Memo from the back-scratching department

I’ve started a page for reciprocal links, the first click on the main Links page (see top bar). If your blog or website has a permanent link to Via Negativa and you don’t find it on the list, let me know. So far, thirteen blogs have installed links to the new site, beginning with whiskey river five days ago. Thanks, y’all!

It may seem extravagant to list some blogs in three different places, but I’m anticipating eliminating the “Vaguely Compatible Blogs” category from the main page, preserving the sidebar for intra-site links. It makes no sense to spend as much time writing as I do and then let the vast bulk of my output molder unread in the archives. My hope is that having an annotated links page will actually bring more readers to those blogs than would a mere sidebar listing. Having an additional listing for reciprocal links helps assure readers that blogs in the main listing were chosen on their own merits, with no expectation of reciprocity. It satisfies peoples’ curiosity about who links here. And let’s face it, reciprocity is the next best thing to love. It’s only the bloodless angels who can remain apathetic toward the opinions of others. We are apes. We scratch each other’s backs.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

8 Comments


  1. Don’t apes eat *bugs* off one another’s backs? What exactly would be the bloggish equivalent of that??? ;-)

    I’ve updated my blogroll link to VN. It occurs to me that I’ve plenty of dead/outdated links there, I’m so lazy about updating.

    But if you’re offering to scratch my back…well, that changes everything…

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  2. Our real blog name should be The Lazy Bums, not the Dharma Bums. Lazy contains the truthiness of our natures. I thought about updating our blogroll just the other day, and then, I looked out the window and saw something. I can’t remember what, but I do remember now that I didn’t do the update. I think our blogs may be vaguely compatible, but for me that’s as deep as most of my relationships go.

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  3. Thanks for reminding me to update – so we can keep scratching each other’s backs! Intra-site links sounds interesting, I shall take pointers.

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  4. Lorianne – Don’t apes eat *bugs* off one another’s backs? What exactly would be the bloggish equivalent of that???
    Well, I just edited your comment to remove a typo from your link. It took the form of a superfluous “I” in the middle of the address, which, in a Buddhist sense at least, might be the figurative equivalent of an ectoparasite. It wasn’t too crunchy.

    RD – No rush, really. But c’mon – don’t you guys bring your laptops into the sauna?

    Marja-Leena – Maybe I should be taking pointers from you! Your blog sidebar already showcases the contents of your website pretty well.

    In the near future, I’ll be putting in links to Via Negativa-derived collections and special series – the stuff that was linked to at the old site. And I may get motivated and make files of other anthologizable stuff, like the Words on the Street cartoons, or the Butternut Chronicle from the Novemeber before last. But my highest priority is to keep plowing through the archives and sorting things into categories. This will help me see what I have, and possibly prompt me to generate additional collections.

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  5. I’ve been struggling lately with how to organize my links. I have a list of 50 million or so that I should probably add.

    But in a way it’s a good problem to have: a surfeit of interesting people.

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  6. Yeah. Now that I don’t have to worry about saving space, I’ll probably grab a lot of links off your blogroll. There are so many good place bloggers out there now.

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  7. Hi Dave:

    I found the new address at Creek Running North and updated my link to Via Negativa. New site looks good! I really enjoyed First Hike–your niece sounds like a girl after my own heart–squeaky shoes are not right for hiking.

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  8. Thanks, Pamela. It’s an honor to be linked to from your fine site.

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