Six years in the blogosphere…

Has it really been six years?

Six years ago today, on a dim and dreary Saturday in December, almost on a whim I sat down, went to Blogspot, and started up the first version of Respectful Insolence with an introductory post with the cliched title, Please allow me to introduce myself. Here it is, six years later. On this cold December Saturday, I still find it difficult to his blog is considered one of the “top” medical blogs by one measure, and some actually–shockingly–consider me somewhat of a “famous” skeptic. I know, I know, I still can’t wrap my head around the concept myself. At least, I appear to have become “famous” enough that I receive the invitation to speak on occasion, something I find very difficult to do because (1) until fairly recently I was terrified of public speaking and (2) my work schedule makes it very, very difficult to travel to anything but work-related meetings and, of course, TAM. As a consequence, you may have noticed that my blogging has become less manic than it has been at times. These days I sometimes even skip the odd weekday or two, something that would never–never–have happened back in the day. Yes, there are reasons for that, and you can expect the occurence of the odd skipped weekday to continue (in particular, next week, given that I have evening obligations on two nights). Fear not, however! I don’t plan on retiring the blogging laptop just yet.

Well, actually, I do plan on retiring it, but only to replace my current workhorse blogging laptop with a brand new spiffy 13″ MacBook Air ASAP. Mmmmm. MacBook Air…I can’t wait until it arrives. It makes my current MacBook Pro seem positively gargantuan by comparison, particularly when I have to lug my it around to surgical meetings, cancer meetings, and, of course, TAM. The coach sections of airplanes, in particular, are notoriously inhospitable to any but the tiniest laptops, and the MacBook Air has battery life that is considerably better than that of my trusty old MacBook Pro.

But I digress. Fanboy that I am, Apple products have that effect on me…

Looking back over my introductory post, I’m struck by how true I’ve stayed to most of the original topics I laid out all those years ago–at least for the most part. I can’t help but note that I don’t blog nearly as much about evolution and creationism as I used to three or four years ago. Given the heavy hitters in the blogosphere who make those topics their own, I guess I just don’t feel as though I need or want to do it as much. I’m not nearly as knowledgeable about the topic as they are, anyway. The same decline has happened regarding politics, but that’s simply because political bloggers are a dime a dozen, and you have to be either really, really good at writing about politics or really, really extreme to be heard over the cacophony. So purely political posts have become rare, albeit not nonexistent, here. Movies and science fiction and fantasy have also fallen (mostly) by the wayside, too. I have no idea why, but they just did. The same goes for Holocaust denial, although I do occasionally revisit that topic. I still feel as passionately as ever about it, but for some reason opportunities to write about it have become fewer. Maybe that’s a good thing.

No, I’ve clearly found my niche, and, in fact, I found it fairly early in my blogging “career.” Those niches are science-based medicine and discussing the interface of science-based medicine with non-science-based modalities, with special attention to the anti-vaccine movement and various forms of “alternative” medicine. And that niche is fine. One of these days, I ought to write a book. Oh, wait. A blogger writing a book. Is that another cliche?

In any case, I’m taking the rest of the weekend off. I’ll be back on Monday to start year seven. I don’t even know what the topic will be yet. Maybe Age of Autism or will supply me with one before tomorrow evening. They rarely let me down, and, even if they don’t, there is, sadly, plenty of woo out there that requires a dose of Insolence, Respectful or otherwise.