Archive for the ‘Bits and Pieces’ Category

This blog will self-destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 …

August 15, 2010 26 comments

I have been blogging since January 2004 but of late my heart hasn’t been in it. So I’m taking the opportunity of a new school year to hang up my shield and move on. I may return someday, either here or elsewhere, but for the foreseeable future, you can consider me a non-blogger. Best wishes and good luck to all the readers and bloggers I have met over the years.



Why #SbFAIL has been good and a status update

July 21, 2010 4 comments

Frankly, one of the up-sides of #SbFAIL is that a number of the people I care about are now blogging here on WordPress and it has actually become easier to track what they are posting and the comments I’ve made on their blogs. So that’s an up-side. As a reminder, here are the Sciblings who are now here. Hopefully, others will follow (I’m looking at you Mark Chu-Carroll and Mike Dunford!).

If you’ve never encountered these great bloggers before – perhaps because Scienceblogs overwhelmed you – wander over, read a little, and say “Hi”. These folks are good friends and the salt of the earth.

That said, I myself will probably go back to being quiet for awhile. I’ve four weeks before the start of the semester and have to put three papers (two science, one history) and at least one book review out the door.

semper scibling!

On “PepsiGate” and #Sbfail

July 20, 2010 31 comments


I take no pleasure in watching what is happening to Scienceblogs. The vast majority of my time there was pleasurable, tainted only by the actions of a minority who managed to poison the community (and were allowed do so by the notional management). Now the self-same management are watching the ship go down due to “PepsiGate” and #Sbfail highlighting their inability to treat the bloggers as co=partners in a business enterprise.

Scienceblogs started in January 2006 with 14 bloggers. Within a year, a further 39 bloggers had arrived. Less than half formed the core community of Scienceblogs (by this I mean, individuals who swam in the backchannels that existed and were members of the support community I valued). It’s worth noting what had happened to them:

  1. Adventures in Ethics and Science – still going
  2. Aetiology – still going
  3. Deltoid – still going.
  4. Pharyngula – still going but currently on strike
  5. Mike the Mad Biologist – still going
  6. Neurotopia (version 2.0) – still going
  7. The World’s Fair – still going
  8. Respectful Insolence – may be leaving but can always be found here.
  9. Thoughts from Kansas – future unclear
  10. Deep Sea News Рleft January 2007 September 2008, now here.
  11. Evolgen – left Jan 2009, no longer blogging.
  12. Dr. Joan Bushwell’s Chimpanzee Refuge – left May 2009, now here
  13. Afarensis – left May 2009, now here.
  14. Evolving Thoughts – left May 2009, now here.
  15. Stranger Fruit – left May 2009, now here (literally).
  16. Cognitive Daily – left January 2010, now here.
  17. Gene Expression – left April 2010, now here.
  18. Living the Scientific Life – left July 2010, now here.
  19. A Blog Around The Clock – left July 2010, now here
  20. Good Math, Bad Math – left July 2010, will continue blogging.
  21. The Questionable Authority – left July 2010, will continue blogging.
  22. Terra Sigillata – left July 2010, now here.

So, of these 22, twenty-one are still blogging, but only seven are remaining with Seed Media Group. (A further two have uncertain futures at the site.) And I think that tells you something about the ability of the Seed Media Group management to run a business.

Update: Here’s the Twitter feed – follow the fail as it happens.

Update (7/21): Abel Pharmboy (Terra Sigillata) had flown the coop. I have updated the count of those remaining. In addition, Dave Munger (formerly of CogDaily) has given his take on the whole debacle.

Philosophy rarely has anything to do with it.

July 7, 2010 7 comments

*gurgle* Scienceblogs *gurgle*

July 7, 2010 7 comments

Been quiet here for a few weeks now, mainly because I just ain’t been feeling it regards writing online (and the World Cup has been a more compelling time-sink). In the past month – while I was essentially offline and not posting anything meaningful – there were still over 200,000 visits for the post that refuses to die, and somehow I find that somewhat dispiriting. Especially considering other posts garnered no comment or interest. Go figure.

That aside, I de-lurk to the sound of Scienceblogs perhaps circling the drain (at least in the form I knew it). Regular readers will know I was blogging there for a few years before coming here last summer. Now it appears that corporate indifference to the bloggers (which always was a vague problem and a factor in my leaving) and the bottom line has trumped all. Ex-sciblings Carl Zimmer and John Wilkins have more as we watch bloggers swim to freedom from the wreck.

Economics 101

June 16, 2010 Comments off


June 14, 2010 1 comment

Every country is #1 for something. Cocaine? That would be Columbia. Quality of life? That would be Ireland. Closed circuit surveillance? The UK. Serial Killers? Guess, just guess.

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