Friday, July 31, 2009


Cosmic order is rooted in the Logos. Today, mathematicians continue to discover truth through beauty, and modern science forgets the “poetic” qualities of nature at its peril. The idea of beauty contains the key to the healing of our fragmented, secularized, and alienated culture. This is how I summed up the thrust of the book at the end of the Introduction:

The way we educate is the way we pass on or transform our culture. It carries within it a message about our values, priorities and the way we structure the world. The fragmentation of education into disciplines teaches us that the world is made of bits we can use and consume as we choose. This fragmentation is a denial of ultimate meaning. Contemporary education therefore tends to the elimination of meaning – except in the sense of a meaning that we impose by force upon the world.

The keys to meaning are (and always have been) form, gestalt, beauty, interiority, relationship, radiance, and purpose. An education for meaning would therefore begin with an education in the perception of form. The “re-enchantment” of education would open our eyes to the meaning and beauty of the cosmos.

Education begins in the family and ends in the Trinity. Praise (of beauty), service (of goodness), and contemplation (of truth) are essential to the full expression of our humanity. The cosmos is liturgical by its very nature.

Mysterious inexhaustible depth
I have found in an article by Catherine Pickstock in the collection Radical Orthodoxy which she edited with John Milbank and Graham Ward, an essay entitled "Soul, City and Cosmos after Augustine", the following paragraph of which contains in concentrated form much that I am trying to say in this book. Speaking of the psyche as a "musical reality" she writes:
It is this notion which always held together what we now think of as sciences and arts, and ensured that the topics of the quadrivium always had a qualitative aesthetic dimension. To say that the essence of beauty is in number, as Augustine and, later, Bonaventure and a host of medieval followers do, sounds to us like an attempt to reduce aesthetics to science and formal rules. However, this would be to neglect the fact that for the tradition, number had a qualitative dimension and a mysterious inexhaustible depth. It was in fact the very break up of this tradition which generated the duality of science and art, along with a series of other dualities in which the modern West remains trapped.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

For Truth's Sake

This blog is jumping off from my book, Beauty for Truth's Sake, details of which are here (or if you live in the US, here). You can post comments of your own, or if you want a more extended discussion you can go here. (My second book on education has since been published under the title Beauty in the Word, and you will find details of this elsewhere on the blog.)

What is the book about? Education has become splintered and fragmented in our postmodern culture. The arts are divorced from the sciences; faith is at loggerheads with reason. Drawing on ancient traditions of learning, Beauty for Truth's Sake points the way to unity in education through a renewed understanding of cosmic order.

An extract from the book:
Faith is not opposed to reason, but it does function as a constant goad, a challenge, a provocation to reason. Faith claims to stand beyond reason, to speak from the place that reason seeks. But it does not claim to understand what it knows, and it should not usurp the role of reason in that sense, any more than it should contradict it. The resolution lies not in faith, nor yet in reason, but in love.

We are perennially tempted to reduce Christianity to something less than itself: either to power (will, faith, law) or to philosophy (knowledge, reason, wisdom). Nominalists tend to do the former. Realists tend to do the latter. But the solution to this supreme problem in binary logic is through a third and higher thing: love, in which both will and knowledge are reconciled and held in balance – or rather, in which both are transcended. God is love, in which both will and knowledge are comprised.

Whatever your intellectual quarry, if you pursue it to its ultimate lair, you will find the mark of love in the very nature of things. What is magnetism, asks the Victorian poet Coventry Patmore in The Rod, the Root, and the Flower, “but the echo of the senseless rock to the very voice of far-off Love, and the effect of the kiss of God transmitted through the hierarchies of heaven and earth to the lips of the least of beings?”

To read REVIEWS of Beauty for Truth's Sake, go here.
For EXTRA MATERIAL, go here.
Mars Hill Audio interview here.

To return to main site, go to

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Duplicate Website Content : Can it Effect Your Ranking?

Can Duplicate Website Content Effect your Search Engine Ranking? Sure Can!

I have been noticing lately that website owners who were once on page 1 for their targeted keywords are now on page 12 or have dropped off the face of Google for their targeted keywords.

This can be based off of a number of reasons, but one of the main reasons is due to Duplicate Content.

What is Duplicate Content exactly?

Sometimes I like to explain things in a colorful way. So bear with me with this explanation. I want to make sure I get my point across in the most easiest way so you will understand it and not find yourself in the same situation as the above mentioned website owners.

Picture your favorite magazine. It could be Reader's Digest, Better Home and Gardens or O. Whatever your pleasure.

A magazine has a cover = Your home page

A table of content = Your navigation bar

Ads = Your products or services

When you flip through the pages of your favorite magazine. You see either an ad or a header letting you know what that content is about on that page. They are either selling a product or discussing a topic.

There are different headers for each individual page, right(rhetorical). You don't see the same header or text on the pages of the magazine, do you (rhetorical question again)?


Duplicate content is just that. The same content on more than one page of your website. So picture your website as an online magazine. You don't find the same content in a magazine. You don't see the same text in more than one page. So this is how you want to set up your website.

If you have more than one page with the same content, the search engines can get confused and don't have the time to weed out which page is actually relevant to a search query.

So if you have more than one page on your website with the same header or content on them then you are not only confusing the search engines but you are competing against yourself.

Do a search, doesn't matter about what. Just do a search about any type of product or service.

Then look at the number of links returned for that search. Those links that show up are links that contain that very same keyword that you just searched for. All of those links are competing for that golden spot, that top 10 listing all at the same time.

You already have all of these links coming from different urls, running to the same spot at the same time for that keyword phrase. No need to ruin your chances getting to that number one page by having the same duplicate meta titles, keywords and descriptions on your site. Your pages are just adding to that number of links returned and if the search engines can not figure out which page on your site actually contains what that searcher is looking for, they will move on to another link, Your Competitors Link.

You want to make sure that each page has it's very own header, meta title (meta title is the words that are displayed in the blue section at the very top of your browser window), and description.

I know it's hard to have a different description for products that are the same. If you change the first 2 to 5 sentences of each product than that will make a world of difference.

If you have another manufacturers product on your site and you copy their description, just remember that there are tons of other sites that have just done the very same thing. This is also considered duplicate content.

Change the meta title of that product, don't just use the product's title as the meta title. You can include the products name in your description.

Use your meta title to describe the product. You can include the manufacturers name if it is a well known brand, include the color and who the product is made for. Make sure to change up the description or "copy". Add your own words to it, add your own intro to it to make it your own.

You also want to make sure you don't use the same exact keywords for each product and page. If the product is about baby diapers, don't have baby swings in the keywords.

I know this is a lot to take in, but following some of these rules can keep you in the search engines and will help you move up in ranking.

Here's a recap, just in case I lost you at Duplicate Content:

1: Have different descriptions on each page. Change up the first 3 to 5 sentences if the products are similar.

2: Do not and I repeat, do not have the same meta title on each page. The most pages you should have the same meta title for is 2!

Here's an example:

Page 1 meta title usually a main category: Designer Baby Clothing | Kids Clothing | Clothing for Teenagers

Page 2 meta title usually a sub category: Designer Baby Clothing | Designer Baby Shirts | Designer Baby Shoes

3: Do not have the same keywords for every single website page.

Here's an Example of what not to do:

Product page is about buying a Fancy Bling Dog Collar

Description is about a Fancy Bling Collar for large dogs

Keywords: fancy bling dog collars, collars, dog, doggie, cats, cat beds, dog beds, dog leash, dog clothing, dog sweater.

Here's an Example of what to do:

Product page is about buying a Fancy Bling Dog collar

Description is about a Fancy Bling Collar for large dogs

Keywords: fancy dog collars for large dogs, bling dog collars for large dogs, bling dog collars, large dog collars, bling, large, fancy, dogs, dog

There is no reason to have keywords about anything else but what that page is about. If that page is not about a cat collar, do not include cat in the keywords. If that page is not about dog clothing, do not include dog clothing in the keywords.

Stay focused on what that page is about. Don't put in unnecessary keywords in the keyword tag if that is not what that page is about.

That's it for today!

Stay tuned for tips on Keyword Selection.

Your SEO Gal,
Carla Phillips