AdamSandvoid Level 01
  • Member since Apr 5th 2021
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Posts by AdamSandvoid

    Hi, I am a long-time lurker and have learned a lot from this forum and its participants. Things I have found particularly useful are (in no order):

    • Welcoming and open discussion, with a few guardrails. I find the focus of the forum to be very helpful, and not a deterrent generally to open conversation. Others may disagree but for me it is clearly stated and does have it's intended effect.
    • Forums and threads organized by topic. When great conversations about a particular topic are buried under the wrong title it can be confusing. In a way this is just ongoing effort on behalf of the forum to identify and organize the past conversations. I see this work going on constantly -- as a new and ongoing student this is extremely helpful, for example trying to understand Pre-conceptions one can find all of the historical conversations here on the forum.
      • On the other hand I like how there are stubs of interesting ideas and areas of focus that might just sit there for a while until something clicks. These are the things an internet forum is really great at.
    • Regular forum members and their contributions to the forum have really helped me. The forum is an archive of all these thoughts, and there is so much good stuff in there.

    One thing that can be improved is that the forum is overwhelming, especially as a person just interested in epicureanism, or as an epicurean coming from other points of view. If you put on that person's shoes for a minute, and come to the front page, you'll see what I mean. It's not until you scroll way down the page that you see a section devoted to "New User Orientation" -- make that a stickied Thread and link it from the top of the home page in the Welcome section. This is one reason I started -- this and other similar sites are intimidating and I hope to create a more focused and less intense introduction for people who are just interested in the philosophy.

    A project to undertake is to clarify what each site is for, and then let that site do that thing, and link to throughout the network -- ie instead of each site having it's own list of the ancient documents (that have to be maintained) have one site that is the documents, and then point there from all the others (I know that was noted as a project so I'm just seconding that effort; I like the idea of making it a github repository that anyone can pull from). Maybe it isn't that simple, and I know I am proposing work for someone to do (but I am happy to help).

    Overall I feel forum is working and there are increasing numbers of regular participants. The more participants, the more discussion, the more helpful threads are organized for future readers -- so outreach efforts are key but obviously outside the normal scope of the forum.

    These are just some thoughts. Thanks for everything.

    Cassius, this is really great. Thank you for posting the links to the Web site. I appreciate that. I did get some additional traffic today and some people signed up for the newsletter which is very cool! I think my username is kind of clever either way -- as an Adam Sandler reference, which is how I began, or as AdamsAndVoid. Go with whatever makes you feel better. : )

    Hi Martin and everyone, thank you for the feedback. I especially liked this bit about "objections to that path have not yet been refuted." This is how I like to approach things myself so it's good to have someone else looking over the material.

    *I* define the Epic Swerve (capital E and capital S) as the moment you find epicureanism and begin your study. That is built into the DNA of the url and the site itself. In my own mind it makes sense that the capitalized word means what I intend it to mean but I can easily see -- now that it is pointed out -- that it can be confusing in a way that is unintended. I've updated the page to remove or update the items you mentioned Martin and will keep my eye open for other items.

    And Cassius, this is the key for my effort: cultivating the "art in both making the point and breaking through incorrect preconceptions as quickly as possible." Although in a way my ideal reader is actually slightly different -- they don't necessarily have incorrect preconceptions that need to be rectified, they just need to be properly introduced to the material in a way that is engaging and draws them on to deeper study.

    Hi Cassius and everyone, I have been a "lurker" on this forum for a long time. I've learned a lot from everyone here. So thank you!

    I don't know how I first found the forum but I was introduced to Epicureanism through my interest in Stoicism. I had the same reservations about popular Epicureanism -- and Stoicism -- that you raise here and your "not neo-epicurean" document helped me to get a glimpse of what this is all about. Enough to dig in and begin studying.

    Over the last few years I've read many of the posts here from all of you; I've read DeWitt and Lucretius; A Few Days In Athens; also Cicero and Diogenes Laertius; also Gosling and Taylor and Nikolsky. And lots more, including modern writings. Of course there is more to study and much to go over again.

    Somewhere along the line I became determined to create a simple "starting point" for beginners. I believe I was inspired by a post here, but I can't find it. I've attempted this here: (I hope posting the link is not poor etiquette, I'm happy to remove it if so). My model is to introduce interested folks to what I believe are initial and essential points, in the hope of engaging them and then providing them with inspiration for ongoing or deeper studies with a newsletter. I didn't find anything like this when I was searching (at least, what I am intending). I'm interested in any feedback.

    I hope you are all keeping well.