Category Archives: blogging

A note on comments

I’m keeping pre-moderation on comments as some individuals who have been banned keep posting and posting and I want them out (also the occasional spambot but not the main reason). 
However I’ve realized that I do not always get notice of all comments awaiting moderation (as I should), so some comments sit in limbo for longer than they should (until I notice on my own, what may take days or even weeks). My obligate and truly felt apologies but sadly is something beyond my control (although I’ll try to look at the comments awaiting moderation list more often). 
If you find that your comment has not been published (and you and your comment are legit – the usual trolls abstain, of course, but most people and comments are much welcome here) please send me an email and I’ll solve that ASAP. My public email can be found in my Blogger profile, although you have to delete the anti-spam protection “DELETETHIS” (it won’t work otherwise).
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Posted by on December 11, 2013 in blogging



Today I’ll retake my activity in this blog, as promised, with an entry on the Mal’ta aDNA findings, which I have yet to write.

But I’ll probably take it easy anyhow. I guess I’m not as enthusiastic as I used to be and I definitely need/want more leisure time for myself.



Posted by on December 2, 2013 in blogging


Rethinking my blogging activity

Dear readers:

The reality of my blogging activity right now is that it has become zero (in both blogs) and that I need a serious and calm revision of my way of organizing my own blogging activity so it remains a pleasant hobby and does not become (as it has happened) a burdensome unpaid work.

As I see it right now, the biggest part of the problem is that I would like to read and comment on way too many things, what is a practical impossibility. This happens in both facets of my blogging activity, the anthropological one and the socio-political one, however I reckon that the latter is the main cause of my stress. This is probably because I tend to try to cover all kind of news, often of great interest, through the whole world, as if my humble blog would be some sort of online newspaper or equivalent. This “vice” probably stems of my long activity in counter-information media in which I often fulfilled the role of volunteer journalist. I realize however that I cannot do that anymore, not at the level required by the flow of news much less respecting my own personal needs of leisure and rest.

Therefore I have decided to go on hiatus on both blogs as provisional measure, while I meditate and reorganize my blogger activity and take a much needed vacation of sorts, something I had not done in years (sure: no problem… until you break down). This “vacation” may take some time.

I have also decided that I will continue with the anthropological blog in due time because I do feel it is the activity that seems more important of what I do, having a greater impact, applause and (arguably) need. I will still take that “vacation” as needed but I plan to return some time soon (at worst around new year, just to mark a deadline). I will have to be more selective however on what to comment in order to more effectively use my time in a pleasurable and productive way. I also need to be a bit better organized.

Instead I have made no clear decission about the political blog because I realize that the current format is not working for me. I need to meditate a lot on this but so far I know that the information blog it is a format that does not work, certainly not for me, and that a counter-information medium needs of a cooperative work and cannot be built just on individual voluntarism. However I do not want to renounce to express myself on such matters but I have to ponder very carefully how to focus my interest. Essay only is something that does not really capture my imagination so I’m pondering some sort of equivalent to what could be a small weekly or bi-weekly magazine (in the less regular blog format of course), with one or few articles on selected matters much more sporadically than now.

It is just a preliminary idea and I am setting no deadlines for the political blog’s hiatus yet therefore. I have first to chew on all this in much greater depth.

Selecting is still a problem for both blogs and something that burdens me as well, but, other than eliminating those feeds that only rarely produce useful information, which are not that many, and being somewhat more careless about reading and pondering them, I haven’t found any solution.

Certainly getting myself better organized is important. Also taking more time can in some cases produce better quality materials. So in general I do have that idea of being much more selective than before on what I dedicate my efforts to and a bit less immediate. We’ll see how it works.

In brief:

For what they were… we are continues in hiatus but will come back soon[TM], hopefully improved.

For what we are… they will be is now in hiatus and I have no clear idea of what to do with it yet. I needs a deep rethinking clearly.

Comments will continue to be pre-moderated in both blogs because, even if the troll activity seems to have greatly receded, I fear that some of them are just lurking around in wait of a change in this situation (so obsessive they are in many cases). The last thing I need is to be away from the computer for a few days and find my blogs full of trollish junk when I come back.

Also those reading the WordPress version of For what they were… probably want to follow the Blogspot version by the moment, not just because it is the one I actually write on (the WordPress one being a mirror or backup by the moment, getting only irregular updates) but because it is where the discussions really are (although admittedly right now they are all quite cold because of the ongoing hiatus).

I have not been able to decide if to migrate to WordPress or not. This is another thing I need time for. It’s largely a matter of familiarity and functionality, so I would indeed welcome opinions of people who are familiar with the WordPress format, which I find myself sometimes struggling with to get what I want, for example a sidebar with a blogroll.

Thanks for your patience and all your supportive comments, they do make a difference, really.


Posted by on October 27, 2013 in blogging


Blog hiatus and troll emergency issues

I’ll go into hiatus for some days or weeks. I have not been blogging too much as of late and feeling guilty about it but today I really don’t care anymore: 90% of the last comments have been made by banned individuals which I deem trolls for a number of reasons (including racism and homophobia but mostly just being annoying pricks) and some other who is quite borderline. 
That takes a toll on me: instead of reading what I like my blog to motivate, interesting comments and discussions, I just read very annoying and often offensive junk, being forced to delete comments one by one and what not. Naturally it takes a toll on me and the flu of four days already I’m going through does not help my patience either.
I will consider it for the rest of the week but most likely I will end up finishing my already planned migration to WordPress. After all this open source blogging platform offers better troll-control tools (and does not allow state governments to censor individual blogs, something that Blogger does, kinda reminding our state slavery every day with state codes after the raw blog address for everyone outside the states).
By the moment in any case comment moderation is on. If you are not a Nazi or a total jerk or both (and that includes already banned individuals, of course), your comments will appear as soon as I read them.

Posted by on September 19, 2013 in blogging


On strike next 24 hrs

This blog will be on strike for all the day of May 30th (CET), as a general strike against the bankster doctrine of “austerity for the poor, massive profits for the rich” has been called in the Southern Basque Country. 
More details here.

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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in blogging, general strike


Blog issues

Not sure if this affects everybody but in the last few days I noticed that the (unclicked) links in the blog are being displayed in plain blue color that strongly contrasts with the overall theme of the blog in a quite ugly manned. I have revised the template a couple of times and even gone through the HTML code and can’t find any error, so either Blogger is doing something strange or my browser needs updating. I’d be glad to get feedback on this: do you see unclicked links blue or (as it should be) of an ochre color?

Update on the color issue (Apr 3): it was caused by HTML code in the table at the end of the Italian Neanderthal mtDNA entry. Only pages with that entry displayed links in blue. The specific code, which was surgically removed once detected was:

A:link { color: rgb(0, 0, 255); }

Thanks to all people who produced feedback but very specially to Toos, without whose help I would have never detected the source of the problem.

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Comment moderation
I’m still licking the emotional wounds caused by trolls (not just here but also elsewhere) and therefore, in order to be able to better enjoy this vacation, I have decided to keep preliminary comment moderation for a bit longer. My most sincere apologies to all commenters of good will but what I  really need some rest. I also have very clear that I will not tolerate anymore any trollish behavior, even if camouflaged. I will however issue warnings for those who are not extreme but I will also apply the baseball rule: three strikes and you’re out. 
I realize that satisfactory discussion environment needs of some “gardening”, what means getting rid as soon as possible of the undesirable weeds. Even if the overall number of comments falls down, that is not necessarily a bad thing, although not my objective at all.

Internet trolls playing their sick and stupid mind games (source)


Posted by on April 1, 2013 in blogging


Comment moderation again

I have decided to banish TerryT from the comments section. He’s just manipulating all I say and throwing insults and accusations. I have been extremely patient for many many years but I have really grow tired of all that almost every day. There is another person (guess who) just one step from going down the drain.
In consequence, I have decided to moderate comments for a week or so, establishing that way a buffer of comfort for myself. 
The list of people banned from commenting in this blog (from memory) is:
  • German Dziebel – cause: smartass trolling
  • Octavià Alexandre – cause: smartass trolling, personal attacks
  • DDeden – cause: some sort of mental problems apparently
  • Onur – cause: stubborn racism under a varnish of “scientific terminology”
  • TerryT – cause: smartass trolling, personal attacks, insistently putting words in my mouth that have nothing to do with reality, abusing without any consideration my dedication to this blog, etc.
Sorry for the inconvenience to all readers and commenters of good will, who are the vast majority.


Posted by on March 22, 2013 in blogging


Iberian Neolithic blog (Spanish language) is back online

Several readers have asked me in this last year about links to the most interesting blog Neolítico de la Península Ibérica (essentially in Spanish language), occasionally mentioned here, which has been down (unaccessible because the author wanted it that way) for many months. 
I am very glad to announce that it is now back with nothing less than three new entries in a row (which I had not time to read yet):
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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in blogging, Iberia, Neolithic


Update on blog status


_______________________ . _______________________

I have noticed that some people have been commenting and/or joining as followers here at For what they were we are at WordPress. I must say that but the moment this blog is still a mere mirror of the original one at Blogger (corrected link now).

My initial intention was to migrate to WP as soon as I became familiar but since then I have found some difficulties that will delay this transition. Not just some lesser nuisances like the lack of a “justify” button in the posts editor (and I do truly like my paragraphs justified, mind you) but I am also experiencing problems of unknown origin at commenting in some but not some other WP/Gravatar blogs and comments’ sections, what make me distrust a bit the advantages of a definitive migration.

So for the time being I’d ask the followers of the WP version of FWTWWA to follow it at Blogger, where they will get more timely updates.

This blog remains as backup of the other and possible migration destiny but updates irregularly.

My apologies for any confusion or inconvenience.


Posted by on December 11, 2012 in blogging


On strike 24 hrs

Even if it is a yellow unions’ call to strike, the reasons are many so I still feel obliged to second the semi-quasi-pan-Euro wannabe general strike of November 14. Therefore there will be no activity in For what they were… we are on this day and only strike related info in my politico blog For what we are… they will be.
Sorry for any inconvenience.

Full day strike in Iberia, half journey strike in Italy and Greece, mere symbolic actions elsewhere – that’s what they call the first “pan-European” general strike – next time should be better hopefully.
In the Basque country the majority (independentist) unions have  not even supported the strike, largely because they consider (rightfully) that the callers are class traitors white-washing their complicity. 
Still I and many others feel that we can’t afford the luxury of not walking out in the extreme circumstances that they are pushing us into. 

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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in blogging, general strike