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12/06/2016

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For what it's worth, Thomas, I read Bratman's posts with keen interest, and I've bookmarked two of them for future study. But, like many readers, I just didn't have time at this point in the semester to engage in any meaningful way.

Thomas, I really want to thank you for all your hard work and for keeping the blog up and running! I know it requires a lot of work. Speaking personally, I wanted to jump in on Michael Bratman's posts (which were very interesting!) but the end of the semester is kicking my butt. Two suggestions: (1) Perhaps we can schedule the featured authors around less busy times of the semester. And (2) Perhaps the featured authors can leave each post up for a full week before posting something new. A few times I wanted to jump in but didn't have the time. Once I did, there was already a new post up.

Also, how about doing something like Pea Soup--i.e., making available (open access) a recently published target article and inviting a couple of people to respond? Perhaps that would be interesting.

Dear Gregg and Matty,

Thanks for your kind words. To be honest, this wasn't so much about Bratman as it was about the last several Featured Authors. The comment threads have been less engaging than I would like for several FAs recently.

As for Gregg's suggestion concerning leaving posts up for a week, this is what I was trying to get around by having FAs just do week-long stints. One common complaint I have heard during the past few years is that with a constant stream of FAs, contributors who are not presently FAs don't want to post for fear of stepping on proverbial toes. So, it seems like I am damned if I do, damned if I don't on that particular front. I also tried alternating months, but that didn't increase the number of posts from non-FAs during those "free" months.

Either way, unless and until some new folks express an interest in helping me build this community, I will close shop at the end of Summer 2017 (both here and over at the X-Phi blog). Hopefully, some graduate students and junior philosophers working in these areas will step up to help. If not, that's fine too. You can't force people to be part of a community after all!

Thomas--

This post saddened me but not unexpectedly--participation does seem on the downward trend, and you've pegged a lot of the reasons. Another part of what's going on is that many philosophers are dealing with political and (thus) budgetary forces that require response--eating up more time. (Heck I'm on sabbatical this semester and still have to take time to fight the good fight!)

I endorse Gregg's suggestion about an article and respondents, maybe with an occasional guest blogger.

I can't speak for others, but Flickers and the previous Garden re-energized my career-long interest in FW and action theory in so many ways I can't count. I read every post and comment on ones that I think I have something to contribute to, especially in a positive way. But the fact that a blog can bring together such a diverse collection of great (and even like me, good enough) philosophers to exchange ideas in this part of the discipline has been an intellectual life saver for this philosopher afloat at a far-flung campus. I'd be crushed if it doesn't continue in some way, even if twirling and twirling toward freedom (classic video!).

All that said, Thomas, I owe you my deepest gratitude for what you've done here. Because of this place, I've met--in person and just virtually--a terrific collection of philosophers, each and every one not just well-equipped to teach me something, but good, decent people. The FW/action community is indeed blessed in this way, and I think continuing to offer this blog--or a worthy successor--will only encourage that proud tradition.

Thomas,
Flickers was really important for me, in multiple ways. It enabled me to feel in contact with a thriving community of mainly North American philosophers, who I would never have been able to interact with otherwise. I really grateful for all you did. I can't promise to play a bigger role in the future - I feel it's time for me to move on to other issues. Whatever happens with the blog in the future, though, I know I'm not the only who will owe you a big debt.

Thomas,

I'm not a philosopher, but I'm interested in a number of philosophical issues, and this blog has allowed me to learn about free will and a number of related topics, both by reading the posts and by discussing the matters at hand with philosophers who specialize on them.

So, thank you.

I have only posted a couple of times but often look at the blog. I think it's a valuable thing. The Facebook page might help- it might just be a matter of getting some more participants. I will join the page and share it with others.

Whatever happens thanks Thomas -grateful to you for organising over the past few years.

I have an idea: Instead of having--for example--one guest blogger a month, why not do something like this:

Invite two people to debate an issue while also allowing participants to comment or ask questions? You can even take the first couple of weeks and let these two people just kind of "slug it out" in terms of debating, and then have the last two weeks of the month be where you open it all up for questions and comments to the two debaters by participants.

Here is an example of what I mean: Let's say you invite Peter Tse and Patrick Haggard to debate on free will issues. And let's say it's January. Have the first few weeks be their "back and forth" and then have the second two weeks of the month be where people get to engage them in questions or discussion. Does that make sense? In other words, have two heavyweights go at it and then let us all talk to them here. THAT would be awesome!

Thomas,

I am one of those silent graduate students working on agency: I read most of the blogs and greatly benefited from them but never actually responded to anything. Sorry! Having read this post l plan to do so in the near future.
Flickers of freedom is a great medium for people to share and develop their ideas and it would be a shame to let that go to waste. I would love to help you refashion it and to engage more junior scholars if help is still needed next year.

Thomas, this blog has been huge for me to develop as a philosopher and as a thinker. I thank you for your service! I would HATE to see this blog go by the wayside and I would be happy to assist in the next chapter to pay it forward, as an editor or coordinator or whatever. I have a few ideas that we could discuss when you had the time on how to revamp things a bit and would be willing to (in the summer time) to take the reigns or assist in any capacity you see fit.

Some ideas:

-- A featured paper series (philosophy of action relate//free will related of course) where we secure an author of a recently published paper as well as someone else willing to summarize the paper and offer comments to open discussion to the flickers community. PEA SOUP did something like this and I find it VERY helpful and insightful.

-- A new model of incentivizing posts by academics that I'd prefer to run by you in private.

--A twitter feed to help guide new scholars (and to make things speedier for the veterans to the blog) to the HUGE archive of arguments and philosophical rigor that we have here from years of top notch posts and discussions. The feed would consist of ONLY Flickers posts (past and present) and work referenced in flickers posts and by work from contributors to the blog (past and present).

I have a few more ideas as well, some simple and related to the look of the blog (by "look" I am referring to different features to help folks navigate through the hundreds of rich posts we already have archived here) as well adding a few other recurring features like the featured paper series I suggested earlier. If any of this seems like a direction you'd like to take things in I'd be happy to chat with you at the Eastern or the Pacific if you'll be at either, or, we could talk more through email or messenger. Don't hesitate to drop me a line.

Thanks again, Thomas. My featured author stint a couple years back was a great experience and I would love to help the next group of budding free willers have a similar experience if I can.

Cheers


Here is some of my blog experience:

APA Blog: I had a paid position with this blog for 6 months and one of the 3 founding associate editors
A Philosopher's Take: I started this blog in 2012 and we have grown to about 10 contributors and few hundred thousand hits. We've gone up in traffic each of the months since it began.

Besides my featured author stint in January 2015 on this blog I have contributed to the Philosopher's Cocoon and Phil Percs. With the latter I've been involved in a number of behind the scenes discussions and decisions that could help with running things here if that's what you were looking for.

Anyway, whatever you decide to do I wanted to say thanks again. This community is one of the best out there and nearly all of the contributors to this blog have helped me in one way or other over the past 5 years. Thanks to you all!

I just want to take a moment to echo what a lot of others have said here - this blog has been a tremendously valuable asset to me (especially back when I was a grad student just starting to think about these issues). I've only chimed in occasionally, but I've gained so much from reading the discussions here. I think there are some good suggestions here (especially Justin's), and like Justin I am also happy to volunteer to contribute or serve in any way that I can to help keep the blog running in the future.

In any case, whatever happens in the future - thanks so much to you and to everyone else who has made this blog so wonderful over the years!

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