Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Downtown Cordova

I’ve made a life thus far, however modest, of writing. Writing has always been a fallback, an outlet, a necessity. As a society we’re falling farther and farther away from the outdoors. From ‘get your hands dirty’ science. Modern life is the struggle for quantification. Modeling. Predicting. The soul of science is slipping away.

And this, this is why we blog. We have a a strong community in the earth science blogosphere. I don’t have to name names. There are the heavy-hitters, hundreds of page hits a days, plentiful posts. There are the casual scribes, like myself. However intermittent, we pound out a cathartic post which may take days to write, though it took only seconds – a brief glimpse of ecological niche being filled, the grittiness of late-fall grapple, or watching a single drop of water transferring from stalactite – to stalagmite.

As bloggers, we are free from academic restrictions. There’s no minimum or limit to what we can do. No one to impress, but ourselves. In the sterile world of science, a few select professionals and graduate students, grappling for that little extra hint for a thesis – may be the only ones to fully read a research article in a legitimate journal. Yet in a day, a proper blog entry, with no submission fee, no peer review, no fame & fortune – can provide more hits in a week than a journal article gets in twenty years. Is that why we blog? Maybe. In our blogs, we write what we want. We reminisce of field seasons passed, pine over unpublished data, show our real favorite pictures, the ones with golden retriever field assistants for scale, the chevron folds illuminated by the perfect springtime sunset.

Blogging allows us to shun the shackles of academic publications, environmental analysis reports. For structural geologists to take pictures of that perfect trilobite in a jointed limestone. For paleontologists to marvel at the beauty of a mammatus cloud.

Here, in our comfortable little -osphere, fragmented thoughts provide some of the greatest entries. On a day where you want to put up a new post, but the words just aren’t there – post a picture of a waterfall hardly anyone has ever seen. Show alternatives to the centimeter/imperial unit black and white scale – a pretzel (be sure to clarify if it is normal, mini, or jumbo), your dog/field assistant, significant other, iPhone, whatever. Move away from the straight-on, full light structural feature of an outcrop.

We’re not just scientists. We’re outdoorsmans. Photographers. Amateur bird watchers. In every good geologist’s soul lies a little bit of Edward Abbey’s ghost. We love science, and we hate science. Our anonymity, user-specified,  can provide us protection in times of the ongoing political assault on our fields of study. We can defend ourselves, possibly offend others, yet we’ll never be blackballed. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s simple.

Our everyday lives in science are not simple. This is our outlet, our freedom of speech. This is why we blog.

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