I know, I've said that sort of thing before. I'm not a new blogger... until a couple of months ago, I was writing Galactic Interactions, a science blog that (like so many other blogs) was about everything under the Sun, but which tended to focus vaguely in the direction of astronomy.
Lots of things have changed in my life since then. I'm no longer in academia. I'm no longer an active physics & astronomy researcher or teacher. I'm now a computer engineer, working for Linden Lab, the company that has created and runs the virtual online 3D world known as Second Life. For a while, I tried to keep writing Galactic Interactions, but I was finding it difficult on a few fronts. First, I was quite busy learning my new job (my new career!). Second, I really am somewhat bitter about having had to leave physics & astronomy, and it was a bit of a bitter reminder. Most importantly, though, I was finding that I felt the need, the responsibility to post something about astronomy regularly (each week?) to Galactic Interactions, and it was starting to feel more like a burden. I wasn't naturally running into random astronomy news tidbits as much as I had been, so the spark of "oh I must post about this!" wasn't coming so naturally. What's more, there are always nasty comments out there from people who know everything, and the personal attacks in the comments were making me feel like it just wasn't worth being out there saying my say— even though they were rare in comparison to what quite a number of other bloggers at, say, scienceblogs.com.
I have a hard time restraining myself from ranting or pontificating in public. Linden Lab does have internal blogs for the company, and I've managed to satisfy some of my "must... rant..." needs there. However, I am finding that I have a number of thoughts about Second Life that I really want to say in public— some of which I've had brewing in my mind before I was employed by them! I also have realized that there are still astronomy and cosmology things that I want to post about. I dribbled one such post to my blog's former site after I'd "stopped" blogging. Unsurprisingly, this was viewed as perhaps a bit odd by the Seed overlords at scienceblogs.com... as well as by me.
So it's time to start/restart a new blog myself.
What will this blog be about?
- Whatever the hell I feel like posting about. Hey, this is a blog!
- Second Life. Culture, technology, amusing thoughts, screenshots, rants. It's my job now, and I'm really liking it. It's something I thought was Neat and Cool even before I worked there. (No accident, then, that Linden Lab was a place I wanted to work when I was thinking about leaving academia.)
- Computer nerdism in general. Now that I'm working in it, I'm more likely to have it at the forefront of my thoughts. Read here to find out why Linux is a better desktop platform than the Mac!
- Physics and astronomy, particularly cosmology. Hey, I still have a PhD in Physics, and spent from age 18 through age 39 working on a career in physics. I still love it. I really miss teaching physics and astronomy at the college level. Expect to see posts sometimes about that as well.
- Science & religion. Just because I'm not a working scientist any more doesn't mean that I don't still have fifteen million thoughts about this.
- Personal updates. Many view this as the kind of "fluff" that will keep blogs from ever being "real" journalism. Cope.
- Nerdism. I'm a renaissance nerd. There is some chance that I'm likely to post about just about anything nerdy.