Well this is mortifying. People have been commenting on this blog all along and I haven't known it. Early on, I was getting an email whenever I had a comment awaiting moderation. I hadn't gotten any such emails for a while, so I assumed that no one was commenting. Turns out I was wrong, and I just "published" a whole backlog of comments. I'm not sure: maybe there was a glitch in Blogger or maybe I inadvertently removed my email address while changing some other settings. Either way, a lot of great comments, questions, objections, and (most annoying) compliments ended up in internet limbo. To those who wondered why their comments never appeared, much less got a response: I am so sorry!
I have now changed the settings, and vow to be more responsive going forward.