Well, Jim West’s blog appears to have disappeared. Last time this happened it was the result of an attacker, but there are reports that this time it is Jim’s own decision which has led to the closure and deletion of the blog.
Perhaps a clue can be found in one of his last posts, his New Year’s resolutions for 2010:
So here are my New Year’s Resolutions:
1- I resolve to stop holding back when it comes to sharing my point of view.
2- I resolve to mention Zwingli no less than once a week. At least.
3- I resolve to poke fun at dilettantes with a regularity that will make the Swiss rail system look inept.
4- I resolve to be as charming and adorable in 2010 as I was in 1965.
5- I resolve to resolve.
6- I resolve to find the most horrifying photos I can and label them with the names of various bibliobloggers.
7- I resolve to remain the #1 biblioblogger (according to Alexa’s rankings) for the entire year.
8- I resolve to drive 5 miles under the speed limit everywhere I go.
9- I resolve to post book reviews in a timely manner (unlike the folk who are given free books by publishers and then never bother to review them) just as I always have.
10- I resolve to break all these resolutions as soon as I can (except for #’s 1-10).
Of course the problem is #10. If Jim did resolve to break 1–9 as quickly as possible it may be an indication that he was indeed planning to close his blog. However, since he included #10 in the list of resolutions to break, he has introduced an element of uncertainty, because if he breaks #10 then he cannot break #1–9!
What else can we say? Jim was among the most prolific of bloggers, and frequently posted book reviews (as indicated in #9). It seems probable that Jim had books yet to be reviewed, so surely he is morally bound to review them as #9 indicates, yet closing his blog would seem to undermine his ability to fulfil this obligation.
Anyway, whether hacked, closed by choice, or just undergoing a temporary hiatus for a complete Zwinglian makeover, I expect that the truth will out in time.