Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fallen off the Keyboard

I've certainly been away for a while[1]. There are several reasons for that, I think. Firstly, I've been reading more of others' content, rather than producing my own. Secondly, I've been enjoying my work more lately. I may not be producing my own content and putting my own ideas out there, but at least I'm producing something of quality[2]. Lastly, I don't spend nearly as much time in coffee shops with my laptop. I blame the girlfriend...she's too damned cute.

I've fallen off the keyboard, alright.

But now to get back to it. Like I said, I've been reading a lot of other people's content. Fortunately, I've reached an equilibrium of sources. My feed reader was waxing and waning in its number of sources, but now it's seems to have stabilized.

Just to list a few of my favorites:

  • Jon Taplin's Blog - This is a wonderful blog which discusses ideas about Democracy and government. What makes it an enjoyable read is that it does not simply complain about the current administration and it's party, it discusses ideas and solutions for the future. Many of the ideas are exciting as they present not just a patch or a kludge fix, but a real change in the way things would be done.
  • NeuroLogica Blog - This blog by Steven Novella, a neurologist, is a very well-written discussion of skepticism, science, and medicine. He presents arguments for various scientific viewpoints (consciousness, evolution, etc) which are frequently argued against by paranormal and supernatural believers. He also argues against various forms of alternative medicine by going through each form's "logic" with an appropriate skeptical look. He presents the proper tools a of a skeptic in an informative and accessible manner. An excellent read all around.
  • Get Rich Slowly - An great source of information about personal finance. The author typically sticks with the topics of savings, debt reduction, and simple investing. There are frequent guest posts on additional topics, such as cheap eats, cheap travel, and the Four-Hour Work Week. Recently, he had a post on the rise of Consumerism in the U.S., which drove me off onto a whole new area of exploration.
  • TCritic - T-shirt awesomeness. 'Nough said.

The great thing about reading the above is that that have really stimulated my thinking about politics, science and reason, personal finance and fashion. They all have prompted me to go looking deeper at many of the topics they cover.

They also are rather representative of, in my opinion, what the cream of the crop of blogging should be about - great writing or presentation, with great community involvement. All of the above sites have very active comments sections[3]. Much of the readership issues real challenges to or expand on the topics covered in an individual post.

They've all left me with an aspiration to be on par, in writing and topics, if not readership. This probably means no more writing about not writing is the order of the day.

[1] You know that you're not posting frequently enough when your two most recent posts, many months apart, address this very issue.

[2] That's right, dammit, it think I producing some damn fine quality software. This is one of the few organizations I've worked at where I've been able to work on multiple versions of the
same piece of software. It's amazing what you can do when you get to go back and fix all the things you didn't like the first time around.

[3] As opposed to the wonderfully empty comments sections on my blogs.

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