My Fellow Cocooners,
Each year I have (half-seriously) utilized the occasion of the US President's State of the Union Address to say a few things about the Philosophers' Cocoon--about where we have been, and where I, at least, wish the Cocoon will go in the coming year. I say I do this only half-seriously because, although I own and moderate the Cocoon, the Cocoon is fundamentally a group blog. I don't fancy myself its "president", or anything like that--and indeed, for reasons I will explain below, it tends to bum me out when people (sometimes) refer to it as "my blog." My biggest wish for the Cocoon, each and every year, is that it will increasingly realize its group mission to be, "a safe and supportive "grass roots" forum for early-career professional philosophers -- graduate students, post-docs, and entry-level faculty members -- to discuss their work, ideas, and personal-professional issues." Fortunately, by my lights, the Cocoon is improving in this regard: we have more and more contributors every year. Still, my single biggest wish for the Cocoon, this year as in the past, is that it will increasingly become a place where early-career philosophers (as a group, in the plural) contribute posts, discuss their work, etc.
Anyway, before I say some words that aim to encourage people in this regard--words, that is, to encourage people to become contributors, and for existing contributors to contribute more regularly--I suppose I will momentarily reflect on how things went on the Cocoon in 2015. In brief, I think it was a great year for the blog. Our readership has continued to rise (we now average 1,200-1,300 visits per day, sometimes going at high as 3,000+ visits), we have an increasing number of active contributors (Helen, Elisa, Moti, Trevor, Wesley, etc.), we had another great annual conference, and we've also had a number of series, and initiatives, that aim to help early-career philosophers navigate the job-market, publishing world, etc. In short, I think we've continued to do our best to be a safe and supportive forum for early-career philosophers to discuss their work, ideas, and personal-professional issues--and I thank all of our contributors, and readers, for making the Cocoon such a great place to be.
Now onto some (humble) wishes. Actually, I just have one wish--the same one as in past years: that a larger, more diverse body of early-career philosophers will choose to become regular contributors to the Cocoon, sharing their work, thoughts about personal and professional issues, to better realize the Cocoon's "grass roots" mission.