Although I’ve never been a big fan of the term “meme,” it is fun to track the memes that occasionally crop up through the blogosphere, and Greg Laden has drawn me into one about why I spend so much time dumping the contents of my brain out onto the internet (it’s like a real-time recycle bin!). Hot on the heels of my own personal evolution in terms of evolutionary understanding, here’s my contribution to the “Why Do You Blog?” Meme, and in the spirit of carrying on successful mutations, I will treat it as a list being I inherited the meme from Greg.
-> Last fall I started blogging on ProgressiveU.org in order to win some money for college. Much to my chagrin, I won the $500 prize and irked quite a few creationists (including one British politician). People seemed to like my writing enough that I decided to keep it up, but move it over to a website that’s a bit more pleasing to the eye than my former host.
-> I working on a book about evolution and this website serves almost as an electronic, interactive notebook where I can store my ideas and what I’ve learned for quick reference. When I’ve written long enough, I’m sure it will catalog something of an intellectual evolution as I get drawn into evolutionary studies even more.
-> Some people seem to like what I write and I like the attention. It’s hard to find people with interests similar to my own, so I love being able to interact with people who care about the same issues that I do, as well as the occasional visitor that thinks I’m full of it.
-> Blogging is a great new way to make science more accessible to the public. While I may not officially be a scientist yet, communicating science effectively and accurately is an issue close to my heart, and I hope the popularity and influence of good science bloggers will continue to spread.
-> It’s all too easy to forget quirky little events or the social climate of one time of my life over another, so this blog also functions as a bit of a time capsule I’ll be able to look at and wonder why I was so aggravated about a pseudoscience called intelligent design near the beginning of the 21st century.
-> I’m not an angry person by nature (“meek and mild” is the phrase that is often used to describe me in person), but blogging has driven me to do more research and become more assertive, as well as being an outlet for whatever frustrations I’m experiencing on a particular day.
In the end, however, I probably wouldn’t be blogging if this blog was essentially me talking to myself (that’s what journals are for). I started this blog just after Christmas in the hope that I’d gain a few regular readers and maybe a little attention here or there, but I am overwhelmed by the response I’ve gotten so far. 150 hits a day may seem paltry to some, but I am astounded that many people pass by this way each day, and it seems like the growth trend is going to continue for a bit yet. Indeed, while this blog isn’t necessarily for anyone in particular or a desperate cry for attention, I really do love sharing my ideas on here, and who knows? Maybe one day one of them might actually make a difference.
Someone want to make up an adaptive radiation tree of the meme? If so, you’ll need this raw data;
Chip originally got it from Randy Morin, who also sent it along to these folks;
Clever Clogs, Ameliorations, I Would Rather Be Blogging!, Tech.Life.Blogged, David Rothman, Webfeed Central, Getting Granular, Jason Blogs, freeform goodness, Alec Saunders, ptvGuy, Inside Google, and Steve’s No Direction Home Page.
The closest common ancestors that gave rise to this meme are these (perhaps we can whittle it down to a monophyletic tree with some digging);