Happy Birthday

You ever meet someone who just, flat out, makes you think harder than you’re used to? Someone who challenges your assumptions even when agreeing with you? Someone who bustles along at their own pace while expecting you to keep up, because you can?

That happened to me a few months ago. Well, not the meeting part, because I’ve never technically met him. But hey, out here in the blogosphere, what are technicalities? Still, perhaps I should say I was introduced to him.

I’ve been hanging out at ScienceBlogs for a while, mostly in the Brain and Behavior section because, well, once upon a time at least I was interested enough in the topic to get a degree in it. One day, I wandered onto ScienceBlogs front page, where recent articles are listed, and discovered one of the best toys ever. You want to put an ever-changing array of information on a bunch of interesting topics at my fingertips? I’m all over that. So I surfed.

After a while, I noticed that I kept ending up in the same place. Not all the time, but more than even Greg’s insane number of blog posts would account for. Because, of course, the place I kept finding myself was Greg Laden’s Blog. So I decided to hang out for a while to see what else was going on.

I’m glad I stayed. I’ve been having great fun. I’ve been trying to perfect the art of smacking the trolls without feeding them (I’ll let you know if I ever get there). I’ve learned tons about evolution and ecosystems that I really need to know for the kind of science fiction I want to write and been entertained while doing it. I’ve been made to examine my own ideas by dealing with someone who’s come to similar conclusions for different reasons. I’ve had arguments that have sharpened my wits, my research skills, my ideas, and my writing. I’ve “met” wonderfully unusual people I’d have been unlikely to come across on my own. I’ve even guest blogged, which was a hoot, despite a niggling feeling that the opportunity should have gone to a student.

And I have, for the first time, really talked with another blogger about blogging–about purpose and strategy, about etiquette and ethics, about voice and content. That means I’ve had to think about those things, because I hadn’t before. So for those of you who hate my blog in it’s current incarnation (which is really the same as the old one, just more so), you can lay part of the blame at Greg’s feet. Of course, if you’re reading this at all, there’s a good chance it’s because of the link love Greg’s thrown my way–in which case, the blame is all his. 🙂

So for all that, Greg, and for saying things like, “things are more complex than that,” on a regular basis, thank you. And may you have a very happy birthday, today and for years to come.

Happy Birthday

4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday

  1. 2

    I belong to a couple of book discussion groups, and I think they let me in as a sort of community service. I’m clearly not as clever as the others in the group, so I guess I’m their token slow kid. Anyway, these people are constantly challenging and invigorating my thought about everything.I’ve been reading the Scienceblogs for a couple of years now. My favorite is Pharyngula, followed closely by Dispatches from the Culture Wars and then Thoughts from Kansas. In recent months I’ve been reading Greg Laden’s blog too. They are worth every minute I steal from my employer to read them!

  2. 3

    You’ve said such nice things about my husband! They’re all true, of course. 🙂 He challenges me and the way I think all the time – I’m glad he has an outlet to share that wonderful aspect of his personality with others. Thanks for making his birthday special.

  3. 4

    Paul, somehow I’m guessing you’re selling yourself short. You’ve got how many books under your belt again?Hi, Amanda. Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad I caught some little piece of truth in what I wrote.

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