Let me explain about this page. This is where I explain all about this site and why it exists and what it is good for and whether it is approved by the FDA. (It isn’t.) This is a late twentieth century web based version of the olde curiosity shoppe. In other words it is an intellectual junkshop.That wasn’t the original intent. Many years ago I did an amateur magazine (fanzine) called Personal Notes, dedicated to the fine art of nattering about this and that and the other thing, nominally about science fiction but really about anything that happened to strike my fancy. Things happened and my fanzine went to sleep. Of late I conceived the ambition to revive it, only this time in the form a web site, under the happy illusion that a web site would be just the ticket, a new improved electronic version of my old magazine.
Little did I know. Web sites are not magazines (although people play with the concept) — they are shops in the great electronic bazaar. You huckster your site, people follow it by word of mouth, whatever. People out of somewhere drift in, sample your wares, and drift on. The trick for the successful shopkeeper is to have some attractive goods that will catch the eye of the public.
The trouble is that I’m not really doing a site for the masses. The very nature of a junkshop is that it is a place to browse. Moreover this is an intensely personal site. By this, I don’t mean that I spend a lot of time and space on nattering about me, but rather that it reflects my interests and my personality. So maybe the whole proposition doesn’t work. Or maybe it does; time will tell.
In any case I do mean to sell out a little bit. In other words, from time to time I expect to do pages that people will end up at for the conventional reasons, i.e., pages that people link to because they are resources of one kind or another. The piltdown page, which tells the story of the piltdown man hoax, is an example. It’s a specialty item but between it and the mirrored copy a talk.origins archive the piltdown man page gets about 500 hits a month, not earth shaking but repectable. Less respectable, indeed somewhat reprehensible, is my post modern creationism page, a dubious fusion of post-modernism and creationism that appears to be modestly popular for reasons that disturb me. I expect that the Find Billy! page will acquire a certain popularity – particularly since it’s listed in the useless WWW pages.
From time to time I expect that I will create other pages that are candidates for catching the public eye, or at least some small select subgroup of the public. For the most part, however, my pages go mostly unread, a chance visitor here or there. Upon reflection this may be for the best.
A small word on navigation. This place is a rat’s nest. A lot of pages are linked in rings; the next page buttons take you to the next page in the ring. Some pages show up in more than one ring; they get more than one next button. The place is sort of organized in layers; the up buttons take you up a layer. However a page may be pointed to from more than one place above; accordingly it will have more than one up button. The topics page is a good place to start. If you get confused every page has a table of contents button. This lists all of the pages (well, almost all) sorted by the last time they were altered. If you haven’t visited recently you should probably check the table of contents anyway to see what has changed.
But enough about me. What about you?
This page was last updated August 26, 1996.