Happy Birthday to Dangerous Intersection

February 21, 2007 | By | 4 Replies More

One year ago, I made my first tentative post to this blog.  It was really a test more than a post, as were the handful of posts for the next two weeks.   We really didn’t get running until mid-March, 2006.  

In that month of March 2006, “Grumpypilgrim” and I were happy to see that, on average, 29 people visited this site every day.  Probably 20 of these daily visits were me. This month (February, 2007), there have been almost 2,000 visits to this site every day.  I guarantee that most of them are not me.   Over the life of this blog, we’ve now published 830 posts and we’ve received more than 3,000 comments.  

I am honored that so many people would take the time to visit this site and to actually stay for awhile.  The average visitor reads three pages, the most commonly read page being the home page, which consists of the ten most recent posts.  

I am truly fortunate to be sharing this space with my co-authors.  Some of them, such as Jason, have been my friends for a long time.  Others are people I’ve met (in person or electronically) more recently.  I carefully read everything each of them posts to this site.  

Many people ask whether I can tell who is visiting the blog.  The answer is no.  My traffic software does not provide me with any meaningful identifying information.  It does show me, though, that most visitors are from the U.S.   Next in line are “unknown,” then Canada, UK, China, European Union, Japan, Netherlands, Germany and Australia.

The traffic stats are fun and exciting, though too-often distracting.   What is even more satisfying are the emails I receive from people who tell me that they found this site to be informative, provocative and, sometimes, inspirational.   Equally satisfying are the comments that help me to better understand a topic. 

Sometimes, I’m clearly in error, and the comments we receive are good strong medicine.   Many of these comments are from our co-authors.  This “cross-pollination” is wonderfully helpful, as well as entertaining.  The authors are delighted, though, to receive comments from the readers.  Most people read without commenting, though.  People like you . . . and you!  We would love to hear from you . . . whenever you are ready.

I started this blog because I often couldn’t find cultural criticism publications that described issues in ways that made enough sense to me.  For instance, many cultural criticism articles ignore well-established findings in the areas of cognitive science and evolution.  Though many articles take on potentially deep topics, they fail to push the topics hard enough. They failed to ask obvious questions.  I suspect that many publications are afraid to ask simple questions because it might be dangerous to do so.  A simple question might distress some readers. It might cause a heated discussion somewhere.  It might trigger an existential unraveling of the psyche.

I decided to use this site to raise simple questions frankly and to publicly work through those questions, citing linked information wherever relevant.  I’ve tried to draw in skeptical/scientific thinking wherever possible.  This approach stems from my twin prejudices: A) that the most interesting questions look simple, and B) when I stop asking simple questions, it’s time to bury me. 

I’ve found that my approach to blogging has made me a more disciplined writer and thinker.  I know that my way of understanding the world has sharpened in focus over the past year.  I think that I am better able to ask those simple questions that provoke. 

For more on the origin of this blog, check out an earlier post, “Why I blog.”

I’m celebrating this one-year milestone with a promise that we are just getting started here at Dangerous Intersection.  In coming posts, I’ll continue to raise simple questions and I’ll continue to push those questions hard in my posts.  When considering competing version of morality, I will repeatedly remind myself that morality that lacks empathy isn’t worth a damn. I’ll actively listen to you (and to the co-authors) and I’ll strive to follow evidence only where it leads.  I will try to be loyal to truth first, above any other form of loyalty.  I hope you’ll find it worthwhile. 


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Category: Communication, Writing

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Ebonmuse says:

    Happy anniversary to DI, and congratulations, Erich and all the rest! I've been an avid reader (and, I'm privileged to be able to say, sometime contributor) to this site since I came across it, and I intend to continue to be one. I routinely find information on this blog first before I hear about it anywhere else, and there are so many different topics and viewpoints represented here, there's always something that draws my attention.

    I'm glad to be here. Keep up the good work!

  2. Dr. Smug says:

    Well, I must admit that I am responsible for about a third of the traffic here. I routinely spend the workday checking up on DI.org and again when I get home. I like the rational perspectives presented here, or at least what SEEMS rational to me. I have learned quite a bit through the past 5 months of reading DangerousIntersection (circa: "who changed the bible"), and by exploring the hundreds of links provided. I like the fact that when Erich finds something of significance which might not be in the mainstream public's eye (like the Media convention), he shares it. Also, I like the fact that the authors aren't afraid to speak up when they disagree (Jason, Grumpy, Dan K, Erica, Devi, and others)

    What I have learned in a nutshell…

    1. Everything you need to know you already learned in kindergarten OR is already printed somewhere in Wikipedia.

    2. When you know you are right, that doesn't always make you right.

    3. When you know somebody else is wrong, that doesn't mean you can change them. Further, they might not want to change even once realizing they are indeed "wrong".

    4. Richard Dawkins is God. Sam Harris is Jesus. PZ Myers is the Bible.

  3. Devi says:

    Erich deserves a special thanks for all the effort and expense he goes to for this site, and I consider getting to contribute a privilege and a joy. He's not been afraid to expose himself (really, Erich, you should know better :)) to the scrutiny of others. I admire his fearlessness. Some of us, myself included, prefer to remain shadowed. For me, the blog is a bit like a psychiatrist's couch. It is here I ask myself (and others) the hard questions, reveal some of my deepest beliefs and concerns, and learn so much about others and the world around me.

    Thanks, Erich for giving me a place to listen and be listened to.

  4. Tim Hogan says:

    Some of you might have noticed that my posts which used to be as "hogiemo" are now under my name Tim Hogan. Erich and I had discussions after his recent trip to the media conference and I requested posts be changed to my name and will post under my name. I'm still trying to find a photo, and will keep on posting. You all keep up the good work, congrats Erich!

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