Tuesday, June 03, 2003

I have decided to join the world of weblogs, inspired by a fellow academic, Jim Davila, in his blog, PaleoJudaica. Most of what I had seen before his were politically oriented blogs, like Andrewsullivan.com, which I enjoyed reading but didn't feel particularly able to match with my own range of knowledge.

Blogging also reminds me of how I was involved in science fiction fandom in the 1970s and early 1980s -- through the medium of science fiction fanzines and especially APAs -- amateur print associations. They contain contributions by a number of people and are published anywhere from once a week to once every two months. (In fact, in the early 1970s I belonged to a weekly apa, APA-L, from Los Angeles, while I was living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and actually managed for a couple of years to send a contribution in almost every week). Each person copies his or her apazine and sends it to the editor, who then collates all of the contributions and sends them out to the members. People write whatever they want (it doesn't really have to have anything to do with science fiction!), and also write comments on other people's apazines. One might consider this an early precursor to the listserve.

So in this blog my intention is to talk about my academic speciality, early Jewish mysticism, and contemporary politics, and anything else that might happen to catch my fancy -- like my cat, Zachary (although I am sure that there are many many web sites devoted to people's cats -- if cats don't inspire you, you may always skip those postings). If you want to see pictures of my cat, go to Zachary. The pix are part of my academic website.

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