Best Via Negativa comment thread ever?

The other day while I was rummaging around in the archives looking for something else, I happened on a post from February 27, 2007 called “Warning label for a cathedral.” Written in response to a comment on an earlier post, it spawned one of the most varied and interesting comment threads here that I can remember, with a discussion about doves versus pigeons and Missouri geology somehow leading to a lengthy and thoroughly engrossing story by Nathan Horowitz about eating peyote in Mexico. This was of course back before we all got on Facebook. I don’t know if that kind of discussion would happen on a blog today.

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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).


  1. What a blast! I wonder how I missed it, the first time around? I’m a pretty dedicated Via Negativa reader.


    1. Thanks to both of you for commenting and letting me know that this link-back post wasn’t a complete waste of pixels.


    1. Oh c’mon, man, your geological ruminations there were great!


  2. I love this! Printed it out the first time and just recently came across it in my big pile of papers that I must someday get organized. Now I can print it out again so I have a double chance of finding it.


    1. I’m glad someone makes use (I assume) of that Print link I provide. The plugin gives the option to exclude comments, but what would be the point of that? And frankly, it’s comment strings like that one that make me question the value of blog books that focus only on the content of the posts.


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