Thirty years ago, in 1993, I treated myself to the first 8 volumes of Darwin’s Correspondence, which was all that had been published at the time. Ever since, one of my ambitions has been to live long enough to collect the full set. Today, on my 58th birthday, I realised that ambition.
Now there’s the small matter of reading them all. I’m currently half-way through volume 12.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve made several small but important improvements to the Friends of Charles Darwin website, pretty much every one of which will go unnoticed by all but the most astute of observers. I’ll spare you the details, other than to say the site now looks more consistent, and I finally managed to track down the source of a problem that was making certain pages far slower than they should have been (which, contrary to all expectations, had nothing to do with any of my own inept programming). So, several minor improvements accumulated over time: how appropriate is that for a site dedicated to Charles Darwin?
The changes are part of a long-desired plan to become less reliant on the outrage manufactories of social media, and to start putting out more stuff both here and on my personal website. This move has been on the cards for quite some time. I’ve made no secret of the fact I would prefer people to follow my websites and newsletters directly, and to cut out the billionaire middlemen. Musk’s recent acquisition and ongoing firebombing of Twitter were not the inspiration for this move, but they provided some much-needed impetus.
I’m not naive enough to think people are going to abandon social media—and neither am I. But I don’t see why I should continue to populate their websites with Darwin-related content, rather than posting it on my own. So, from now on, the plan is to post stuff mainly on my websites and in my newsletters and to link to that stuff via social media.
If you would also like to cut out the middlemen and follow my stuff directly, here are the best ways to do so:
For technical reasons I won’t bore you with, the canonical URL (web address) for the Friends of Charles Darwin combined RSS ‘metafeed’ (which lists all the site’s latest articles, newsletters, reviews and blog posts) has changed to: