is touted as a Christian nation” before I’d written the post. (I had only the title and pressed “publish” instead of “save”.) I’ve since realized that many people got the email when the post with only the title was out, and didn’t get an email with the final post. (I got emails. .  .)

So I’m putting up this post with the link so you can read the final version. The link is in the first line above, and if you’re one of those who miscreants who reads posts on your phone, click on that link to read this one.

Sorry; nobody’s perfect!