As long as a Presidential term in office…

For once, I actually managed not to miss it. For once, this day hasn’t passed me by, leaving me not to remember its significance for a couple of days.

For once, I haven’t forgotten my blogiversary.

Yes, as hard as it is to believe, I’ve been at this more or less nonstop just as long as a Presidential term in office. It all began on a dank, overcast Saturday afternoon in December four years ago today. What whim struck me to sit down in front of my computer and use Blogger to create my original blog I have no idea, but I did. Maybe it was because I had become tired of sparring with Holocaust deniers in the Usenet newsgroup alt.revisionism and with alt-med mavens like Ilena Rosenthal on, as well as other advocates of pseudoscience on other newsgroups. Such writing, while fun, was reactive against pseudoscience and irrationality, and I had decided to become proactive.

And so Respectful Insolence was born with this post.

Reading that first post again four years later, I’m actually pretty amazed at how true to my original hastily conceived vision I’ve been. The only things in that first list of what I wanted to do that I really haven’t done that much of are movie and music reviews and posts about science fiction and fantasy. In retrospect, that’s probably not such a bad thing. True, I still do my “top ten” list at the end of the year of the best CDs of the year, and occasionally I geek out with Star Wars, Star Trek, J.R.R. Tolkien, and others. Even more amazing to me is that I still enjoy blogging now as much as I did then, if not even more so. Even as my level of responsibility at my job has grown, somehow I still manage to find time to devote to my hobby, usually while sitting on the couch watching TV after 9 or 10 PM. True, my blogging activity may have waxed and waned over these last years, with periods of time when I tried to reach P.Z., Bora in the old days, or Greg levels of rapid fire blogging, and other times when I could barely manage to keep posting. But somehow I persevered, and now I’m actually, much to my surprise, not only well-established but pretty popular. Indeed, four years on, I still remain continually amazed at the number of people who stop by on a regular basis to check out what I’m laying down and that the Seed Media Group actually contacted me nearly three years ago to add my uniqueness to their collective, so to speak.

So what’s next? Well, for today, nothing. Other than this uncharacteristically brief bit of navel-gazing, I plan on taking the rest of today off from the blog. I have a morning symposium to attend, and the O.R. awaits me this afternoon.

After that, well…the future remains unwritten. For the moment, I haven’t decided. It’s conceivable that this could remain my hobby until the day I finally drop dead, or someday I may decide that I need to take Orac’s insolence into different realms. For instance, I’ve always wanted to write a book, and one thing I know for sure is that that I can’t do that and keep blogging–at least not if I remain employed. There aren’t enough hours in a day, and I’d end up in divorce court if I tried. In the meantime I blog in my spare time. it’s become such a part of my life that, right now at least, I can’t imagine life without it aside from taking some time off every year for vacation.

Whatever the future holds, of one thing you can be sure. My commitment to rationality over superstition, science over pseudoscience, and science-based medicine over quackery will remain. If I ever take a hiatus or leave blogging, it will only be to bring the message to a different medium. However, it’s pretty hard to imagine a media where I can influence a few thousand readers every day, barring lightning striking and my somehow penning a best seller or becoming a celebrity, both of which are incredibly unlikely.

After four years, though, I would like to ask you, my readers, a favor. Newbies, take a little time and peruse the archives. Long-time readers, let me know what your very favorite posts have been over the history of this blog. If you want, you can even tell me which posts you hated the most. Maybe, if I get enough input and the mood strikes me, I’ll compile a “best of” and “worst of” Orac. At the very least it’ll provide a fascinating combination of ego stroking and much-needed humility.

Thus endeth the obligatory blog navel-gazing. Tomorrow morning, year five begins.