Welcome to my blog – there’s lots of room, so come right in

Posted on December 1st, 2007 — permalink

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.


24 Responses to “Welcome to my blog – there’s lots of room, so come right in”

  1. Karen in Wichita Says:

    Feed the planet!

    (yes, that probably made sense to no one but me and, I hope, Rob.)

  2. JScarry Says:

    Glad you are starting a new blog I really enjoyed your perspective on academia and I’m especially looking forward to your thoughts on nerdism.

    Could you work on getting the RSS feed working so I can follow along?


  3. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Glad to see you’ve found a new blog home!

  4. dileffante Says:

    Hi, Rob. I’m glad to see that you will keep a voice in the blogosphere; the new scope ought to be interesting, too.

    Just a question: is there some feed here? My bloglines bookmark (with the bit of javascript which asks bloglines to suscribe me) didn’t find a feed, and I don’t see any feed on the sidebar either.

    Anyway, welcome back!

  5. rknop Says:

    Oops — there’s probably not a feed. I’ll get that set up tomorrow.

  6. Brett McCoy Says:

    Glad you aren’t completely going away… and being into 3D graphics, a computer nerd, a Linux geek and with side interests in physics and astronomy, it seems like this will be a great blog!

  7. mollishka Says:

    *waves*! I’m glad you’re going to keep blogging. The new title is quite apt, as well as clever.

  8. CameronP Says:

    Good to hear you’re doing a new blog!

  9. ColinR Says:

    I’m going to have to agree with Cameron and the rest of the commenters (especially about the feed). I’d like to close by saying my grandmother is better at baseball than Cameron.

  10. mollishka Says:

    By the way, I absolutely love the cat names Echelle and Zap/Dart. The latter got hot cocoa on my keyboard, thank you.

  11. Chris' Wills Says:

    Glad to see you back blogging.

  12. Jonathan Vos Post Says:

    Glad to see you back in the blogosphere. More Physics/Astro/Geek wisdom and wit is always appreciated. I suppose that you have an opinion on why observing the universe does NOT shorten its shelf-life. But having a job too, sweet!


    Yay! you’re back. Looking forward to your random thoughts and second sights.

  14. Ed Minchau Says:

    Here’s Rob’s RSS feed:

  15. dileffante Says:


  16. Drugmonkey Says:

    fan of tenure-fight rob, of course. interested to see what is coming next…

  17. miller Says:

    You know, there’s a blog named “The Second Sight“, but it looks inactive. Just FYI.

    Good to see you blogging. When you left SB, I thought you were gone for good, and I was sad.

  18. Scott H. Says:

    Hey Rob, welcome back! I’ve always enjoyed reading the stuff you post, and am very happy to know that it hasn’t come to an end. I’ll pass the word to some of your other friends at MIT that there’s a new place to find out what’s on your mind.

  19. Thomas Robey Says:

    I am glad you are back!

  20. Brandon Says:

    Glad to see you’re back. Happy blogging!

  21. Patness Says:

    Count me in, from time to time. Good to hear you’re on the upswing.

  22. GrrlScientist Says:

    ahHA! there you are rob! glad to see you’re still in the blogosphere. sad to see that you left Sb, but you are still out here and for that, i am happy!

  23. Abel Pharmboy Says:

    Hey Rob! Great to see you back! Congratulations on the new job and new life, both virtual and meat-world.

  24. dot-tom Says:

    Rob! Of course you’d have a blog! I’m frankly surprised by how restrained your nerd-speak is. No insider words like “steege” and unusual use of the word “accelerated,” etc. But maybe that stuff just takes time to trickle out. Anyway, I look forward to keeping tabs with the newly-formed blog for the newly-formed life. And interested to hear your takes on the scientific/academic world w.r.t. your journey through (and beyond?) this world…