Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Change of Policy

No Shoes. No Shirt. No Service. That’s not a real policy, is it?

I’ve decided to disable the like button on all posts from now until the Day of the Lord.  I hope you’ll still visit and comment if you like.

If I do get likes (from the Reader), it will happily bring to mind:

“Suppose it were the life-view of a religiously existing subject that one must not have a  disciple, that this is treason to both God and men; suppose he were also a little foolish (for if it takes a little more than mere honesty to make one’s way in the world, then stupidity is always necessary for real success and to have many properly understand you) and said this directly, with unction and pathos, what then? Well, yes, he would indeed be understood. Soon ten would apply, asking to be engaged just for a free shave once a week to preach this doctrine; i.e., and as further confirmation of the doctrine’s truth, he would have had the extraordinary good luck to acquire disciples who accepted and spread this teaching about having no disciples.”

– Soren Kierkegaard – Concluding Unscientific Postscript


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24 thoughts on “Change of Policy

  1. Tom … I understand your rejection of the “like” button. It doesn’t tell you what any one liked or why. But sometimes I hit the “like” button because I can’t think of anything profound, funny or noteworthy to say. It’s my way of saying “hi” and I enjoyed this post. ;-)


    • Yes, I know I’m often (most of the time) in the same situation with little to say even though I like the post but think any comment I’d make would be inane.

      My problem with the like button, which is probably just par for the course, is that it seems so often used by those who haven’t taken the time to read or listen to what I’ve posted.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Like” is one way of saying I have stopped by, thanks for sharing. An easy option. Often I for one can’t think of a response or have anything of note to say. I will miss your “Like” button but will continue to stop by regardless of whether I have something of import to say or not. Cheers


  3. I will continue to visit! A great discussion on the “like” button.


    • Good to know.

      It does have its uses. And its misuses.

      Since Word Press is free, one can hardly make too many complaints about things, but I do wish we’d be able to get rid of “followers” as I’ve got over 1,000 of them, and I don’t for the life of me believe that even a tenth of them even have any idea of what my blog is about.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree!! I find that it is the dialogue that brings meaning to blogging. Sharing knowledge and experiences leads to a fuller, more grounded perspective. I have been away for a while with my family traveling the Scottish Highlands. I am learning that we have too much “stuff” in our lives. Glad that we connected.


      • Without a dialogue and a real connection it’s pretty pointless.

        Yes, the willingness to listen and learn.


  4. Interesting discussion Thomas – when something really strikes me I’ll comment, if pressed for time I still read or listen but will “like” and move on because I’ve too many posts in my Reader, and finally photographers will post 6 to 10 posts a day (multiply that number by 5 or 6 photographers that I follow) and the number of posts get out of hand so pressing “like” helps me through the process. The problem is, time constraints don’t always allow the opportunity to comment, so sometimes you’ll receive a comment by me and sometimes only a “like” but in the end – both are my way of recognizing that what you posted I’ve spent time reading or listening. I’ll understand if you take the “like” button away, hope you don’t though.


    • I understand, Mary, and I appreciate the time you spend and will spend listening or reading what I’ve posted.

      Basically, taking away the like button is a way of disassociating myself in the only way I know possible (I suppose quitting blogging would work!) from those whose sole intent seems to drum support for whatever it is they happen to be selling.

      That I’m getting likes on a post about getting rid of likes that can only be read completely by visiting my blog where there is no possible of liking it is just proof positive of what Soren was driving at with his comment about the guy whose doctrine was that one should have no disciples.


  5. I totally understand your thoughts here Tom, but I must say I am one of your like button users.
    I enjoy your work, but find myself not being able to stop always, due to limitations and use the button as a bookmark to revisit later on. I dont believe in followers and am a disciple of only One.
    Your likes of my work are always appreciated and I’ll continue to enjoy yours even if Im not always able to comment. Keep doing what you are doing :)


  6. I appreciate the discussion. The “Like” button is a nice option to allow others to interact with posts in my view.


    • When used appropriately I agree. I certainly click like more than I comment mostly because I can’t think of anything particularly interesting to say.

      I have the feeling that the more followers one has (and this is just a guess) that the more you’re likely to fall victim of people merely using the like button without even glancing at a post. For reasons I can’t quite figure out (to be honest I haven’t thought about it all that much.) I’m getting a steady stream of new followers. If only there was a way I could get them to unfollow me so that I’d have only people like you (and the others who have commented) who if they had to answer whether or not my posts deal with Sufi mysticism or analytic philosophy would know to answer, neither.


  7. Day of the Lord? So do you mean Saturday or Sunday? Think carefully about your answer–you don’t marginalize Seventh-Day Adventists or people of the Jewish faith.

    I’m just here to keep everybody honest.


  8. An astounding verse.
    And it does show my determination. As the old spiritual goes:
    “I shall not be, I shall not be moved
    I shall not be, I shall not be moved
    Just like a tree that’s planted by the water
    I shall not be moved.”

    Here’s The Man in Black singing it:


  9. I have sympathy for your point of view. Sort of.
    But —
    First of all, how do you know the “likes” don’t appreciate your post? Do you read minds? All they’re doing is pressing a “like” button. Their non-appreciativeness is your assumption.
    Heaven knows I operate often enough in the same mode that you say you do, and all these other commenters do — that is, I haven’t anything profound to say, but I want you to know I did stop by, I read, I appreciated/enjoyed/disagreed-but-found-it-stimulating. I was here. Like Kilroy. Or like in the old days (before even me, let alone you) when people would visit others, find them not at home, and leave a calling card. A sign of friendship, or good will. What you will.
    And as for all these thousands of followers — we all know that’s mostly nonsense, don’t we? I don’t even pay attention to those numbers any more. What I count, and what counts most with me, are the people who enter into the discussion. That’s why I blog. And I suspect it’s why you blog too.
    But there are also the blogs where I don’t have much to say but I do bring good will to my visits, and for those occasions — the like button is exactly how I can express it. You’ll do as you please, of course, and so you should. But I hope you’ll consider all the commenters here. (Including me.)


    • No, I’ve never claimed to be telepathic but you should see my powers of telekinesis. Since in the Reader only a little part of the post shows, it is clear (at least for the written posts) that if I have ten likes but only four visitors, only four people read the post.

      Yes, discussion is what I’m after.


  10. orijinalchris on said:

    What bugs me far more than suspecting ‘likes’ are just automatic responses, is people who ‘follow’ without ‘liking’, and clearly don’t even visit my blog—and I never hear from them again. I have hundreds and hundreds of such meaningless followers. My cynicism causes me to suspect they only do it so I will visit their blog which, of course, I never do.


    • I think your cynicism is just realism. In the past I used to check out the sites of new followers until I began to realize that the vast majority of them were just trying to sell some sort of service or from what their blog was about it was difficult (okay, impossible) to see how they would be interested in what I was posting.

      If only we could unfollow all those followers and be left with those who are really following our blog. However, since that’s never going to happen, I thought I’d do what I could.

      My hope is that my blog can turn from being a big band into a small combo.


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