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Just a notice while I’m dithering over my future here at Sb…

…remember that the following three domains will always point to where I am:

Also remember that, should anything happen, I still have my old Blogspot blog Respectful Insolence, which can be reactivated at a moment’s notice, as I did last year when an attempt at a software upgrade at ScienceBlogs took longer than anticipated.

The fastest way to find out what’s going on, though, is probably my Twitter account:

And, don’t forget, I also have my other super secret other blog where I blog under my super secret real name. Most of you know where that is.

Meanwhile, I continue to dither while Pharyngula goes on strike and Zuska, Mike Dunford, and GrrlScientist leave (seeing the last of whom leave is almost as bad as Bora’s departure).

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

30 replies on “Just a notice while I’m dithering over my future here at Sb…”

Grrl’s reaction to your post – “awww, so sweet”. She would reply herself, but she’s on her second glass of wine.

We’ve been reminiscing about the old days, and the tornado ad. *sigh*

I think I understand much better what is going on after reading Bora’s post.

I had noticed the website had major technical issues that didn’t seem that difficult, and which never seemed to get all that much better.

So what happens if it turns out Bly is just on vacation? heh…

I admire your “sound mind” … that is if u r an earth-angel.. u surely got the gift of gibb and blog … I am a second-language learner … everything is under creation!

I think I understand much better what is going on after reading Bora’s post.

Same here, although I had never read his blog, and I had no idea what a key figure he was at Sb.

BTW, feel free to dither all you like. I think you’ve earned the right to be a little Farve-ish (I’ve decided he has replaced Hamlet as the standard).

I was going to ask for an emergency forwarding address in the previous dithering thread. Just in case SB evaporates while I’m on vacation (free from the burdens of electricity and cell towers) next week. Now that I’ve saved that to my bookmarks…

I agree that Bora’s post was enlightening. The exodus initially seemed alarmist when I thought it was only ever about Pepsigate. PalMD’s departure is disturbing because he seems very level-headed and reasonable. He doesn’t seem like the type of person to make such a decision without careful thought.

I read you and PalMD every day. Like good coffee. Like the good coffee I am taking to the desert, I will continue to consume RI wherever you go. I am and addict.

Sounds like you guys need to get together and form a non-profit co-operative. To hell with corporations that can’t envision themselves having a goal other than making money.

I think people leaving SB over “Pepsigate” and/or similar problems are making a mistake. As a writer, I’m inclined to take a cynical/philosophical view: Good media will always have to vie with bad media, and often the bad media are more profitable in the short term. To use a popular annecdote, Shakespeare had to share venues with bear-baiting. The best one can do is turn out the best material he can, wherever he can, and leave the rest to history.

I think PZ Meyers could train some cephalopods to do a better job of running a blog network. The seaweed may be much greener somewhere else.

With the right mix of bloggers, the linking/reference/media authority would transfer to the news blog network.

The problem isn’t just that Shakespeare is competing with bear-baiting. The roof is leaking, and he hasn’t gotten his pay for the last month’s work. It doesn’t make an actor, or a writer, feel confident in the company management, even if the landlord isn’t on their back about the rent.

As far as I can see, none of the complaints have been about people preferring wrestling to SciBlogs.

Presumably you blog to be read. Stay more people read your posts. Leave fewer people read your posts. Simple as that. All the stuff about reputation and the finer points of SB management, and mismanagement, are window dressing.

I mentioned this on PZ’s strike post, but IMHO Seed is too tainted at this point to continue. Time to push that content agreement with NatGeo to a full ownership deal.

@ Art
Surely it is also about Quality.If ORAC merely wanted numbers ORAC could simply lower his sights. (Hollywood proves this daily)
We will follow ORAC/PZ/Bora/GirlScientist /Laden etc, anywhere, for the stimulation.
By the way:
Thank You ORAC
I never would have dreamed to be so impressed by a surgeon or a “septic”

I’ve lurked on Sciblogs, and occasionally commented, for a few years now, and much enjoyed the debates, the skewering of loons, and the fascinating information on science, biology, medicine, etc etc, that’s been provided. To my surprise, it has also added quite a bit to my ongoing knowledge of US politics.

Sad to see it all break up, but it’s pretty clear that’s what’s happening.

Anyway, I’ll keep reading you, Orac, for regular doses of anti-woo sanity, wherever you end up.

Have you considered joining the Pharyngula strike, Orac?

We need our dose of Insolence, but I want happy writers and a mechanism to prevent this kind of drama in the future. PZ seems to have some clear idea of how to go-about doing that.

Fact: if you break up Sb, I probably won’t follow any of you to your new websites. Mostly because I’m just too lazy; Sb provided a great service for people like me. Well, I was spending too much time on the internet anyway; probably for the best.

Strike sounds like a good idea to me. After reading Bora’s post on here, bloggers shouldn’t stay unless something changes. Anyway, I only read effect measure and RI, so it doesn’t matter that much to me either, I’ll follow either way. Thanks for the links.

Reading Grrl Scientist’s post makes me mad, because I wanted the tech job that’s been posted on SB forever, have a decade of experience in web site development and IT management (much of it for large companies) and never heard boo back from them. I’d assumed it was because I’d have to telecommute, but it turns out that SB’s just cheap. What a shame.

I suggest that you make the choice that you can live with in good conscience. I will look for your writings wherever you end up.

The irony of all this is that, while emotions run high over a now-defuncet corporate page, the likes of AoA remain firm in their paranoid/egomaniacal belief that anyone criticizing them must be a paid “pharma shill”.

As Leonard Cohen sings (and yes, I know it’s borrowed from the bible, but the words are still nice): “Whither thou goest, I will go”!

What about joining PZ on strike, like C0nc0rdance and zoe said…?

I know striking doesn’t sit well with a lot of people in the US… but maybe you could post new content to your old blogspot site instead of here??

It does rather sound like the only way forward other than leaving is to “lever” Sb/Seed into changing things on the managerial/tech side.

This whole debacle has ruined my return from holiday, it would be very sad to loose ScienceBlogs.

But as others have said before, wherever you choose to write I’ll read*.

*Unless it’s at the Huffington post of Daily Fail, one has standards;-)

Well, I followed you here to Sciblogs and I’ll follow you to whereever you go if you leave Sciblogs (and does that sound like a stalker or what?).

I also have my other super secret other blog where I blog under my super secret real name. Most of you know where that is.

Didn’t know you had a blog in the real world. Just had a look at a random entry. Amazingly long. So you’re like that in real life as well?

Aside from that, signs look hopeful that there will be some improvement in the situation with SEED. Let’s hope. I used to hop from Respectful Insolence to Pharyngula before Science Blogs existed, but they were two of a very small number of blogs that I followed.

Science Blogs is great because it introduces me to blogs with a “quality guarantee”. I’ve become a regular reader of a few and dip into many others. This would not have happened without Science Blogs, and it might not happen in the future without them. I would like to see it continue as long as possible.

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