It’s time I once again acknowledged some kind words and links from others in that vast and brave new world we call the blogosphere. From my tiny home planet, establishing communication with one of the millions of other bloggers out there still seems to me something like a successful SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) contact. Needless to say (well almost, or why say it?), in thanking people that have linked to this blog I am not necessarily endorsing the religious, political, or literary opinions they express on their blogs, which are, in any case, quite likely to be in disagreement with one another.
Tiffany, a librarian who loves to read and who lives in my home State of Texas, writes a blog called Considering All Things Literary. After reading Ronnie Knox, Marcel Proust, and I, she honored the On-Screen Scientist blog with a place on her list of Literary Links and Other Fun Perusings. Thanks, Tiffany.
Joe, a blogging oil field worker, writes FarSouth of I-10, which is currently following his thoughts and adventures as he makes the transition from South America to Italy. He recently added a link here with these words: “There’s Bob the Onscreen scientist that sometimes sounds like Bill Gates and other days sounds like St. Paul,” which demonstrates Joe’s ability to use ludicrous comparisons for humorous effect, while at the same time making an accurate point about the varied content of this blog. Thanks again, Joe.
The St. Paul reference was doubtless due to my recent post called On the Breaking of Bad Habits Acquired in One’s Youth: Smoking and Atheism, which caught the eye of a few bloggers who write from a Christian perspective and who linked to it. David, a physics professor and novelist who has an interesting blog (He Lives: Reformed views of a nuclear physicist) largely dealing with Christian theology and issues of science and religion, included a link to my post in a short one of his own, which link continues to bring in daily a few readers (or five-second scanners, one never knows) even a couple of weeks later. Thanks, David.
Eric posted a short note (“A physicist’s conversion from atheism to theism”) and an excerpt from the atheism post on July 23, 2008 at In the Agora, which is a group blog I’m very happy to have been noticed by. Thank you, Eric.
Josh, whose blog Quid Sit? deals with “Catholicism, Art, Culture, & Everything in Between,” linked to the atheism post with one of his own called I Kicked Them Both, Too. He noted that, though our ages were very different, our experiences were similar. Thank you, Josh. Jesse of Karate and Whatnot from VA also recommended the atheism post with a link. Thanks, Jesse.
How have other bloggers found out about this blog before linking? In a few cases, I have emailed them about some post here that I thought they might be interested in based on what I could tell from their blogs. (Every blogger should include an email address! To email me, look to the upper right portion of any page of this blog.) Others have seen a reference somewhere else. I got a digg (in the OffBeat/Odd Stuff category!) for the atheism post, which may have been the source of a link or two. Thanks, yoder. And of course bloggers read blogs, which is another possible source of links, once one has been made somewhere.
As was predictable, I guess, the atheism post was, after the computer trouble-shooting experience posts, the one that has drawn the most visitors in this blog’s short life. A good number of those visits came from a blog devoted to atheism where I had left a comment mentioning the post. I plan to tell more about the (for the most part respectful) back and forth between me and some commenters at that blog in an upcoming entry.
My intent is still mainly to avoid religion and politics here, but in writing about my life that is well nigh impossible, so religion will no doubt be touched upon from the personal standpoint from time to time. I have more or less promised to trace over time the significant steps in my path from atheism to theism, which of course are very important to me, and I hope of interest and possible benefit to others.
In politics, I am a somewhat hopeful cynic, in the sense that I hope for the best, despite my disappointment and lack of confidence in politicians and parties. I try to maintain a good deal of emotional detachment, even while being very interested in the Presidential campaign as a national and personal (for the candidates) drama. Though no longer committed to the “no support to either of the Capitalist parties” position of my radical past, I find my disinclination to become a partisan of either major party is still strong, even without the ideological basis, mainly because of what seems to be the pervasive corruption and shallowness of the two parties. Now that I think about it, I might express the danger of strong partisanship as being one of potential idolatry (worship of a man-made god), but I don’t feel I am very tempted in that direction.
It’s also hard for me to imagine myself becoming enthusiastic about an individual candidate (I tried for a while this election), though I will consider voting for a major party candidate now, which I would not have done in the past. No longer viewing political change as the potential solution to all of life’s problems, I am more willing to try to judge what seems to be the best realistic alternative at a given time, but with low expectations, mixed with hope that it won’t make too much difference who wins. I might add that I don’t view the threat of radical Islam and terrorism as a phony one concocted by the Republicans.
Who cares what I think, anyway? There are more than enough political commentary blogs for just about any political viewpoint one could wish to see, and I am not going to add another. Most people want to read political commentary they already agree with. Whatever interest this blog may have will be due to some possibly unexpected resonance my experience has with that of the reader or from some observation I make that seems more original than any I might make about politics.