Henry David Thoreau Writes About Distractions of News

From a letter from Henry David Thoreau to Harrison Blake, :

They have a census-table in which they put down the number of the insane. Do you believe that they put them all down there? Why, in every one of these houses there is at least one man fighting or squabbling a good part of his time with a dozen pet demons of his own breeding and cherishing, which are relentlessly gnawing at his vitals; and if perchance he resolve at length that he will courageously combat them, he says, “Ay! ay! I will attend to you after dinner!” And, when that time comes, he concludes that he is good for another stage, and reads a column or two about the Eastern War! Pray, to be in earnest, where is Sevastopol? Who is Menchikoff? and Nicholas behind there? who the Allies? Did not we fight a little (little enough to be sure, but just enough to make it interesting) at Alma, at Balaclava, at Inkermann? We love to fight far from home. Ah! the Minié musket is the king of weapons. Well, let us get one then.

Some bits and pieces from here and there:

The comments system here at The Picket Line is currently run through HaloScan. They aren’t great, but at least they’re free… or they will be for another couple of weeks anyway. HaloScan just notified their users that they’re switching to a new system that will require a yearly subscription fee. Screw that.

I’ve managed to save the current comments in a stand-alone file and I have some hope that I’ll be able to then import them into a new system once I get it up and running. With any luck, we won’t lose anything and will be able to continue on much as before.

I’m reviewing options, such as IntenseDebate and Disqus, to replace HaloScan. If you have any experience in migrating from HaloScan to some other (free or at least very inexpensive) commenting platform, I’d love to hear from you.