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Ten years gone (and a little more)


Wow. I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun. In fact, it flies so fast that I don’t even notice when a major anniversary (or, if you will, blogiversary).

Remember how I’ve been mentioning that I can’t believe it’s been almost ten years since I started doing this? I’ve been droppoing these little remarks here and there over the last few months not out of any sort of plan, but rather because I really couldn’t believe that I had been at this almost ten years. In fact, I couldn’t believe it so much that I actually missed my tenth blogiversary.

No, seriously. I really did. It was four days ago. Look at my first post ever on this blog (well, my first substantive post, anyway, and it was on the predecessor of this blog on Blogger). Look at the date: December 11, 2004. Yes, that was the cold, gray, dreary day when I first sat down and set up a blogger account. I then started writing, and the rest, as they say, is history.

So, yes, it’s been ten years. It’s been more than ten years. A whole freakin’ decade!

I feel so old.

On the other hand, I’m not so old that I don’t plan on continuing indefinitely. They’ll have to pry the keyboard from my cold, dead hands. Except for today. Today, I think I’ll take a break from producing new material. I do have a grant deadline coming up, after all.

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]

56 replies on “Ten years gone (and a little more)”

Thanks for all that you do. I have learned so much from your blogging and look forward to many more years.

Happy Blogiversary

…and may your grant writing be smooth sailing (and you get the grant!)

Happy tenth Orac. Given your blog fodder predilections, you will have a never-ending supply of insolence to dish out. And I look forward to it.

Happy blogiversity. I hope you will grace us with your presence with many more years. On the other hand, I hope the day will come, you don’t have anything to blog about, because everybody has got their common sense and stops following all kinds of quacks, woo peddlers, anti-vaccinionists and other people they shouldn’t follow.

I can’t remember how I came across this blog, but I started reading it shortly after taking a job with responsibilities that included pandemic planning. Thanks to you, I sometimes can figure out what the nurses in the Communicable Diseases division are talking about…


One question: Do you sleep?

(I don’t see how you do it all, but am glad that you do)


One question: Do you sleep?

(I don’t see how you do it all, but am glad that you do)

I’m in moderation because autocorrect keeps changing my email and I didn’t notice.

I’ve been reading here about seven years now, and have gone from being sort of soft on woo to being a hard-core science babe! Thanks for all you do, and blessings and joy to the commentariat here!

Altho’ I haven’t the time for a fully fledged sonnet ( which he richly deserves) today, this little ditty describing our most esteemed host just popped into my head:
you may sing along if you are so inclined.

He’s a SPY
in the House of WOO-
knows all the harm that these charlatans do
He knows the WORDS their marks love to hear

I’m (a relatively) new poster here and I remember finding RI when I was doing a search about Desiree Jennings and her supposed vaccine-induced dystonia…yet there is no mention of vaccines in Orac’s link to his December 11, 2004 post. 🙂

Dorothy, Orac is a computer. When old blinky box goes into “sleep mode”, the foodies come out to play.

Congratulations on your 10th blogiversary Orac.

Congratulations. I’m sure there are lots of people alive today thanks to your reporting, whether they know it or not.

10 years???

It’s only been 10 years???

I feel like I’ve been reading you forever. And no, that’s not a snide reference to your lengthy-yet-enjoyable posts. I just mean that you seem to have been my go-to expert on the alt med topic for much longer than that. Forever, I think.

I must be getting young.

I don’t have anything fancy to say, but THANK YOU. I honestly don’t know how you do it. I appreciate your hard work and insolence. And thank you for gathering such an amazing group of people that comment regularly on your posts. I have learned so much about all aspects of life. You have saved a few brain cells of this sleep-deprived mom.

Happy blogoversity to the cranky anti-crank blinking box. May it’s un-artifical intelligence continue to question and inspire.

I can’t top Chris’s ““ten-yeared” gag, so I’ll have to offer a more serious encomium. IMHO, skepticism begins at home. Like science, it’s first job ought to be to interrogate itself, evidenced by a change of opinion when open-minded scrutiny brings new facts to light. As such, while Orac’s opinion on the conclusions of scientific research have not changed, he has weighed the evidence fairly and concluded (rightly, to my lay person’s eye) no such change is warranted. But I am more impressed by Orac’s opinions that HAVE changed on the basis of more-evidence-considered, and reasoned argument engaged.

To my eye (again), Orac’s interest in how scientific knowledge is taken up (or not) in the real world has led him to question and modify his opinions about the social, economic and political contexts in which science is always embedded, and from which it can never escape. In December 2004, Orac described himself as “somewhat right of center” with “a bit of a libertarian streak.” In December 2014, some somewhat-right-of-center-libertarian folks in the comment threads accuse Orac of being a left-wing ideologue.

BS, sez me! Ideologues ‘torture the data’ to fit their unquestioned beliefs. None of us are free from ideology, and we’re all subject to confirmation basis (among other things), about one question or another. Orac may remain, loosely speaking at least, an ‘ideologue’ about this thing or that. But a politics of Left/Right? No. I’d say any change on matters that can be placed on such a scale observable over the history of RI are not argument and evidence following ideology (this ain’t Fox News) but ‘ideology’ following evidence and argument.

If anything, in this aspect, Orac is engaging a proper skepticism toward the dominant ideology of our place and time. We all still get to disagree with him of course. But to impugn that process is to mock what ‘reason’ ought to be (f**k Nick Gillespie).

Thanks for blinking your light, Doc box. Thanks for the vines (‘vine’ [slang]: opportunity to comment, discuss, share opinion in a moderated public forum). Props to the evolving “raised consciousness” (hippy-speak employed only half-ironically). Long may the light of knowledge shine, the self-reflection on context continue, and the insolence evolve as a result — as should they all.

Sastra #24:

I think you’re safe on the interpretation. Whoever would be snide about the length of a blog post? : -) : -)

It’s so difficult to come up with gift ideas in the traditional style of either aluminum or tin for a pharma shill, given the whole coals-to-Newcastle problem.

Happy blogiversary! Or whatever. I can’t believe that I’ve been reading you nearly that long. Out of all the blog I used to read, you are the only one I still check daily (well…maybe not on weekends..).

Congratulations ! A well deserved day off.

I don’t know where you find the time to do the research you do on the topics, write about, and still find enough hours in the day to be surgeon/scientist.

You (and Steve Novella) are the energizer bunnies of the medical skeptics.

Keep on telling it like it is.

Somebody has to call out the world-wide-web barrel-load of fruitcases.

Here, Narad #32. Here’s my last slug of lead-free, tin-based babbitt; Those endowed with an overabundance of natural resources probably still need bearings — Melt it down and craft him something for me in the form of something appropriate.

Happy 10’th, Orac — Thx for the outlet.

I’m relatively new here, too, having found RI back when Starchild wanted to cure his cancer by drinking tea. Once the Insolence grabs you, it doesn’t let go.

I’ve learned a lot, both from our host and his minions, and wish both many more years.

Congratulations on the Big X!
I don’t know how you do it, especially your patience with the trolls. It does remind us that there are awful people as well as the good ones. Keep it going!

I started reading your blog when I was pregnant, and some (now) ex-friends tried scaring the crap out of me about vaccines. Son (autistic, btw) is fully vaxxed, and shall remain so. 🙂

While I have tons of respect for you, Orac, I fear my heart shall always belong to Avon. 😛

Bloody well done! Look forward to another decade of your Insolence, and cheers to my reliable go-to in the battle against woo!

A lurker saying thank you to the blinky box. You make the internet a better place.

Belated Anniversary felicitations, oh noble box of blinking lights. May your tarial cells ever wink!

You’re one of my favorite skeptical sources. Keep on keepin on.

From that bastion of quackery, Germany, also many thanks. It was a revelation to me a few years ago to discover, first quackwatch and then RI.
You are doing much good in the world. Just the moral support for those who still believe that one-and-one make two is fantastic, but just as important is the resource aspect: we know where to look to find the references!

Huzzah!! Huzzah!!

Where’s the “like” button, dagnabit??? 🙂

Many thanks, O Wielder of the Tariel Cell, for continually laying the evidence-based smackdown on woosters everywhere.

Congratulations, Orac, from another lurker. You are always informative, and educational, not to mention entertainingly long-winded!

I sometimes learn more from you about quackery in Australia than I do from the Australian excuse for a third estate.

Have you ever thought of turning all this into a book?

Respectful Insolence is a great title.

Wow, 10 years! Congratulations! If not for you, I probably wouldn’t be celebrating my nine year anniversary as of the 15th. You’ve really done an incredible job of speaking truth (and snark) to pseudoscience and the bastardization of medicine. I’m honored to call you an early influence and mentor. Well done, good sir.

Happy Blogiversary! Many more to come we hope. And cheers to all the regulars as well. I regularly try to read all of the comments as they are so entertaining and enlightening. I am catching up this week after a conference last week. So before I read on, Happy Holidays to all! And a shout out to Mrs. Woo, I read your chicken story and smiled. I had three lovely Rhode Island Reds in HS that were wonderful pets. They were all hand tamed, and would follow me around everywhere I went in the yard. I would feed them popcorn out of my hands. They made delightful pets and are pretty smart, and as you noted capable of a wide variety of vocalizations. They also love to be petted.

Congrats on 10 years! May the next ten years continue to put a heap of insolence on quackery and pseudoscience.

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