Celebrating 4 years of blogging!

Updated July 10, 2008 : This post has been Desipundited. Thanks a lot Patrix.

—-

Prolog

I generally avoid milestone posts, but i could not resist this one. Last week, on June 27, 2008, we completed 4 years on this blog. During that time, we have written  497 posts and received 2,851 comments.  Just 3 posts away from the 500 post milestone!

Unbelievable Journey

It is a journey that started 4 years ago as a humble experiment amongst a bunch of people struggling to keep in touch with each other.  What a fun-filled, emotion-laden journey it has turned out to be – i have made so many friends,  blogging has become a cornerstone of my career completely unexpectedly, learnt an order of magnitude more than all that i had learnt prior to blogging.  More than all that,  as most members would agree, the SAST Wingees of today is a thriving community that exchanges wisdom of a kind that is quite unique in the blogosphere.

Learnings

Caveat emptor: most of these learnings may not be applicable if you are trying to build an A-list blog 🙂

1.  In the initial days of blogging, i used to frequently check the visitor stats – where the visits are coming from etc.   The traffic was nothing much to write home about.  It was a complete waste of time not to speak of the depressing feeling i had. But then, as luck would have it,  around that time, i realized that i was not writing for traffic or comments but for my own pleasure. I stopped looking at the stats and i have never looked back.

2. I would react to some post written by the A-list bloggers and then email them to let them know in the foolish hope that they would link to our blog, which as i realized painfully, the same thing a zillion other z-list bloggers like me did 🙂  Over time, i realized that i should build my own voice on the Internet and that is when i found the true joy of blogging.

3. Once i was off the chasing-the-a-list treadmill, the biggest joy for me has been to read lesser-known bloggers, exchange comments/ideas with them.  By switching to techmeme.com, i have mostly eliminated the a-list from my feed reader except for a few that i really like.  That has freed up a lot of time for me to read these lesser known bloggers and i should say, i have learnt so much more in this process. I got the sense of community, only after taking this step.

4. Most people talk about blogging as a conversation. In my view, blogs are a community.  I have always believed that a single author blogging strategy would make it harder to build a community. This blog has vindicated that with the kind of community that it has managed to pull together.

5. Another thing, that most pro bloggers advise is to write a blog around focused topics. While that may be a good way to build an A-list blog, i felt that, it didn’t really match the personality of our community. We have wide-ranging interests and the blog should be a reflection of that. Also, topic blogs tend to run out of steam after sometime or the author starts getting bored with the topic – how long can one keep writing on the same topics day after day, year after year?

6. Blogging is a true meritocracy. Many people talk about this, but to experience it is truly humbling. There are no big shots, your standing in the industry or your position in the company is not relevant. Your post or comment is as good as any one else’s.  If you believe that power corrupts and want to avoid that trap, blogging can put some serious humility into you.

7. The biggest secret of blogging is commenting on other blogs. If you discover this secret, you will have a successful blog.

Thank You

It is a momentous occasion for this blog and we would not be here without the contributions of several people: First on the list is Ganesh, he has been on the journey from day one, encouraged me every step of the way, and continues to be a key contributor;  Priya Raju, my wife, who has encouraged me at every instance and is now a regular contributor of this blog;  Sujatha Manivasagam, NK Sreedhar, Sibu Kutty and Sridhar Iyer, who have written several posts on this blog.

Our regular commenters – the indefatigable Senthil, my friend Archana Raghuram, PK Karthik, Subba Muthurangan, Vamsi PoondlaSaraswathi, Jaskirat, Ananth, April Holladay and many others.

Patrix and the Desipundit team for recognizing and linking to some important posts over the years.

John Keegan, one of the best customer service professionals i have ever come across. He runs Pressharbor which hosts our blog today.


Comments

  1. Quote
    Robin (subscribed) said July 25, 2008, 2:22 pm:

    Thank you for taking your time to answer my “illogical” questions. I am nearly certain that the first two, are correct, thanks to your intuitive research. The last term–dala, is not correct–

    So, please understand that I have little knowledge in these areas, and I have followed your many posts with a very “dim” intellectual awareness, but an intuitive, one, which is a territory that
    I must carefully guard against the notional. (my own)

    So, what about the word “jala” which in Tibetan is ‘dzala. What is the meaning of Jala in Tamil?
    Is jala, water?

    Maram Magan-jala
    Maram Magan-dzala
    Maram Mag-dzala
    Mary Magdala

  2. Quote

    Robin – Nope, “Jalam” is a Sanskrit word meaning Water. “Jaalam” means Magic. There are many loan words in Spoken Tamil & “Jalam” is one of them. Tamil words don’t end with the long “A”. Plus, there is no “J” in Tamil – that’s a loan phoneme.

    My 2 cents – There’s no connection with India. India is very far away from Israel, where much of the action in the New Testament took place. As far as I remember, the only mention of India in the Bible is in the Book of Esther, as the boundary of Ahasuerus’s (probably Xerxes) territory.

  3. Quote
    Robin (subscribed) said July 25, 2008, 5:27 pm:

    Thanks Priya, for all you have done. Should I have told you that my studies were not in the
    traditional Judeo/Christian model, as I would in no way imply that India would belong there.
    No, no, no, not in the traditional would this ever be possible. But beneath the catacombs of Rome, before the repressions, there were the peacocks, the dolphins, the Orante. Before the misogynies of those such as Ambrose, there were the images, of beauty. This lasted but a short time. And then in time, the dolphins became a fish, and finally emerged as the “vesica piscis”
    But not for many, many years.

    And then, as always, the veil was drawn.

    There are no dolphins in the Sea of Galilee, near Migdol. But the dolphins cover the walls
    of Minoa (Magan).

    You have been so kind, to me. I appreciate your time.

  4. Quote
    Sukumar (subscribed) said July 26, 2008, 8:44 am:

    Interesting discussion Robin and Priya. Robin, Priya is much more knowledgeable about the Bible. My research is more around the period 2500-1000BC or so because of my interest in solving the riddle of IVC first and Minoa second.

    After a long periods of research into this period, i am big believer in what Gimbutas uncovered. I have lot of supporting material for what she uncovered. Unfortunately, she took an extreme view that the partriarchal Indo-European culture massacred the old Matristic (as she calls it) and replaced it. I am of the view that the IE amalgamated cleverly with the Neolithic culture created what we see today. Christianity went through the same amalgamation strategies to fuse the Neolithic pagan religion into it and later discarded all the amalgamated add-ons to emerge as a pure form in protestantism. Now Mary Magdalene is very interesting from this perspective of both amalgamation as well as the eventual reduction in importance of the female force. In the IVC trinity, the goddess who is the earth goddess and represents the life force also known in Tamil as Mari (pronounced as Maari). Eventually as the IE forces amalgamated the religion with theirs, they replaced Mari with another male God and made the female just the wife of a God thereby making women subordinate to the males. This is where Gimbutas’ intuitive leap is spot on.

    The connection that i see, but that i cannot prove is, Mari is Mary. The reason i can even point at this connection is, because Mother Mary is an amalgamated entity taking the Mother Goddess worship of the Celts. Now i believe as i have written the IVC religion was very closely resembled the Celtic religion. I am not able to figure out what the Celts called their Mother Goddess in ancient times. If you know, please let me know. of curse, Mary Magdalene is different from Mother Mary. But i just was talking about the Mother Goddess connection from the Neolithic to Christian.

    BTW, do you agree that Minoa is Magan? I haven’t found any leading historian making this connection? Do you have any proof? I managed to write some, but i don’t think i have been able to come up with a convincing proof that that is the case.

  5. Quote
    Robin (subscribed) said July 26, 2008, 9:20 pm:

    Hello, my studies are intuitive and internal. I was struck, not long ago, by the cave paintings
    at Lascaux, the “bull” and thus, I began..connecting the “art”. The imagery has a systemic language, as though much of what we may learn of the Mother Goddess is inarticulate, yet,fully representated in the “images” of those who have known her from times past. I began to understand that the difference between the patriarchal model and the hidden past, is:

    Structural vs. systemic.

    Articulation vs. Imagery

    And, so by some accident (although) I do not believe, in this instance in such, I saw the
    frescoes of Minoa, and something within my soul, “knew” that I was looking at the art of the
    “lost” feminine. My theory then, is simple: What Man and History has Rewritten, Nature
    does not forget. (I must tell you that this is merely a portion of the levels here)
    For prior to this simple idea, I had studied Sheldrakes Theory of Morphic Resonance, and
    noted that resonance may not only occur as a “current resonance” we have with our fellow
    members of Humanity, but also, may occur with the “past”, as noted by Sheldrake in this
    quote.

    “Organic form is guided, Sheldrake proposes, by the formal and behavioral influence of “past organisms of the same species through direct connections across space and time.” DNA may “tune” these fields in the manner that a television receiver accepts and illustrates an electronic message. In this manner only can DNA be said to guide the production of protein and the growth of the body. Parental traits are not contained by genetic material, rather the genetic material receives and implements this resonance in a particular way. All living forms are enfolded within the memory of nature and within a past which is also present. In place of the information model of DNA, Sheldrake has substituted a much finer, but no less material medium, comparable to electromagnetic fields”

    When I found your site, I believe that what you are “tracking” is the same suprasystemic
    intuitional read of the “hidden” past. This as you know, is the dilemma of those who are trying
    to recover their heritage, their inner light, their internal balance, their full and human truth, free from the aggression implemented by the patriarchy justified through religion, political structures, etymologies, exploitations, creating as we say in Arizona, a world out of balance. Koyaanisqatsi

    While reading your site, I was immediately aware of your “correctness” even though I am nearly illiterate to your terminology. Your understanding of symbols, and connections, such as
    the Labrys sp? , the mythos (oral storytelling) and the connection with Minoa, led me to ask
    about another name for Mary Magdalene, as I am convinced that yes, it could be Mari, it could
    be Maram, but not Mary, as derived from “bitter”.

    I have been tracking the Dolphin, the trident, the peacocks, the rose, most symbols which do not appear in the New Testament, in ANY form. It came to me, that MM was probably of the tradition you have described as an oral tradition. These symbols were added to the Christian religion early on, to “incorporate” the lost elements of the earlier, and then overrun Mother-past.
    The idea among most Christians, is just the opposite. They believe that Catholicism incorporated
    the pagan in order to proselytize. Yet, the pagan symbols predate the Catholic church, and not the other way around. And what was the Pagan, but remnants of the Matristic model…

    There is no doubt in my mind that the pagan beliefs were added to the early religion as a
    means to preserve, the older matristic model. Since I am looking at more recent history, it is much easier to find. I believe that this was done, Consciously, by those, before us, who knew
    the future. Leaving these Meta-gold signs and symbols so that we might find them. So far,
    I have found evidence, in Pre-Christian era, 100-200 AD, 300-400 AD, I have also found these symbols in the very earlier Renaissance, and the “carriers” of them. However, the discarding of
    the symbols began from the first century, on, long before protestantism.

    It is nothing as in the Da Vinci code, or the current beliefs surrounding MM.

    So when I found you, and Priya. I was compelled to write.
    Yes, I believe by the “sound” and the reverberation in my soul, that Minoa, was Magan, that the first three letters in Magan, do match Magdalene..that this is no co-incidence. But I cannot find
    the last four letters….although in the Celtic, dala, is a leaf, which matches the Sanskrit.

    As for a Celtic Mari, I would presume there is one, since there is a Basque, one. I will study this.

    I believe Gimbutas intuition is correct, but too global, leaving room for the intellectuals’ attacks.

    “Symbols are seldom abstract in any genuine sense; their ties with nature persist, to be discovered through the study of context and association. In this way we can hope to decipher the mythical thought which is the raison d’etre of this art and its form.” Gimbutas

    I believe Sukumar that we are like bells, and that we “ring” in resonance to that which is true.

    I am deeply appreciate of your and Priya’s response. I am heartened, and compelled to carry on.

  6. Quote
    Sukumar (subscribed) said July 28, 2008, 7:10 pm:

    Thanks Robin. I remain very curious about the Basque people. You say they have Mother Goddess worship as well? Are there any pointers you can give me?

  7. Quote
    Robin (subscribed) said July 28, 2008, 11:14 pm:

    Sukamar, I will try, as best I can, to bring more information to you. Do you think I am
    on a good track? What exactly are you looking for? (I believe however that it is you who can give me pointers!)

    Also, what do you think of the theory, that prior to the “Aryan Invasion” that there was
    another less aggressive migration of Turanians who brought the “sky God”, concept? Although the site has a great sense of nationalism, (understandable when one is searching for their own nations’ identity) I wonder if any of it rings true to you?
    I found the site the other evening, as I am currently researching Turan, the Etruscan Goddess (of which little is known). Although I did not find anything about Turan I did find this interesting site. (below) I would like to know what you think of it. Following the site address is a quote:

    http://www.kashghari.com/en/viewthread.php?tid=3&extra=page%3D

    “Their name “DUR-AVIDI-AN” / “TUR-EVIDI-LER” tells it in plain Turkish. But writing the name in such a concatenated manner makes them unrecognizable as Turkish. This is a form of anagrammatizing or disguising of Turkish language names and titles.
    There appears to be a deception being perpetrated which the scholars should take note of. We must note that the cleverly disguised word DR is nothing but the word DUR/TUR indicating the name of TUR/TURK peoples. Secondly the term AVIDI is nothing but the Turkish phrase EV-IDI meaning “It was the house of”.

    Oh, I also found another little known Goddess: Found in the Netherlands, seems to have been a Celtic Goddess

    The name Nehalennia may mean ‘Leader’ or ‘Steerswoman’ and her
    iconography echoes often marine symbolism: ships, steering oar and
    diffeeent kind of sea creatures (like DOLPHINS). In addition she is
    often depicted with fertility symbolism and with the imagery of a dog
    , often interpreted as a chtonic symbol.

    Probably in about a week I will be heading to the Basques, (who are extremely interesting)

    http://www.answers.com/topic/basque
    You probably already know that Gimbutas found that there was still some Goddess worship even in these modern times.

    Guess what, I found out that we have Basque communities in Idaho and Nevada. I will see what I can find out about Mari.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  8. Quote
    Sukumar (subscribed) said July 31, 2008, 9:18 am:

    Robin,
    The point about Turanians and the link you provided is very interesting.My current opinion is that the Indo Europeans (one of the splinter group) moved to Turkey/Greece area. The other theory that is popular mostly amongst Turkish nationalists is that it is the Turkish people who moved from Anatolia and populated other regions. This whole Turanian language and the anagrammatizing concept seems to be stem from that idea. Since i don’t believe in their original premise i am not able to agree with this. Having said that it is possible that Turanians migrated to the Indus Valley as well. I have not done research into that because most of my research currently is in the Indus Valley’s religion and script and i don’t think a turanian migration gives me special inputs for my research.

    I didn’t realize Basques are in the US as well. I should have guessed. It will be great to know what you find about their ancient religion? Do they still practice it?

Leave a Comment

(required)

(required)

Formatting Your Comment

The following XHTML tags are available for use:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

URLs are automatically converted to hyperlinks.