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Keeping the Variance down March 31, 2008

Posted by dorigo in Blogroll, internet, personal, religion.
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Being lazy is a bad thing in itself, but being a lazy blogger is horrible: you feel guilty of leaving your site unattended. Therefore, since today I have nothing in the world to report about (well, except a book I was asked to review, a new algorithm taking care of track momentum calibration in CMS, and my godparenting of a paper to come out on squarks and gluinos – expect posts on those shortly), I will just paste here a comment I left at cosmic variance, where Sean boasts about his (really, really good) blog ranking fourth in a certain wishful ranking:

Okay, there seems to be a bug somewhere; we’re not really the fourth-largest blog on the Internets, by any plausible way of counting. Unless they are counting by awesomeness.

Tsk, tsk. Self-praise is not kosher. Here is what I answered to Sean in his comments section:

Hi Sean,

at the risk of sounding jealous, envious, and green with livor, I have to say I do not rate your blog as awesome. It does not supefy, it does not startle, it does not cause shots of adrenaline. It has many pluses, of course – otherwise it would not be where it is, in the list above or in other ranking systems around.

And you should be happy about that. A physics blog cannot, _cannot_, be a top ranking one. Beware. If you get there, you have mutated to something you might not have liked in the past. What are you, a guy with an opinion on everything ? A star writer ? Certainly both, but you first and foremost are a scientist, and if you forget your roots it gets dangerous.

Just my two pence… and congratulations.
Cheers,
T.

Alas, what I say above is what I really think: a science blog cannot get very high in any ranking system for the very reason that it deals with science. If it goes up, it means it has started dealing with something else. It is a drift that any science blogger has to counter with a rational approach: keep talking about science. I of course indulge in extemporaneous divagations into other topics, but let me mention my five top ranking posts below:

So, I do talk about other things, but I am quite happy if I am mostly read for the science. Maybe I did mutate myself – my blog was, at the start, in the spirit of Quantum Diaries: a report on the life of a scientist. Forget it. I will continue to report on my life, and I will continue to discuss politics, astronomy, chess, my hobbies – but blogging about science has much, much more meaning. No, I will never cheer up if my blog ranks as high as Cosmic Variance: of course I love it when I get lots of traffic, but only if I think I deserved it through the service I provided. I intend to keep the variance down.

Comments

1. Tim - April 3, 2008

“Being lazy is a bad thing in itself,…”

Please! This is definitely a value judgment unbecoming of a scientist!


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