Saturday, October 4, 2008

Growing Pains

Reality, Reason

A logistical note: RSS and email subscribers may have noticed some previously posted entries being refreshed and redisplayed as if they were new. This happens when a post is edited and reposted. There has been a lot of that since I started this blog, nearly always because I've been fiddling with formatting (a lot—I'm completely anal about things like that). Other than that, edits are for correcting spelling and grammatical errors, making minor wording or phrasing changes for clarity, fixing things I forgot such as post labels, or correcting errors generated by bugs in Blogger's software.1

It is my policy never to make major changes, particularly changes in meaning, opinion, or point of view, to posted material. Significant changes or addenda will always be posted as updates or corrections, like at the end of this post. In that case, it happens that I made a rather glaring error. It's especially the case that I will never attempt to cover up errors by editing posts. Unlike politicians, lawyers, and movie reviewers, I have always admitted when I'm wrong, and I always will.

In order to minimize reposts in the future, I have created a Double-Secret Probation staging blog, so I can edit posts to death2 prior to publishing them. That should prevent the most egregious errors from making it to public view.

See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. I want to clarify that when I say I won't change a posted meaning, opinion, or point of view, it means that I won't edit a post to make it seem like I said something other than I did. Naturally my views are subject to change in light of new information or realization of error. When that happens, I'll point it out and refer to any relevant previous material. (Anal Retention Alert: this is about version 11 of just this update.)

1There's a particularly annoying bug that sporadically inserts full URLs in the <a name> links I use for footnotes, thereby breaking them. Every single time I go back to the post editor I have to check for and delete the inserted stuff. I'm not complaining about Blogger, mind you—it's a fantastic system that's constantly improving. All sufficiently large software systems have bugs.

2It's a rare post, here, in email, or on the various discussion forums in which I participate, that does not go through at least ten versions before I let it see the light of day. This is approximately version 17 of this post.

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